The Xaverian Debating Society is proud to be one of the oldest societies of St. Xavier’s College(Autonomous), Kolkata, and one of the finest debating societies in India. Over the years, it has nurtured wonderful minds and evolved into a platform for discourse, expression and discussion.

XDS participates in and organises Asian and British Parliamentary Debates, Conventional Debates (of both Oxford and Cambridge style) and Model United Nations (MUNs). The year 2022 was yet another year full of successes for the XDS as our members upheld the Xaverian spirit in events all over India.

Parliamentary Debates

With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the Indian and International debating circuit shifted to an online mode of debating, where debaters often spent hours arguing to a video call to support their side of the motion. However, 2022 saw a transition, where some debates went back to the offline mode of organisation while others remained online. XDS members participated in both and won many accolades.

The year began with Ishaan Sengupta, the current Secretary, becoming the Open Runners Up and the 5th best speaker at CBS PD. Nasibur Rahaman, former Core Committee Member, was the ESL Semi Finals Panelist, and was awarded the 9th Best Adjudicator award in his division at the prestigious Uhuru Worlds ‘22.

In February, the team comprising Ishan Saikia and Bhumika Jain achieved the reserved break the SBS BPD. At the Polemic APD (organised by Ramjas College), the team comprising of Ishaan Sengupta, Ayushi Dutta (the current Joint Secretary) and Nasibur Rahaman were Quarter Finalists, while the team comprising of Mariya Ali, Samparna Mittra and Ishan Saikia were Octa Finalists. Both Ishaan and Nasibur were within the top 10 speakers of the tournament. Our institutional adjudicators, Soumyadeep Ghosh and Sarthak Sarkar broke as Adjudicators. Soumyadeep went up to judge the Semi-Finals while Sarthak judged the Finals, and won the 5th Best Adjudicator award.

At the Hansraj BPD, Samparna Mittra and Ishan Saikia were Open Quarter Finalists, and Samparna won Best Novice Speaker, while Ishan won 3rd Best Novice Speaker. Sarthak Sarkar went up to adjudicate in the Semi-Finals. At IITK BPD, Nasibur Rahaman and Ishan Saikia broke 1st on tabs and were Open Runners Up, while at Vivaad PD, Ahan Basu, Pranitt Jain and Soumyajit Paul were Novice Runners Up.

Prologue ‘22, organised by Presidency University, was the first offline tournament that XDS took part in since 2020. We had a packed contingent of three Pro-Am teams and two adjudicators. Somok Sur, former Secretary, was an Invited Adjudicator from XDS. The first team consisting of Nasibur Rahaman, Ishan Saikia and Bhumika Jain, reached Quarter Finals; the second team comprising of Ishaan Sengupta, Ahan Basu and Sarthak Sarkar, reached the Semi Finals; and the third team, with members, Samparna Mittra, Mariya Ali and Vaidehi Meharia (former Core Committee Member), were Open Grand Finalists. Our adjudicators also had a brilliant run, as Kanishka Agarwal, the former Joint Secretary, was awarded Best Adjudicator and Vidushi Meharia was awarded 2nd Best Adjudicator. It was the first tournament of the year seeing an all-contingent break. Nasibur, Ishaan, Mariya and Samparna were within the top 5 speakers, while Ishan and Vaidehi placed within top 10 speakers.

Somok Sur, Ishaan Sengupta and Nasibur Rahaman were Open Grand Finals Winners at UPES APD. Nasibur was the Finals Best Speaker and 6th Best Speaker in the entire tournament. At Rahat APD, Soumyadeep Ghosh won 3rd Best Adjudicator and judged the Open Grand Finals.

As the new academic year began in College, XDS saw a refreshing change with new Committee members who were determined to follow in the footsteps of their predecessors and lead XDS to greater heights. Ishaan Sengupta assumed charge as the Secretary of the Xaverian Debating Society and Ayushi Dutta became the Joint-Secretary. They were joined with enthusiastic Core Committee and Working Committee members as they began the new year at XDS.

Derozio Memorial Debate 2022, organised by Presidency University, was another immense success for the XDS contingent. It was an offline debate too. We sent four institutional teams, which had both Pros and Amateurs, and five adjudicators. Ishaan Sengupta won the Open Grand Finals of DMD 2022, while the team comprising Utsa Kar, Addityaraj Paul and Meghna Ghosh was Novice Runners Up. Ishaan was the Best Open Speaker. Sarthak Sarkar, Mariya Ali and Kunal Bhattacharyya broke as Adjudicators. Mariya judged the Open Semi Finals, Kunal judged the Open Grand Finals and won the 2nd Best Adjudicator award. Kashvi Khaitan was the Best Novice Speaker, and Utsa and Ishan Saikia were among the top 10 speakers.

At the Shri Ram Debating Festival BPD, Avhinav Bhusal broke as an adjudicator and judged the Open Semi Finals. The Bobby Saldanha Memorial Asian Parliamentary Debate 2022, organised by IIM-C, saw another successful show by the XDS contingent. The first team, comprising Anisha Mukherjee, Kunal Bhattacharyya, and Puruvi Bourai were the Second Runners Up; the second team consisting of Raima Chatterjee Ray, Mahak Goenka and Souritri Santra reached the Finals Round; while the third team consisting of Ayush Bansal, Kapish Agarwal and Ruchhika Agarwal reached the second round.

Niqash APD, organised by BITS Pilani, saw another all-contingent break by XDS, after Prologue ‘22. The team comprising of Ishaan Sengupta, Samparna Mittra and Kunal Bhattacharyya, won the Open Grand Finals, and Ahan Basu was awarded Best Adjudicator. Samparna was 7th Best Speaker, while Ishaan was 9th Best Speaker.

Conventional Debates and MUNs

At the Verb-O-War debate, a part of eXabyte 2022 organised by the Department of Computer Science, St. Xavier’s College(Autonomous), Kolkata, Vidushi Meharia and Soumyajit Paul won the First Prize, with Soumyajit placing as Best Speaker (Proposition). Soumyajit and Eshan Banerjee reached the National Round in National-International Rotary- Rotaract Debate 2022. Ahan Basu was awarded Best Speaker (against) at Ecolution DCAC.

The team of Soumyajit Paul and Anisha Mukherjee was among the top 5 teams in the Prelims Round of “The Debate Regression: Cause the Correlation” event organised by Ekonomiko, ARSD College, Delhi. At Spar-in-grad, part of Milieu 2022, at Presidency University, the teams of Soumyajit Paul and Anisha Mukherjee, and Ahan Basu and Pranitt Jain, were Finalists. Ahan Basu also took part in several MUNs and was the Deputy Chair of a Committee at UEM Con 2022.

As the world moves back to normalcy and we again debate on podiums in front of real audience instead of mere computer screens and video meetings, the present members of the Xaverian Debating Society embody the promise that XDS shall remain one of the best debating societies across India, with some of the best minds of the current generation and the widest opportunities for anyone with a keen ear, a sharp mind, and a voice to argue for change in this world.