ISLAMABAD, MAR 4 /DNA/ – ICT Regional Round of Pakistan Universities Debating Championship was held at HEC Auditorium on March 03, 2022. The National Defense University (NDU), Islamabad won the first prize for English Debate, while National University of Modern Languages (NUML), Islamabad won the first prize in Urdu Debate.   

Executive Director HEC Dr. Shaista Sohail graced the closing ceremony of the debate championship as chief guest, while Adviser Administration HEC Mr. Awais Ahmed, and Adviser Academics & Accreditation HEC Engr. Muhammad Raza Chohan were also present. The panel of judges in English debate included Dr. Arif Javed, Dr. Mujib Rahman & Mr. Munawar Naqvi. The panel of judges for Urdu debate included Dr. Anjum Hameed, Dr. Naeem Virk & Dr. Tariq Mehmood Hashmi.

Addressing the participating teams from various universities of Islamabad, Azad Jammu & Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan, Dr. Shaista Sohail asserted that the Pakistani youth have the potential to change the country’s fate through knowledge and innovation. She termed the youth bulge in Pakistan as a national asset and said that the students, once enter their practical life, can cast a positive impact on the country’s economy by bringing in foreign exchange and creating jobs.

“You are the chosen few acquiring the higher education, as only 11 percent of the country’s youth, of 17-24 years of age bracket, could enter the higher education system in Pakistan,” she said. She advised the students to utilize their time to the best of their capabilities as it is the ‘unique’ period of their life. “Do take care of those less-than-thou,” she emphasised while urging the students to practice ethics and empathy throughout their life.

The Adviser Academics & Accreditation, Engr. Muhammad Raza Chohan thanked Dr. Shaista Sohail for her commendable leadership in testing times and also for gracing the closing ceremony despite her busy schedule solely to motivate the young participants.  Shedding light on the HEC’s initiative of holding debate championship, Engr. Raza Chohan said that HEC has been organizing speech competitions for years, however HEC has launched debate competitions for the first time this year. This shift is aimed at inculcating the art of persuading in youth and help them become successful speakers in Public Forum having technical proficiency and eloquence while respecting the views of other people. He hoped that the activities like Pakistan Universities Debating championship will help in the overall personality-and-character-building of the students.

He underlined that taking part in a competition is a major achievement, as one team is destined to win while the other loses when it comes to a competition.

Speaking on this occasion, judges Dr. Arif Javed and Dr. Tariq Mehmood Hashmi highlighted the significant qualities that make a debate different from oratory. They said that a debater must have confidence, ability to argue, good pronunciation, fluency and accuracy, energy and potential, rhetoric, and rehearsal. They also pointed out some gaps needed to be overcome by a debater.

In the English debates of the ICT Regional Round, NUML clinched the third position, while National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) obtained the second position. Institute of Space Technology (IST) remained third and NDU on the second position in the Urdu debate contest. The position holders were awarded trophies, certificates of appreciation, and cash prizes.

At present, HEC is holding the regional level contests. The students who win the intra-varsity and inter-varsity will compete at the national round of the championship to be tentatively held on March 30.