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The MIT Debate Tournament—Revels’20


A debate is an age-old way of hammering out contrasting thoughts and ideas, making for a heightened experience. The MIT Debate Tournament, an inter-collegiate debating tournament, was one of the most profound national level debating competitions to be conducted. It was held in AB-5 on the third and fourth days of Revels’20. The participants were divided into two types, speakers and adjudicators. The speakers were the contestants who presented the motions while the adjudicators were their judges.

Two teams of two speakers each were pitted against each other in the British Parliamentary format over multiple rounds. As per the rules of the British Parliamentary format, the house presented motions along with its own stand on the topic. Each team was provided seven minutes per person to convince the adjudicators by putting forth their points and making their stand. The teams had to make it through four rounds of debates in order to reach the finals. The topics were highly creative and in keeping with the current ethos.

The ethics of an app called ‘Love Alarm’ based on the Netflix Korean show with the same name, the extreme pressure of woke culture on activists, the glorification of selflessness, and the assassination of Qasem Soleimani were the topics for the four rounds respectively. The motions ranged from utter imagination to philosophy and even to extremely important current affairs, making versatility, knowledge, and above all, the ability to put across points in a clear and concise manner essential prerequisites to enter the finals.

With a Rs 70,000 winner’s prize at stake, the pressure was building upon the finalists. A much relevant motion about a dystopian world in 2070 due to climate change, making it a thrilling finale to watch. “We are very happy with the way things ran and it was really interesting and thought-provoking to hear the arguments and points made by the contestants,” said Kunal Kumar, an organiser of the event.  The event was a resounding success garnering wide participation and leaving those who attended it enriched.

Image Credits: Photography and Videography, Revels’20

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