Young Members' Section – Inter University Debate Competition

By Young Members' Section

The Young Members' Section of IESL has organized Inter-University Debate Competition 2021 for the first time among engineering faculties in Sri Lanka. The prime objective of the competition is for undergraduates to improve communication skills along with critical thinking. This will help them to analytically evaluate the opinions of others and logically construct their rebuttal. In addition this is a great platform to present their ideas in a clear professional style which will enable them to develop their speaking skills along with research and learn the attributes of a skilled debater and inculcate those attributes in themselves such as maintain proper body language, keeping calm during disagreements, adhere to the topic at hand, speaking loud and clear and working on emotions. The Competition consists of debating teams from engineering faculties of University of Moratuwa, University of Peradeniya, University of Ruhuna, South- Eastern University of Sri Lanka, University of Jaffna, University of Sri Jayewardenepura and Open University of Sri Lanka. The debating Competition is conducting as a fully online debate, and this is a novel experience and a challenging one for all the young undergraduates. The teams are consisted of 7 university undergraduates and the teams are competing each other on a timely important Engineering topic.

The awareness session of the competition was held on the 6th of June 2021 at 5.00 pm with the participation of Eng. Kovida Bakmideniya, Debating coach and Adjudicator and Eng. Zahra Marzook, Member of Toastmasters International and the Assistant Secretary of IESL YMS, and Dr. Chandima Somarathna, University Liaison Officer of the University of Jaffna. The Moderator of the awareness session was Eng. Thilina Dissanayake, also a Member of Toastmasters International. This was conducted to give an awareness on the competition, the outline of the debating procedure, general ethics of debating, and the online debating method.

The Inauguration Ceremony of the Inter-University of Debate Competition was held on 20th June 2021. The chief guest of the event was Eng. K.P.I.U. Dharmapala, President of IESL. The president-elect of IESL Eng. Arjuna Manamperi and the YMS Advisor, Prof. Udayanga Hemapala joined the event as special Invitees.

The first round matches of the Inter-University debate competition has started on 20th June. There will be 7 matches including the final on the 26st of September 2021.

Match – 01

The Inauguration match of the debate competition was held between University of Peradeniya and University of Jaffna on 20th June. As the motion of the first debate "Sri Lanka should focus on improving the current public transport system in use, instead of introducing new transportation modes within the next 10 years" was very sensitive and thought-provoking, the two teams were well prepared in presenting their opinions and logically argued coherently. By giving a very energetic competition, finally the University of Jaffna won the first match of the Inter-University debate competition.

The team members of the University of Jaffna and University of Ruhuna

Match – 02

The second match was held between South Eastern University and University of Ruhuna on the 27th of June 2021. The topic of the debate was "Sri Lanka should invest more in consolidating its service sector at present, than improving its production sector". The proposition was the University of South Eastern and the opposition was the University of Ruhuna. As previous, both teams were well prepared and present their opinions in a very competitive manner. The winner of the second match was the University of Ruhuna team.

Match – 03

The third match was held on the topic of "Sub specialization and variety in specialization, is the key factor in expanding the dimensions of Engineering education" between the University of Sri Jayewardenepura and the Open University of Sri Lanka on 04th July 2021. It was very dynamic and a timely topic. Both teams were well prepared in presenting their opinions and logically argued coherently. By giving a very informative competition. The winner of the third match was the University of Sri Jayewardenepura team.

Match - 04

The forth match was held on the topic of "Advocating for self-sufficiency in Sri Lanka is not a viable option" between the University of Sri Moratuwa and the University of Peradeniya on 25th July 2021. University of Peradeniya was selected as the wildcard team from the first three matches. Both teams were well prepared in presenting their opinions and logically argued coherently. The winner of the forth match was the University of Peradeniya team and they selected to the semifinals.

Furthermore, the semi-finals and the finals will be happening in the month of August and September. This competition was a huge experience to all our young undergraduates to showcase their talents and to improve their interpersonal skills while developing their knowledge.

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