EDUCATION: Confluence of student skills

EDUCATION: Confluence of student skills – with great political significance, wholly missed the Identity Issue but naturally ?!!

A student speaks at Confluence in Siliguri on Monday - debate with an enlightening tilt ?!! (Photo by Kundan Yolmo)


Siliguri, July 26: An intellectual tug-of-war between students of dozen schools from Siliguri, Jalpaiguri and Assam kept the atmosphere charged at Confluence, the inter-school debate competition organised by St Michael’s School in association with The Telegraph here today.

St James’, Binnaguri, emerged victorious and retained their champion status for the second year running. While Sarla Birla Gyan Jyoti of Guwahati came second, Don Bosco, Siliguri, secured the third position.

With contemporary topics like “Smaller states may not be better governance” this year, students did not have to think far to come up with apt examples to substantiate their arguments.

The demand for separate states of Gorkhaland, Vidharbha and Telangana were used elaborately by the children to put forth their points.

“There is the Gorkhaland demand being raised in north Bengal and a separate state of Telengana in Andhra Pradesh. But does it mean that once the separate states are carved out, the attendance of teachers in primary schools will improve? Goa is a small state but it is not stable because the government there has changed 14 times in the past 15 years and the crime rate, too, is high. So, smaller states do not mean better governance,” said Saurav Goyal of Don Bosco School Siliguri while speaking for the motion.

Anushreya Ghosh from Army School, Sukna, said there had been 568 states in India in 1947 but except for the notion of independence, nothing had held them together. “These states have been brought down to 28 for better governance. Allotting national and state funds, creating infrastructure and generating employment can be the key to good governance than carving out smaller states,” she said.

Those speaking against the topic also put up examples of governance in smaller states like Sikkim, Goa, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Mizoram, Tripura and Chhattisgarh.

“Smaller states mean access to funds and transparency where people can know how the funds are being used. But corruption, nepotism, favouritism and anarchy are rife in bigger states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. Even after 60 years of independence, there is improper governance and neglect in all aspects in some regions, giving rise to demands for Gorkhaland and Bodoland. So, smaller states should be carved to manage the vast extent of India’s population and ensure uniform development,” said Deb Deep Dey of St Michael’s School.

The two rounds of debate were conducted by Parnab Mukherjee, the chairperson of the event.

“Debating is like a conversation in a drawing room but it is a little formal and organised. Students should know the difference between debating and reading out from a paper,” said Mukherjee.

The students were judged on the basis of content, flow of speech, argument skills, interjection and audience response. Anushreya Ghosh from Army School, Sukna, and Romita Roy of St James were awarded the best speaker prizes.

August 4 date for NBU Blues – related or on the take ?!!


Siliguri, July 26: North Bengal University will award Blues to sportspersons who have won laurels at the national level, after a gap of 15 years.

Arunabha Basumajumdar, the university vice-chancellor, today said NBU had last organised such a ceremony in 1995 when 31 players had been awarded. “This year, we will hand over the Blues on August 4 to 29 sportspersons who had played national, state and university level tournaments.”

Former Indian footballer Chuni Goswami will distribute the Blues and felicitate some sports personalities and coaches of the region.

According to the VC, Test cricketer Wriddhiman Saha, footballer Bapan Bera, paddler Sumana Bose, badminton player Nandita Ghosh and athlete Sutapa Das will be among the recipients who will get a blazer, a university monogram and a certificate.

On the gap of distribution of the award, the VC said: “There may be some reason for which the Blue was not presented regularly in the past. But from now on, we will hold it every year.”

The sports board of the varsity will also felicitate sportspersons of the region like Mantu Ghosh and Subhajit Saha (table tennis), Olympian Bir Bahadur Chettri (hockey) and Harishankar Roy and Jyotsna Roy Pradhan (athletics).

Table Tennis coach Amit Dam and Bharati Ghosh and athlete instructor Subhas Sarkar will also be honoured.

The NBU authorities are planning a sports complex on its campus and a project report will be sent to the state higher education department. The complex will be on a 30-acre plot. Apart from a ground with 5,000-6,000 seat capacity, two hostels for girls and boys will be built, Basumajumdar said. “This complex will help us organise inter-college and inter-university sports tournaments.”

The board of the varsity will organise annual prize distribution ceremony and award the best college considering its performances in sports throughout the year. This year, Ananda Chandra College of Jalpaiguri and Siliguri College of Commerce will be awarded with the champions and the runners-up trophies respectively.


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