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Thursday , February 24 , 2011
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Campus biz and barbs
Wamika Mimani of St. Xavier’s College BCom department receives the Best Manager Award from R. Gopalakrishnan. Pictures by Rashbehari Das
Students of the winning team from St. Xavier’s College pose with their trophy

The students of St. Xavier’s College suited up and got down to serious business for Insignia 2011, the annual management fest organised by the commerce department, in association with t2.

Packed with grilling sessions and gruelling tasks for the future business pros, February 17-18 saw BCom, BBM and BBA students from across the country heading to the Park Street address to showcase their PR, HR and entrepreneurship skills. Inaugurated by Utpal Chatterjee, the former sheriff of Calcutta, the fest brought together students from various outstation colleges including Chennai’s Loyola College, New Delhi’s Shri Ram College of Commerce, Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies and Sri Venkateswara College, Bangalore’s Christ University and Pune’s Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies, along with city colleges like J.D. Birla Institute of Management and St. Xavier’s College.

With the aim of making the biz kids aware of India’s past and its potential, events like Marketing focused on different aspects of international, rural and regional marketing. Other competitions like Best Manager tested the participants for eight rounds to see if they had all the qualities needed to be a successful manager in an Indian firm.

But it was not all work at Insignia. After all, even corporate execs need to loosen their ties and share a laugh. Events hosted by MTV VJ Jose ensured that the students had their quota of fun too, taking part in games like Andhon Mein Kaana Raja, Best Out of Waste, Scavenger Hunt and Indian Bazaar, in between competitive biz quizzes and corporate law rounds.

The closing ceremony saw chief guest and Xaverian R. Gopalakrishnan, executive director of Tata Sons and a member of the board of directors at ABP Pvt Ltd, fondly reminisce about his school and college days at St. Xavier’s, Calcutta. He then gave away the overall winner prize to the St. Xavier’s College BCom department and the first and second runners-up prizes to Christ University’s BCom and BBM departments respectively.

“We were in the physics department and would tend to look down on the BCom boys… today we can see how wrong and mistaken we were. I am happy to be here today, giving away the prizes,” smiled Gopalakrishnan.

It was war on the Jadavpur University campus, a war of words. Top debaters from colleges across the country like the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, Miranda House, New Delhi, and Gujarat National Law University (GNLU), along with city institutions like the WB National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS) and Loreto College descended on the JU campus on Sunday for their national debate, Vox Pop 2011.

Organised by the Jadavpur University Debating Society, in association with t2, Vox Pop tries to breaking away from the fix-format debates held in most colleges.

“The idea behind Vox Pop 2011 is to test every skill of a debater, be it individual skills, teamwork or thinking on one’s feet,” said Gourav Ghosh, a co-ordinator for Vox Pop.

The quarter-finals were in the policy debate format with each participant speaking for or against topics like “Democracy in India is a farce”, “Liberalisation has led to major corruption”, “The UN is irrelevant in today’s world” and “India’s developmental policy has ignored the concerns of the environment”.

The semis were held in the American parliamentary debate format, where for each round there is a prime minister, a member of the government, a leader of the opposition and a member of the opposition. The prime minister and the leader of the opposition get to speak twice.

The topics for the semis were: “Prisoners should be given a second chance”, “Invasion of individual privacy by the state should not be allowed” and “The CBI ought not to be made into an autonomous investigative agency”.

Sneha Mondal and Varsha Pincha from JU, Adrija Chatterjee and Taniya Chakraborty from Loreto College, Shayak Chakraborty and Riddhiman Mukherjee from GNLU, Midhun Zacharia and Sreerupa Chowdhury from NUJS made it to the finals, which was held on Monday.

The final round was based on the British parliamentary style of debating on the topic “Given the current situation in Kashmir, a plebiscite is a must”.

Judges Utpal Chatterjee, the former sheriff of Calcutta,

filmmaker Ashoke Vishwanathan and journalist Swapan Dasgupta crowned NUJS the winner with JU a close second. Midhun Zacharia bagged the best speaker award.

Talking point: Students from colleges across the country engaged in a war of words during Vox Pop 2011 at Jadavpur University. Pictures by Bishwarup Dutta

Madhurima Chatterjee

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