Birla High School hosted the 24th chapter of the L N Birla Memorial Debate on 10 and 11 July 2023 at the school auditorium. Sixteen schools from across the country participated in the event, out of which 8 schools qualified for the finals. The chief guest for the finals was Kevin Goh, Deputy Consul-General of Australia.
DPS Ruby Park, the winning team at the debate Source: Edugraph
Moderated by Dr Kunal Sarkar, eminent cardiologist and the President of the Calcutta Debating Circle, the motion for the final day was: 'Higher education is an exercise in elitism.'
The schools that qualified for the finals were Sushila Birla Girls High School, Loreto House, Birla High School, Indus Valley World School, Modern High School International, La Martiniere for Boys, Delhi Public School Ruby Park, and Modern High School for Girls. The jury comprised eminent members of the Calcutta Debating Circle–Swati Gautam, Dr Baijeek Sen and Pradeep Gooptu, as well as eminent journalist Monideepa Banerjie.
Birla High School, the runners up team in the debate Source: Edugraph
As the debate unfolded, the audience witnessed a battle of words, wit and candour par excellence. Every speaker had 3+1 minutes to make their case, and two more minutes to face rebuttal from members of participating schools seated in the audience. The speakers for the motion mentioned the financial burden of pursuing higher education, the inequality of opportunities across socio-economic strata and the language barrier faced by students pursuing higher education. Those making their case against the motion countered with the quality of education provided in the “elite” institutions, the existence of scholarships and grants for the meritorious and underprivileged, and the presence of government institutions providing world-class education without students having to undertake huge fiscal burden.
Suchetana Sen of DPS Ruby Park receiving the alumni trophy for the Best Speaker Source: Edugraph
The motion was carried forward by a show of hands at the end of the debate. Suchetana Sen of DPS Ruby Park, who was judged the Best Speaker at the event, won thunderous applause from the audience when she said, “Equality is when a mediocre middle-class student gets the same opportunities as a mediocre student from the elite class.”
Team Birla High School was the runners-up, while team DPS Ruby Park was declared the champions of the 24th L N Birla Memorial Debate.