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Debating Matters India, a British Councial initiative

I received an email from Kirti Manian from British Council India (Mumbai) office with the details of a program called Debating Matters. The details given in there about the program seemed very informative to me which I believe students of INDIA must read and ultimately take part in this initiative to test their debating skills. Videos of this program along with its rules, are inside this article.



Introduction:

Debating Matters is an exciting new national debate that has been initiated by the British Council, in partnership with the Institute of Ideas of London, as part of its Intercultural Dialogue Project. It is a debating competition with a difference for students. In India the competition is for Class XI and XII students only. Debating Matters is a very successful debate competition in the UK, pioneered by the Institute of Ideas and supported by Wellcome Trust, in the UK and in India. In the first ever Debating Matters competition held in India for 2008-09, S M Choksey High School and Junior College, Pune won the first ever Debating Matters competition held in India.

They traveled to the UK to compete with the UK Debating Matters champions and won the first exhibition debate. The format for Debating Matters is rigorous and competitive with a strong emphasis on students researching their arguments well. Debating Matters seeks to encourage students to engage with the specifics and complexities of issues that arise in the real world today. Debating Matters is an innovative and challenging way for students to engage with their peers and learn more about the world they live in through research and debate in real time topics.

VIDEOS:

Alternate link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMdp7iuDFvo&feature=channel_page

Other details:

Debating competition with a difference

Real World Debates
Unlike conventional debates which often emphasise word play, Debating Matters seeks to encourage students to engage with the specifics and complexities of issues that arise in the real world today. A unique aspect of the competition has been to involve high-calibre professionals from all walks of life – academics, journalists, business people, scientists and artists – in the judging of the competition.

Role of judges
The judges interrogate and engage in a debate with the speakers to judge how deeply they have gone into the topic. The emphasis is therefore also on interaction. Although debate will be in English, judging will be on content and not pronunciation, diction and style.

In-depth preparation
Teams will be provided with topic guides for the debate at each stage of the competition. These guides will be mailed at least three weeks in advance to those schools who qualify at each level.

The stages in India
Debating Matters India is divided into 3 stages:

  • Online Elimination Test: The first stage of the competition where the students register themselves as a school team, download the preparatory material and prepare for the test. They appear for the sixty minute test once they’re through with their preparation. Twelve schools from each region will be shortlisted from this round. The results will be declared in the Debating Matters India website a week after the OET closes.
  • Regional Finals: Twelve schools from each region will move on to the Regional Finals. The competition will be a two-day event. The first day will feature the preliminary round of debates, and Day Two is for the semi finals and the final. Both the winner and the runner-up from this stage will travel to New Delhi for Debating Matters National Finals.
  • National Finals: The finals will be a three day affair, and on the first day the students take part in preparatory seminars led by expert panelists. The second day will feature the preliminary debates involving all eight teams. The third day of the competition will feature the semi finals and the grand finale debate.

The next stage will see six teams moving on to the Regional Finals. The regional finalist and the runner-up will qualify for the National Final, to take place in New Delhi in January 2009. Prior to the actual debating event, the debaters will have the opportunity to participate in a series of workshops, lectures and presentations delivered by eminent professionals. The national finals winner then goes on to compete with the UK schools in London as part of the Debating Matters UK.

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Note:

Received by Kirti Manian from email id: kirti.manian@in.britishcouncil.org on Mon, Jul 20, 2009 at 10:14 AM.

Visit http://www.britishcouncil.org.in/debatingmattersindia/index.aspx for more details.

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Devang Vibhakar
Devang Vibhakar
(Editor, www.SpeakBindas.com)
SpeakBindas is a Limca Book of Awards winning blog. It's a PR3 blog with 1000+ articles & Interviews. Devang Vibhakar - Founder - has interviewed more than 350+ people and has been to Scotland, London & Germany. He's a writer, speaker, traveler & movie-goer !! He has also written four books. He's passionate about bringing forth interesting stories & interviews of people from various sectors of life to avid readers of SpeakBindas. You can reach him here .