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World Universities debate comes to Chennai

World Universities Debating Championship

World Universities Debating Championship

Students from various universities across 70 countries will slug it out at the World Universities Debating Championship in the city next year. This is the first time India would be hosting the event that started in 1981.

More than 700 students will participate in the debate to be held at Rajalakshmi Engineering College, Chennai, said Harish Natarajan, chief adjudicator of the championship.

Berlin is hosting the 2012 edition of the debate that is held every year from December 27 to January 4.

The World Universities Debating Championship is a parliamentary debating event held in the British parliamentary format. It is referred to as ‘worlds’ and the winners of the competition acknowledged as ‘world champions.’ Since it’s inception in 1981, the championship has been held in various countries. “Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Yale, MIT, Stanford, Monash, Sydney and dozens of other world class universities send in their best students. As a result, being crowned the ‘world champion’ is one of the most prestigious accomplishments for a,” Harish told TOI.

The students will be divided randomly and the topic will be given 15 minutes before the start of the debate. Simultaneously debates will be held in 100 rooms and teams will be eliminated after preliminary rounds. The topics may vary from current affairs to several other issues. “For example, teams may be asked to debate on the US policy in Syria. The teams will fight it out and based on the points scored, the winner will be announced and the team moves to the next round,” said Harish.

The teams are chosen on a first-come-first-serve basis. “The college was chosen through a bid at the last championship held in Manila and the delegates voted for India and that is how the championship is going to be held in the country next year,” said Philip Praveen, the college director.

In this year’s championship to be held in Berlin, a special display will be done to showcase India and invite the participants for next year’s championship, said Philip. (TOI)

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