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All India Vidya Niketan - BPS Pilani Diamond Jubilee English Debate Chief Guest Prof BR Natarajan
Located in the heart of Shekhawati region of Rajasthan, Pilani is well known in India today for various top ranking educational institutions, CSIR Laboratory CEERI apart from upcoming BrahMos Missile Assembly Project unit.
For the past seven years, the school has been conducting an All India Diamond Jubilee Memorial English Debate which attracts participation across the length and breadth of the country. For the year 2011, the same was held on August 31 at the imposing Vijay Hall of Birla Public School, Pilani. The topic for the debate was “Is the State of India after 64 years of Independence still a continuation of Colonial State Structure?”
Apart from the host BPS, other schools from Pilani which participated included Birla School, Birla Balika Vidyapeeth (BBVP) well known for the NCC Band in Republic Day celebrations at Raj Path for last over five decades and Birla Shishu Vihar.
The outstation institutions which competed included Scindia School Gwalior, Rashtriya Military School Belgaum and Ajmer, Mody School Lakshmangarh, Rajkumar College Raipur and Rajkot, Motilal School Rai, Punjab Public School (PPS), Nabha, Sainik School Ghorakhal (Nainital), BRCM Bahal, L K Singhania School Gotan, Vidya Devi Jindal School Hisar, Yadvindra Public School Mohali and Mann Public School New Delhi.
After lighting the ceremonial lamp and introduction of judges as well as Chief Guest by Principal BPS Captain (IN) Alokesh Sen (Retd) to the audience, the debate took off with a great start with Rajkumar College Raipur as the opening team which ultimately bagged the trophy. Prominent among the audience included Col VN Ratnakar (Retd), Director Birla Education Trust, Dr Kasturi Principal BBVP, Pilani and Mrs M Dimri Principal Birla Shishu Vihar.
Chief Guest Prof BR Natarajan presently Pro Vice Chancellor at Shridhar University is well known for his over three decades association with Birla Institute of Technology and Science – BITS Pilani through his leadership for fostering industry university collaborations as well the highly successful and revenue generating model of work integrated learning programmes.
The Chief Guest got a thunderous applause when he started the speech with the quote of French Essayist Joseph Joubert “It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it. The aim of argument should not be victory but progress.”
Congratulating the participants, in his thought provoking speech, Prof Natarajan asked the audience if India is 364 years old or 64 years young to decide the outcome of the debate. Highlighting the importance of debates in nurturing democracy, Prof Natarajan talked about the USA Presidential Debate, the famous Oxford Union debates etc and said in debates reason must dominate rather than passion.