It was three days of frenzied debating at the British Parliamentary Debate (PD) tournament at Stella Maris College.

Amrithavarshini Venkatesh and Padmapriya Govindarajan from the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Madras, were declared winners of the British Parliamentary Debate conducted by Stella Maris College, Chennai.

“We signed up for the tournament as adjudicators, but decided to participate as debaters instead. We can honestly say that it was the best decision we took,” says Amrithavarshini. Ajay Pai and Parvathi Anantha from Christ University, Bangalore, who were declared novice winners. “It’s been a great experience for me. Even if it is a novice win, it really counts,” says Parvathi Anantha while Ajay Pai concurs, “It’s been a brilliant experience. The topics were intellectually stimulating.”

“We conducted the first edition of this tournament last year and it was a roaring success,” says Kavya Narayanan, II year B.Com student and deputy core adjudicator of the tournament. “What sets the PD apart from other debates is that the motion is declared just before the debate commences,” explains Ambika Narayanan, III year B.A. Economics student and convenor of the tournament. “PDs are stimulating as they are spontaneous and require participants to think on their feet,” she adds.

Wide range of topics

This year, the topics covered a wide spectrum of issues including racial profiling, the Supreme Court judgement regarding gay marriage, predatory marketing, and more.

Priyadarshini Subramanian, a first-year student of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Madras was all praise for the topics selected for the debate. “The topics were pertinent to what is happening the world over. For instance, one of the topics was on racial profiling, and I feel it was extremely relevant to discuss,” she says.

Sukrut Gejji

M.S. Ramaiah Institute of Technology(MSRIT) Bangalore

Stella Maris had done a great job organising the tournament last year and that’s what made me come back. I completely enjoyed myself this time as there was stiff competition, the motions were more nuanced, and we debated more serious issues.

Sanjana Ganesh

Ethiraj College, Chennai

Initially, I found it a little difficult to comprehend the concept of PD as I was a novice adjudicator. However, Stella Maris did a brilliant job in organising the workshop and I eased into it. Some of the best adjudicators are from the college and they have done justice to the debate.

Srijesh S.

Vellore Institute of Technology

The quality of debating and adjudication has been exceptional. It has been extremely challenging and the competition has been pretty good. Stella Maris has done a great job organising the event as it has had a great reach — we had teams from as far as Jodhpur participating.

Mridula N.

Rajalakshmi Engineering College, Chennai

Considering this is just the second version of the tournament, Stella Maris has done a fantastic job. The motions were the kind that made us think. Though the event was conducted on a small-scale, the quality of debating was great. Considering that Stella Maris is pretty well-known in the academic circles and that the SMC PD is the first of its kind in Chennai, the trend of PDs is sure to catch up in other colleges across the city. Hats off to the quality of adjudication as well.

Sharat Subramanian

SRM University, Chennai

SMC PD has been a great learning experience. I’ve learnt a lot on what I have done right and what I could have avoided. After a point, the focus was less on points scored and more on learning.