Format & Schedule

Tournament Format

Premchand 2011 will consist of 40 teams from 20 or more institutions of repute from across the South Asia region. There will be 5 preliminary rounds of debating, followed by octo-finals, quarter-finals, semi-finals and the grand final. Thus each team is assured of participating in at least 5 debates.

For the first round, teams shall be matched up randomly. For subsequent rounds power match up will be followed. Further details on scoring and tabbing shall be provided to all participants on the first day.

Each debate in the preliminary rounds, the octo-finals and the quarter-finals will be judged by a panel of at least 3 adjudicators, one of whom will be the designated Chairperson.  Each semi- final will be judged by a panel of at least 5 adjudicators. The 7 top judges of the tournament will judge the grand final. In exceptional circumstances, it is possible that one or more preliminary debates are judged by a single senior adjudicator.

Monetary Prizes and books will be awarded to the best team, runners up and losing semi finalists. There will be generous adjudicator prizes as well.

Debate Format

Premchand follows a modified 2 on 2 Cambridge style of Parliamentary Debating.

In each debate, there are two teams, called Proposition and Opposition. There are two speakers per team, namely the Prime Minister & Deputy Prime Minister [side Proposition] and the Leader of Opposition & Deputy Leader of Opposition [side Opposition].

Three Motions will be released by the Chairperson of the debate once both teams have reported to the correct room.  A coin will be tossed, and the winning side will choose its role for the upcoming debate. Both teams then get a common minute to rank the three motions in order of preference [1st, 2nd or 3rd]. The 3rd preference for both teams will be crossed out, and in case of an impasse the motion to be debated will be selected by toss of coin amongst the remaining 2 motions. The teams get 20 minutes of preparation time before debating commences. The Proposition can choose to debate the motion as it stands or to define it in suitable terms, within the scope of the pre-defined theme for the round.

Starting with the Prime Minister, each speaker addresses the House for 7 minutes. Once all four substantive speeches have been completed, there is an interrogation round [replacing the usual Question and Answer round of 2 on 2 debates]. It is described in greater detail below. The interrogation round is followed by the reply speeches [Opposition replies first].  Introduction of new arguments is only allowed in the 4 substantive speeches. Any new matter that may be introduced in the reply speeches is ignored by the adjudicators. Therefore, reply speeches are meant for teams to summarize their respective positions and clashes of the debate for the benefit of the House.

Interrogation Round:

Following the initial round of speeches, the teams shall cross – examine each other as a one to one interrogation, with the Opposition commencing the questioning. Each speaker will question for 3.5 minutes.  Any speaker from the Opposition can choose any speaker from the Government for questioning, the period of which shall be 3.5 minutes. Next, one speaker from the government chooses another from the Opposition for interrogation for the same specified duration. The same is repeated again with the remaining speakers on either team.

You can access the official Rulebook here

Clarification on the format or the rules can be sought from the Chief Adjudicators

The Dates

The tournament runs from 17-20 January 2011:

17th – Registration, inauguration, 2 rounds of debating

18th – 3 rounds of debating, Break Night dinner

19th – Octo-finals, quarter-finals, semi-finals

20th – Grand final, Prize Distribution, Closing

Debating begins at 1:30 pm each day (11:00 am on the 19th) and is expected to end by 8 pm. The event will end latest by 5 pm on the 20th.