‘I think everyone has come. Shall we begin then?’
And then everyone fell silent.
The Blue Pencil Symposium was the only thing being talked about throughout the weekend. For the freshers, a fortuity to learn something; And for the seniors, an opportunity to exuviate their poise.
Session 1: Debates
The first session was an interactive talk with two of the college’s most voracious debaters, Deeksha Patyal and Alankar Sharma. They began with explaining the concept of Parliamentary Debates, to which, many of the students were rookies. They advised the students to compete in local competitions, so to comprehend the level of contention, before being blind sided.
However, tears rolled down everyone’s eyes when we were told about the fact that the college pays for these trips and even gives us free attendance while we are out there representing it. (THIS.IS.IT!)
They informed the students about the procedure with which the notification for various competitions come out after which the students can give their names for the eliminations. To calm everyone’s anxious nerves, they also told us that they would be conduction a demo debate in the coming few days, after which we all heaved a sigh of relief.
We were informed that there are two types of debates(which are totally different from what we used to do in schools): Conventional & Parliamentary debates. Conventional debates includes two speakers one for and one against and sometimes an interjector. On the other hand Parliamentary Debate is similar to what happens in our parliament, there is one opposing and one proposing party. The team consists of 3 people who are allowed to debate simultaneously and each develops his/her own unique style. There is no set format there and the adjudicator(judge) is also a student & its atmosphere is purely informal.
The most intriguing thing, however, was the idea of abstract motions passed in such debates, which can range from Hitler running away to the Vatican, to the institutionalization of the Marvel’s superheroes, to whether the barbies should be allowed to take over the world.
‘You get like 20 minutes to prepare your debate. It’s all in the knack of the moment, for which reason, you will grow to love it.’
Session 2: Army
The session that followed next, was perhaps a major favourite, THE INDIAN ARMY.
The second session began with a show of hands for who all was interested to join the army or the JAG branch. A lot of hands were raised and it seemed like we could raise a whole infantry regiment from our batch alone.
The students were told about the option of giving their first CDS exam in their 3rd year itself, even though they would have to leave this ‘Empowering Institution’ (Claps) if they clear their SSB.
We were adviced to try clearing CDS in our 3rd year itself other clearing it in our 8th or 9th semester will not make any sense as we will neither be a full-fledged lawyer nor will we have a proper BA degree (we get a BA(law) degree which does not have any standing). Also that we should also give this exam for experience.
“SSB makes you know yourself or even question yourself”
They even let us in on a secret, by telling us about the supersonic, the pronto and the potent examination system of the Punjabi University, which would, most definitely, in a few hundred years, be living life in the fast lane.
They advised us to keep a track of the certificates we would require for CDS and SSB, and to ask for them, well before time. They also encouraged everyone to give the CDS exam after which a new aroma of fervor filled the room.
Hooting and tooting overtook the calm, and then they said, ‘Guys, you want to join the army? Don’t get tattoos.’
The write up was prepared by Afreen Chaudhary and Gulrukh Sidhu.