A student speaks at the Frank Anthony Memorial All India Inter-school Debate at Dayanand Public School on Friday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
They were at their argumentative best.
Students from across 25 ICSE schools of the state came to Jamshedpur to participate in the preliminary round of the prestigious Frank Anthony Memorial All India Inter-school Debate on Friday.
Four city schools — Motilal Nehru Public School, Dayanand Public School, Hill Top School and Kerala Samajam Model School — hosted the prelims, also known as the zonal round, where as many as 80 students impressed the judges with their argumentative skills.
While Motilal Nehru Public School and Dayanand Public School were the two venues for the preliminary round for category I (Class XI and XII), Hill Top School and Kerala Samajam Model School hosted the same for category II (Class IX and X).
The topic for category I was the environment cannot sustain the current rapid rate of industrialisation, while that for category II was modern living has led to the present environment crisis.
The topic was given on the spot and the participants only got an hour to prepare. Each participant was allowed four minutes to place his/her argument either. The verbal tussle concluded with the rebuttal session that was the most exciting part of the debate.
In category I at Motilal Nehru Public School, Shayan Chatterjee of Hill Top School booked the first place. In Dayanand Public School, Jasleen Saini of Little Flower School was adjudged the best speaker.
In category II at Kerala Samajam Model School, Anchira Parna of Gulmohur High School was declared the best speaker and at Hill Top School, Rajsekhar Haldar of St Xavier School won the prize.
Named after Frank Anthony,a prominent leader of the Anglo-Indian community who was also a nominated member of the Parliament, the debate is conducted by Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations every year.
Friday’s winners have made it to the regional round, the date for which is yet to be decided.
“This is a very prestigious debate. Today’s winners will compete at the regional level,” said Nandini Shukla, principal of Kerala Samajam Model School.