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Team Bol - Debating Society of Jamia Millia Islamia - with AMU trophy April 2017

They never lose in debates – they either win or learn

It was a tremendous academic year for BOL – The Debating Society of Jamia Millia Islamia University. The debating club won a total of 53 awards all across the nation including at some of the prestigious universities like Aligarh Muslim University, Banaras Hindu University, Law College Dehradun, Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University etc. Under the leadership of Prof. Sheema Aleem (Convenor) and the active student coordination by Aman Singh and Chandan Prakash, BOL has become one of the best Debating Societies of the Nation in the Conventional Debating arena.

Team Bol - Debating Society of Jamia Millia Islamia
Team Bol (Debating Society of Jamia Millia Islamia) members with Convenor Prof. Sheema Aleem (sitting right) and Co-Convenor Prof. Asmat Jahan (sitting left) with the Best University Rolling trophy and prizes won at AMU.

Academic research has proven that the benefits that accrue as a result of engaging in debate are numerous. Debate provides experiences that are conducive to life-changing, cognitive and presentational skills. No other activity gets remotely close to this level of academic rigor. BOL – The Debating Society has been active since its inception in 2002 under its convener Prof. Sheema Aleem. Along with former BOL members and volunteers like Jaikaran Singh (Hindi), Jainendra Kumar (Hindi) and Hammad (Urdu), she organised the 1st Zakir Husain Memorial National Debate Competition in 2012 at Jamia. Since 2013, this event became a part of Miraas – the annual inter-university cultural festival of Jamia.

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Team Bol of JMI - Aman Singh and Chandan Prakash
Team Bol of Jamia Millia Islamia – Aman Singh (L) and Chandan Prakash (R)
Team Bol of JMI - Reem Qamar and Arshia Amin Choudhury
Team Bol of Jamia Millia Islamia  – Reem Qamar (L) and Arshia Amin Choudhury (R) after winning first prizes at Miranda House (L) and Deshbandhu College (R)
Team Bol of JMI - Atif Yamin in a debate competition
Team Bol of Jamia Millia Islamia – Atif Yamin in a debate competition
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Currently, the club is led by Aman Singh and Chandan Prakash and Prof. Asmat Jahan is the co-convenor. The present group of members include Aman Singh (Hindi) , Chandan Prakash (Hindi), Reem Qamar (English), Arshia Amin Choudhury (English), Atif Yamin (English) , Prabhat Tiwary (Hindi), Faisal Nazeer (Urdu), Tasneem Abid (Urdu), Danish Rangrez (Urdu), Hasan Akram (Urdu), Saheba Khalid Khan (Hindi) and Prateek Sharma (English). Out of these, the first five members have together won 45 awards out of the total list of 53 in the academic year 2016-17.

Notable Achievements in Academic Year 2016-17

♦ First at National Law University, Lucknow (Aman, Chandan) – Sep ’16
♦ Best Speaker (Chandan) at IIMT, New Delhi – Sep ’16
♦ Best Speaker (Reem) and First prize (Arshia) at Deshbandhu College, DU – Oct’16
♦ First (Arshia) at St. Stephens College, DU – Oct’16
♦ Best Speaker (Reem) and First (Reem, Arshia) at Miranda House, DU – Nov’16
♦ First (Aman, Chandan) at BHU – Feb’17
♦ First (Reem, Arshia) at Deshbandhu College, DU – Feb’17
♦ First (Atif, Amitoj) at Hansraj College, DU – Mar’17
♦ Best University Rolling Trophy at AMU – Apr’17
♦ Best University Rolling Trophy at Law College, Dehradun – Apr’17

Team Bol - Debating Society of Jamia Millia Islamia after winning the Rolling Trophy at Law College Dehradun
Team Bol (Debating Society of Jamia Millia Islamia) after winning the Best University Rolling Trophy at Law College, Dehradun

Every year, an audition is conducted in the three languages to join the club. The winners of each category are then prepared to represent Jamia at the National Level. Apart from the winners, the other eager debaters are also given opportunities to showcase their skills at debates held at the NCR level. Until 2016, BOL had been winning in the Hindi and the Urdu language consistently, but lagged behind in the English category. However, today, this club can boast of sweeping the awards in all the three languages. The biggest achievements of the club in the academic year 2016-17 were the Best University and Best Team awards it won at Aligarh Muslim University and Law College, Dehradun, Uttaranchal University.

In the coming years, I wish to see Jamia conquering every single state of India, especially the ones in the North-East and South where we haven’t participated so far.
Aman Singh

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