UNESQUO Weekender’21: An Exuberant Escape

UNESQUO Weekender’21: An Exuberant Escape

Amidst the redundant schedule of online classes and ever-repetitive virtual campus life, The United Engineers Speaking and Quizzing Organization (UNESQUO), Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra took the onus upon themselves to break the shackles of boredom by hosting a weekender from 28th August, 2021 to 29th August, 2021 which included two exciting events: The Asian Parliamentary Debate and the India Quiz.

ASIAN PARLIAMENTARY DEBATE

“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.”

― Noam Chomsky

With the intent of providing a podium to the speakers from colleges across the country, the club organized the Asian Parliamentary Debate under the umbrella of its Weekender spanning over two days. The event was an exhilarating and enhancing experience for instilling knowledge, as well as a platform to compete against a gamut of eminent speakers. 

Day 1

The preliminary round of the Asian Parliamentary Debate was held on 28th August, 2021, from 11:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. and 1:00 P.M. to 2:30 P.M. over Google Meet. A total of 30 candidates participated in the event from all over the country. The host for the event was the Bhavya Hoda of K19.

The topic for discussion was: “The house believes that humanity should move beyond ethics and allow human experimentations like cloning for advancement in the field of science.” Each participant was given two and a half minutes to speak in favour of or against, with the speaker’s choice of stance left to their discretion. Following each participant’s statement, a maximum of two rebuttal questions was allowed to be raised by the jury members, the audience, or other participants. Sharanya Jha, Bhavesh Chaturvedi and Aakansha Singh from the K18 served on the jury, while Prajwal Matukumalli and Manav Raj from the K19 served on the organising committee. After a heated session and a lively verbal spat among the competitors, 8 out of the 30 contenders advanced to the event’s finals.

Day 2

The final round of the debate was an augmenting experience and served as a euphoric podium for the participants to hone their knowledge and enhance their speaking skills. It was orchestrated by the club members on 29th August, 2021, from 11:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. via the Google Meet platform. A total of 8 participants endeavoured for victory.

The topic for discussion declared by the host was: “The house believes that the Indian government should accept refugees from Afghanistan keeping in mind India’s history of humanitarian efforts and their friendly relations with Afghanistan and its people”. The host divided the candidates into two groups: the Government and the Opposition. Following the division, the meeting was split into two different assemblies, one for the Government and the other for the entire Opposition. The speakers discussed which portfolio they would be representing in the debate. The meetings were then merged into a single consortium, and the floor of the house was opened for the participants at 11:40 A.M.

The Prime Minister offered her opening speech, in which she presented the topic and indicated her government’s stance on the same. The address was followed by a rebuttal speech, following which the Leader of the Opposition delivered his speech. Post the introductory speeches made by the delegates at the Treasury bench and the leading row of the opposition, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Deputy Leader of Opposition, the External Affairs Minister, the Chairperson of the Committee on External Affairs, the Government’s Chief Whip, and the Chief Whip of the Opposition delivered their respective speeches in the order mentioned above. Each speech lasted three minutes and was followed by a round of rebuttals. With the previous jury panel having Sharanya Jha (K18), Bhavesh Chaturvedi (K18), and Aakansha Singh (K18), Atulya Arya (K18) was also welcomed in the event’s jury.

After the event’s tumultuous debate, the judges, committee members, and participants presented themselves in a short casual introductory session. The event drew to a close with this. The following is the list of the participants who triumphed over the others:

  1. Anubhav Behera from Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, Bhubaneswar
  2. Ajitesh Harshit from Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra
  3. Adyasha Satpathy from Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, Bhubaneswar

Highest Commendation: Ohm Gupta from Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra

Special Mention: Anmol Kumar Oraon from National University of Study and Research in Law, Ranchi

 

INDIA QUIZ

“Knowledge grows exponentially; the more we know, the greater our ability to learn, and the faster we expand our knowledge base.”

-Dan Brown

Quizzing is a fun approach to knowledge-building and assessment that has gained a lot of traction recently and will remain so in the foreseeable future. Amid the buoyancy of the semester, UNESQUO, BIT Mesra hosted the India Quiz as a part of its weekender. With an assortment of gripping questions, the two-day quiz was a wonderful quest for all cultural connoisseurs out there.

Day 1

The preliminary round of the quiz commenced at 12:00 P.M. on 28th August, 2021 over the Dare2Compete (D2C) platform. The objective of the quiz was to introduce students to India’s vibrant diaspora and its cultural rebirth. There were 30 questions in total, with an overall assessment time of roughly 20 minutes. Eight teams qualified for the final round.

Day 2

The quiz’s most awaited finals commenced at 7:00 P.M. on 29th August, 2021 over Discord and Google Meet, with full energy and enthusiasm among the finalists. Souvik Dey (K19) and Manav Raj (K19) were the quiz masters. There was a total of 20 questions, which covered India’s dynamic diaspora in its entirety.

As the questions were hurled at the participants, they witnessed neck-to-neck combat amongst themselves. During the event, enthusiasm reigned supreme, with ecstasy echoing throughout. There was an avid exchange of intelligence, and true acumen was vivified. Team Suhaniti (Suhani Jain and Niti Goyanka) and Team Storm (Tannmoy and Siddharth Ray) competed in a close race.

Finally, Sharanya Jha (K18) brought the quiz to a conclusion by congratulating all participants and the moderators. The following teams made it to the coveted podium positions:

 

  1. Team Suhaniti (Suhani Jain and Niti Goyanka), from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University
  2. Team Storm (Tanmoy and Siddharth Roy) from the National Institute of Technology, Rourkela
  3. Team Azure (Adisri Swain and Nikita Nag) from CHRIST University, Bangalore

 

Reporters: Ajitesh Harshit and Vaibhav Manjhi

Editors: Mugdha Sahu, Pranav and Sumit Anand

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