NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad successfully organised the 2nd edition of the NALSAR Inter-Varsity Debate from 5th to 8th April, 2011. The team from National Law School, Bangalore comprising Badrinarayanan Seetharaman and Sounak Sarkar emerged the champions, while Lucas Li and Ashish Kumar of University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, were declared runners-up. Vipul Nanda from National Law School, Bangalore, was adjudged the Best Speaker of the tournament, and Aditya Shetty from Sardar Patel Institute of Technology, Bombay, won the Best Adjudicator prize. The debate saw attendance of 64 teams and participants from different parts of India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Munich and the United Kingdom, making it one of the most widely attended debates in India. The final round witnessed a nail-biting finish as National Law School, Bangalore, Cambridge University, IIT Bombay and a cross team between IIT Bombay and the Technical University of Munich debated the motion, “This House believes that grave economic inequality justifies violent revolution.”
The first edition of the debate was a pioneering effort in introducing to Indian shores the format of British Parliamentary debating, the default format for parliamentary debating around the world and the style followed at the debating World Cup – the World Universities Debating Championships. The debate continues to be one of only two tournaments in India that follow this format.
The debate boasted a stellar adjudication core comprising internationally renowned debaters Sharmila Paramanand (Chief Adjudicator at the Berlin World Universities Debating Championship, 2013) and Harish Natarajan (champion of the British inter-varsity debating circuit and semi-finalist at the World Universities Debating Championship, 2010 and top 10 speaker at the World Universities Debating Championship, 2009), along with two national debating stalwarts who have made their mark in debating internationally – Aashay Sahay(Breaking debater at the Asian British Parliamentary Debating Championship and Best Adjudicator at several national tournaments) and Pranay Bhatia (Semi-Finalist and 2nd Best Speaker at Asian British Parliamentary Championship).
Vishwajith Sadananda, Convener of NALSAR’s Literary and Debating Committee, said that he was heartened by the drastic improvement in the quality of debating and the uniformly positive reviews that the debate received this year. However, he noted that the next edition of the debate could happen in October of 2012 itself, so as to serve as a preparatory ground for the Asian British Parliamentary Championship and the World Universities Debating Championship, that follow immediately after.