Pune school wins Debating Matters in the UK


The Indian team argued for the motion, ‘Protecting the public from terrorism should come before civil liberties’.

They are the first Indian champions to win this first-of-its-kind exhibition debate. Launched in India in partnership with the British Council, Debating Matters is a school debate competition in the UK, which aims to be less formal than the traditional debating competitions.

At the final debate, Pune students Shivanand Ambalavanan, Auzita Irani, Vignesh Gundesha and Mrinalini Shinde faced tough questions on their stance from a panel of judges, including AC Grayling, Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck College; Kenan Malik, writer, lecturer and broadcaster; and Anita Anand, presenter of BBC2’s The Daily Politics, who later praised them for “their detailed research, fine grasp of the subject and eloquent presentation.”

Shivanand Ambalavanan of Choksey School also won the prestigious Gima Owen Memorial Award, an audience prize for “the sharpest, wittiest contribution delivered with warmth and humour.”

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