Kolkata, 20th November 2023:: iLEAD in collaboration with the US Consulate General, proudly hosted The Jefferson Junior Debates 2023 at the American Center, Kolkata. This intellectually charged event, held on November 17th, brought together some of the city’s brightest young minds to deliberate on the topic, ‘US-India strategic relationship will contribute towards regional stability in South Asia.’
Ms. Anne Vasquez, Consular Chief, moderated the event ensuring a fair and engaging exchange of ideas among the participating students. The distinguished schools that participated in this debate included Assembly of God Church (Park Street), Garden High School, St. Lawrence High School, Don Bosco, La Martiniere for Girls and Boys, Heritage School, DPS Ruby Park, Sushila Birla Girls’ School, M.P. Birla Foundation Higher Secondary School, and more.
The debate showcased the remarkable oratory skills and critical thinking of the students, who passionately presented arguments both for and against the motion. Each participant demonstrated a deep understanding of the complexities surrounding the strategic relationship between the United States and India.
The esteemed judges included Ms. Debdatta Nandwani (Advisor & RH Federation of Indian Export Organisations Founder, East India Trade Advisors), Mr. Juan Clar (Deputy Director, American Center, U.S. Consulate General, Kolkata), and Ms. Somrita Ganguly (Professor, Poet, Literary Translator, Fulbright Doctoral Researcher at Brown University).
After an intense and intellectually stimulating session, Soumadri Bhattacharya from Assembly of God Church, Park Street, emerged as the recipient of the coveted Best Speaker award.
In the overall rankings, DPS Ruby Park secured the first position, earning the prestigious top award. Assembly of God Church, Park Street, and Garden High School claimed the 1st runner up and 2nd runner up positions, respectively.
The Jefferson Junior Debates 2023 not only provided a platform for young minds to express their views but also fostered a spirit of diplomacy, collaboration, and mutual understanding. The event exemplified the commitment of the US Consulate General and iLEAD to promoting educational initiatives that contribute to the intellectual growth and global awareness of the youth.