Parliamentary Debate

Parliamentary debating is the apex of public speaking competitions. It demands every possible skill from logic, rhetoric, well thought out and connected arguments to teamwork and an indepth knowledge of local and world issues. Delhi University has an extremely competitive debating circuit with many College Debating Societies organizing Tournaments with Corporate Sponsorships and large cash prizes to attract the best and brightest to compete.

There are 3 components to a Parliamentary Debate: the Debaters, the Adjudicators and the Organisers. A participating team will typically consist of 2 or 3 members depending on the type of tournament (Premchand for instance is a 2 member Debate). A round will have 2 teams facing against each other. Each speaker has a specific role to fulfill in the course of the debate and has to marshall every resource in order to out argue his opponents points.

The second component is Adjudication. An adjudicator is typically a college student from a debating society who has decided to enter the no less challenging and lucrative field of being a judge. One round will have 3 adjudicators who after having paid close attention to the arguments being made in the course of the debate are given time to analyse them, mark the speakers on criteria such as matter and method and reach an independent decision on the winner. After the result has been declared each adjudicator must then proceed to reveal which team he gave his decision to and justify that decision openly to the audience and to both teams. Teams are allowed to question their adjudicators on the validity of their feedback. This is designed to reveal the depth of understanding that an adjudicator has and just how much attention he was paying to the debate. Both teams then mark their adjudicators and submit their mark sheets to the organizers who evaluate them and award a series of prizes to the best adjudicators in the tournament.

The final component to ensure a smooth and successful debate is the organization. Each society which hosts a Tournament is in charge of the organization of that tournament. This involves everything from invitations, searching for sponsors, booking hostel and hotel rooms, getting permission from college authorities (the most difficult process of all) , ensuring fun, complex and debatable motions along with quality adjudicators and this is all pre debate! An immense amount of coordination is required to ensure that a debate runs like clockwork with no delays and that debaters in each room are well stocked with stationary, water etc.

Premchand is the best run and most successful debate in D.U. As an earlier DebSoc President once said, “we’re not a very modest society.” Our superlative level of organization, rich amounts of prize money and high quality adjudication and motions for debate attract the very best debating teams from across India and the South Asian region. We are proud to host the 8th iteration of Premchand in January 2011 and we’re sure you are looking forward to it as much as we are.

For the format of Premchand 2011 click here

For the Rulebook click here