NUST, PU Win Pakistan Universities Debating Championship
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NUST, PU Win Pakistan Universities Debating Championship

Pakistan Universities Debating Championship

University of the Punjab (PU) Lahore and National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) Islamabad have respectively won the national rounds of Urdu and English debate contests of the Pakistan Universities Debating Championship 2023-24.

Chairman HEC Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed was chief guest in the prize distribution ceremony. Acting Executive Director HEC Mr. Awais Ahmad, vice chancellors, faculty members and students were present on the occasion.

A total of 24 teams – 12 Urdu and English each – took part in the national and final round of the Championship organised by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) Pakistan at the Commission Secretariat in Islamabad. This round was preceded by regional rounds held earlier in five regions of the country, including Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and ICT/AJK/Gilgit-Baltistan.

The Championship winners were awarded cash prizes worth Rs. 200,000 for the first position holders, Rs. 150,000 and Rs. 100,000 for second and third positions, respectively.

Speaking on the occasion, Chairman HEC Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed congratulated the contestants and asserted that winning and losing is part of the game. He emphasised the significance of accepting the viewpoint of opponents in a dignified manner. He affirmed that Pakistan is a blessed country having a plethora of natural resources and talented youth. He termed the youth the future of Pakistan and pinned hopes on them about uplifting the socio-economic situation of the country and steering it country out of challenging circumstances.

Dr. Mukhtar underlined the important role of parents and teachers in education as well as character-building of youth. “Every individual must play his or her part in the development of this blessed country,” he stressed. He said Pakistan is the real identity of this nation. “Unless people forge unity and become a nation in a real sense, no country can take the path of progress and prosperity,” he concluded.

In the Urdu debate, University of Balochistan, Quetta, secured the second position, followed by Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences (LUMHS), Jamshoro. University of Balochistan, Quetta, clinched the second position in English contest too, while the third position was obtained by the Mehran University of Engineering and Technology (MUET), Jamshoro.

The chief judges of Urdu and English debate contests, Dr. Wasima Shehzad, Dean Department of English at Air University, and Dr. Yousuf Khushk, Director General, Sarhad University of Science and  Information Technology, Peshawar, also addressed the students. They appreciated the sagacity demonstrated in the selection of topics for the championship that pertained to the pressing issues of the nation. They agreed that the research, argumentations, eloquence, and fluency shown in the words showcased by the debaters was phenomenal. They said it was a matter of pride for them to have witnessed harmony and tolerance during the contests.

In his opening remarks earlier, Adviser (Academics) HEC, Engr. Muhammad Raza Chohan said that this competition is a platform provided to the university students to exchange ideas and build different perspectives about various issues and topics. He informed the audience that HEC started this competition back in 2002 as a speech competition among university students, however, it was turned into a debating activity almost a few years ago.

The Adviser emphasised that co-curricular and extracurricular activities at educational institutions have a major role in the development of well-rounded personalities who play a vital role in the socio-economic development of a country. He said these activities encourage dialogues which are pivotal to promote tolerance, non-violence, and peaceful co-existence. The contestants, he noted, forge their conviction and prowess to convince judges and to enlighten the audience with their arguments. He said that these activities not only unleash the potential of students but also help them become good professionals and human beings.

Related: NUST Incubator ranked top by HEC

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