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Indian Debaters Explore a Shared Legacy During Visit to Trinity College Dublin

Posted on 22 October 2013

ISCA India Launch in Trinity

One of India’s best colleges for arts education, Lady Shri Ram (LSR) College for Women at the University of Delhi, recently sent a team from their English Debating Society to compete against a team from Trinity College Dublin’s Historical Society, the oldest debating society in the world.  Debating the motion“This House Wonders What the British Have Ever Done for Us”, the LSR team narrowly defeated their Trinity rivals in the debate.

The Trinity team argued that long-term British intervention has been damaging to both Ireland and India, while LSR defended the positive effects of British colonialism. The standard of debate was agreed by all in attendance to be extremely high on both sides. The debate was chaired by Trinity’s Vice-President for Global Relations, Professor Jane Ohlmeyer, who is herself a scholar of the history of Empire. The Auditor of the Historical Society, Cormac McGuinness, also welcomed the newly-appointed Indian Ambassador to Ireland, Mrs Radhika L. Lokesh, as an honoured guest.  Mrs Lokesh, a graduate of LSR, urged further collaborations of this kind between Irish and Indian universities.

Earlier in the day, Provost Patrick Prendergast launched the Science Foundation Ireland International Strategic Cooperation Award India Programme to an audience again including Ambassador Lokesh. The SFI-ISCA India programme is an Irish government funding scheme which aims to promote research links between Ireland and India. The Provost discussed the great strides that have been made in collaborations between Irish and Indian universities over the past two years, remarking that the new SFI-ISCA programme “provides crucial additional support and it helps us collectively to focus on building the networks that can best help Ireland and India, and produce world-class research.” 

The visiting delegation from LSR, including four student debaters and two academic staff, Rukshana Shroff and Kasturi Kanthan, is part of the growing relationship between Lady Shri Ram and Trinity College Dublin that was first formalised in November 2012. Regarded as the best college for arts education in India, Lady Shri Ram is a women’s college of the University of Delhi. Since its founding in 1956, it has become one of the University of Delhi’s most prestigious colleges. Representatives from both Trinity and Lady Shri Ram expressed their hopes that Trinity debaters will soon have the opportunity to visit Delhi to further deepen the friendship between the two institutions through the grand and historic tradition of university debate.