Guwahati, Sunday, October 19, 2014
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Tezpur varsity team wins debate contest
Bhairab Sarmah
 NORTH GUWAHATI, Oct 18 – The British Deputy High Commission, in association with IIT, Guwahati, held the North-east leg of ‘The Great Debate’ competition on Friday in Guwahati. Six teams participated in the final of the regional round, and a team from the Tezpur University emerged as the winner.

Two teams from the Tezpur University and one each from IIM, Shillong, IIT, Guwahati, College of Veterinary Science and Assam Don Bosco University took part in the final round of the ‘Great Debate’ in Guwahati. In the preliminary round held on Wednesday, 18 teams had participated.

The winning team – Ayushman Debraj and Kalyani Kaushik – from the Tezpur University on Friday debated on the theme, ‘Social media and online media will soon replace conventional journalism,’ and they spoke in support of the motion.

Inaugurating the debate, the British Deputy High Commissioner, Scott Furssedonn-Wood said the debate is a unique opportunity to celebrate and promote UK and India’s shared culture of vibrant debate and intellectual discussion.

The event was part of a nationwide exercise by the British High Commission to encourage student debaters and provide them with a platform to showcase and hone their abilities. The ‘GREAT Debate’ is also an excellent opportunity to strengthen UK and India’s deep cultural and educational links.

“We are excited to bring the ‘GREAT Debate’ to the Northeast this year because this region has a large population of incredibly talented young people studying in excellent educational institutions,” Furssedonn-Wood said.

The winners of the North-east round of the ‘GREAT Debate’ will go to New Delhi in November along with the winning teams of the regional heats in Kolkata, New Delhi, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Chennai, Hyderabad and Trivandrum to participate in the grand final. The winners of the grand final will be offered a one-week sponsored study tour of the UK, which will include visits to historical sites, academic institutions and cultural events along with peer group interactions.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to talk to you about the Chevening Programme, which is the UK Government’s global scholarship programme,” the British Deputy High Commissioner, said. Funded by the Foreign and the Commonwealth Office and partner organisations, the programme grants awards to outstanding scholars with leadership potential from around the world to study postgraduate courses at universities in the UK.

“The UK Government will quadruple its funding for the Chevening scholarships for Indian students over the next two years, making India the largest recipient in the world and allowing us to offer world class education to over 150 Indian scholars,” the Deputy High Commissioner said.

The finalists from Guwahati will join teams from other Indian cities in the grand finale in Delhi in November. The Chevening Scholarships, British Council and Virgin Atlantic are partnering with the British High Commission to organise this debate competition across India.

Following the success of the ‘GREAT Debate’ competition held earlier this year in Delhi and Kolkata, the British High Commission has decided to make the event bigger and better this year. Apart from Guwahati, the competition is being organised in Delhi, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai and Jaipur.

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