QUEEN'S ROAD: Verbattle, a nationally acclaimed debate competition, is back with its 11th edition.
It was initiated in 2005 as a debating platform for school children and college students. This year's Verbattle kicked off with a preliminary round for beginners (Grade 5th to 7th) on July 27 and the usual rounds for juniors (Grade 7th to 10th) and seniors (Grade 7th to 10th). The first round was held across Bengaluru, Mangaluru and Huballi on Tuesday.
To encourage students from government schools to participate, Verbattle has launched a Kannada version of the contest. On Monday, the second edition of Verbattle Kannada kicked off at Mangaluru.
Nearly 600 schools and colleges took part in the competition this year. Twenty-seven teams have been short-listed from each of the three zones.
Semi-finals and finals for Verbattle Beginner, Verbattle Kannada, Verbattle Junior and Verbattle Senior will be held on August 28 in Bengaluru. Eminent personalities from the state will judge the the final round.
The winning team for the Junior category will be awarded a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh. The winning team from the Beginner level will receive Rs 30,000 and the winning team from Senior category will receive Rs 50,000.
Deepak Thimaya, managing trustee of the Verbattle Foundation, says, “Verbattle was started with an aim to create a good debating culture among the youngsters. It is very important for students to respect differing opinions. The beauty lies in knowing what the other person has to say about a particular topic.”
So far, the contest has provided more than 10,000 students a platform to voice their opinions, he says. “It is the way to encourage students to become better citizens of the country. The competition makes students cultivate mutual respect for each other.”
On the format of the competition, he says, “In the first round, we give 10 statements to the students. The statements can be about anything under the sun.” But the students are given the statement and told whether they are to speak for or against it only 45 minutes before the competition.
“As the competition gets tougher, the number of statements increase. However, in the final round, the students can pick the statements they want to debate on.”