News article

UK’s GREAT Debate comes to Chennai

This world location news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The British Deputy High Commission, Chennai hosted the Chennai heat of the GREAT Debate 2014 on 10 October 2014.

The British Deputy High Commission in partnership with British Council, Chennai hosted the Chennai heat of the GREAT Debate 2014 India to celebrate and encourage debating prowess and offer an opportunity for informed discussion amongst the student fraternity.

Following a very successful pilot of the GREAT Debate Competition held earlier this year, in collaboration with universities in Delhi, Kolkata and Chandigarh, the British High Commission network has decided to make the event bigger and better this time.

Themes of today’s debate revolved around topics such as:

  • Academia and Industry
  • Education and Journalism

24 colleges from across Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry participated to secure a place in the grand finale of the GREAT Debate Competition in November 2014. Similar heats will be organised in Trivandrum on 21 October 2014.

The judges for the debate were:

  • K Saraswathi, Secretary General, The Madras Chamber of Commerce & Industry
  • Dr Gladston Xavier, Head, Department of Social Work, Loyola College, Chennai
  • Kumar, Senior Trainer and Consultant

The following institutions participated in the debate:

  1. Women’s Christian College
  2. Sathyabama University
  3. Rajiv Gandhi College of Engineering and Technology
  4. B S Abdhu Rahman University
  5. Saveetha Engineering College
  6. PSG College of Technology
  7. SRM University
  8. Sri Ramachandra University
  9. Bharat University
  10. MOP Vaishnav College
  11. Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development, Sriperumbudur
  12. Lady Doak College, Madurai
  13. National Institute of Technology, Trichy
  14. Amrita School of Engineering, Coimbatore
  15. Dr MGR Educational and research institute
  16. Madras Christian College
  17. Dr.NGP Institute of Technology
  18. Karunya University
  19. Dr.NGP college of arts and science
  20. Kumaraguru College of Technology, Coimbatore
  21. IIT Madras
  22. Bishop Heber College, Trichy
  23. AMET University
  24. Stella Maris College

Mei-kwei Barker, Director, British Council South India said:

It was a pleasure to organise this debate at the British Council which gave us an opportunity to celebrate the UK and India’s shared tradition of lively, reasoned debate and our close educational ties. This was evident from the lively and informative debate that we just witnessed. It also gave us an opportunity to further strengthen our relationship with the universities/colleges across Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry that you are representing.

The theme for the final debate was ‘Is there a gap between academic achievements and career prospects?’

Aparna Gopan S and Ewan Nikhil Thomas from Madras Christian College were declared winners in the debate. Zeeshan Ahmed Shakir and Shekhar Pathak from Sathyabama University were the runner ups.

The winning team from the regional heat will participate in the grand final in New Delhi in November 2014. The winning team from the national final will be offered a one-week sponsored tour in the UK, which will include visits to historical sites, academic institutions and cultural events, as well as meetings with British students.

British Council, the Chevening Scholarships programme, and Virgin Atlantic are partnering with the British High Commission to organise the GREAT Debate across India.

Notes for Editors:

  • About GREAT Debate

The GREAT Debate is an unique opportunity to celebrate the UK and India’s shared culture of vibrant discussion and debate. British Deputy High Commission and British Council are jointly organising The GREAT Debate. The participants of the debate are students below 23 years of age as on 31.12.2014.

For more information please visit: GREAT Debate, British Council, Chevening Scholarships, Virgin Atlantic

  • About British Council

The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. We are a Royal Charter charity, established as the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. Our 7,000 staff in over 100 countries work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year through English, arts, education and society programmes.

The British Council is recognised across India for its network of 9 libraries and cultural centres. We offer a range of specialised projects in arts, education, exams, English language and society to audiences across India and more than 100,000 members. We also provide access to English language training and learning for both students and teachers, offer UK qualifications in India and enable opportunities to study in the UK. We also manage prestigious scholarships and training awards, including the Jubilee scholarships, the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan and the Charles Wallace India Trust awards. Our English language teaching centres in Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Kolkata provide a range of general and business English classes, specialised skills based programmes and young learner courses.

We work with a wide range of Indian partners in cities all over India enabling British and Indian experts to meet and collaborate and to nurture mutually beneficial relationships. A quarter of our funding comes from a UK government grant and we earn the remainder from services which customers pay for, education and development contracts we bid for, and from partnerships.

For more information, please visit: British Council. You can also keep in touch with the British Council through twitter and blog

For media information contact Rajeswari Pradeep Kumar, Senior Manager, Marketing and Communications (South India)