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DNN; Shaping the Future of Nepali Debates

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Debate Network Nepal (DNN) was informally established in March 2013 when its three co-founders Pradeep Ghimire, Rishab Krishna Shrestha and Sajal Pradhan realised the sincere need of establishment of genuine debating culture in the nation. Since then, it has been promoting parliamentary debating specially in Nepali academic sector.

It is now formally registered as a social enterprise and now is gearing up its operations as nation’s leading debate body with 17 executive members. The team has five core members: Pradeep Ghimire (Chair), Sajal Pradhan (Vice Chair), Manish Kadel (Managing Director), Biplab Subedi (Creative Director) and Prabin Basyal (Director of Trainings).

The team has Logandran Balavijendran from Malaysia and Ratib Ali from Bangladesh as valued international advisors and Abdus Miya as a member of national advisory board. Other executive members include Rishab Krishna Shrestha (also co-founder), Raj Kharel, Labisha Uprety, Subrata Lamsal, Prashanti Paudyal, Rajiv Shahi,Bishesh Bajracharya, Samikchhya Bhusal, Binamrata Sharma, Pradeepta Adhikari, Barsha Bhandari and Manita Shrestha, all extraordinary debaters. Similarly, they say they are happy to have Kshitij Raj Lohani, Saurav Bhatta, Samikshya Neupane and Sandesh Adhikari as partner resource board members.

DNN organizes regular and special debate sessions in various formats like Karl Popper, World Schools and British Parliamentary. It also organizes various large and mini debate tournaments.

  • Tarkashala 4 and Reunion

Tarkashala 4 and Reunion DNN organized the fourth batch of ‘Tarkashala, the school of argumentation and adjudication’ from January 30th to 1st February, 2015. Tarkashala is an intense residential debate training. This Tarkashala was quite special as it also brought debate out of classrooms to perform a humour debate at Irish Pub, Lainchaur. 16 fantastic fellows graduated the ‘nation’s best debate workshop’ to join the family of around 50 previous fellows. Smina Adhikari grabbed the ‘fellow of the batch’ award and Gaurav Pathak later got selected as the deputy chief adjudicator for MahaSangram.

tarkashalaA week after it, DNN organized a Tarkashala reunion with funny humour debate on the motion: Given that a time machine is invented, this house would go back to history to eliminate condoms.

  • DNN MahaSangram

DNN MahaSangram DNN MahaSangram 2015, Nepal’s first (British) parliamentary debate league was organised which was a month long event. The finale of MahaSangram happened on 22nd March at the premises of event partner, King’s College. Team Alliance from Chelsea Int’l Academy claimed the English category title while Team CCC from Nepali category raised the trophy for winning on Nepali category. Labisha Uprety and Nabin Pokharel got awarded as best English and Nepali speakers respectively.

11078085_818737714841938_6574239491208608660_nThe event that brought together 24 vibrant teams was convened by Manish Kadel and Sajal Pradhan and Prabin Basyal were the co-chief adjudicators. The league, which was also chiefly supported by Bank of Kathmandu, had motions from various walks of life ranging from economy to politics, social media to affirmative actions and education to nudism.

  • Debate on Wheels

Debate on Wheels DNN executive member Labisha Uprety led this impressive project that was executed with support from US Embassy in Nepal and Nepal Association for Humphrey Fellows at Pokhara in late March. The two days long workshop saw 26 participants from local schools learning eagerly and with great joy the skills of debating.

​Two of the most promising participants have been awarded full scholarship for attending Tarkashala with one being sponsored by Techno Track Pvt Ltd. The program was organized with a motto of promoting freedom and expression and debate culture.

DNN Debate on WheelsTowards the end of the program ‘Debate in Wheels’, Pokhara chapter of DNN was launched. The 12 member chapter will work for the promotion of debate culture in this beautiful city where still debate means the same old ‘pen vs sword’ debate. DNN aims to launch such chapters in the major cities of Nepal in the future.

Apart from our regular events, DNN was invited to institutions such as Phoenix College and Orient College for training prospective debaters and forming new debate clubs.

Recognizing the commitment of DNN towards promoting debate culture in Nepal, Bali team has awarded DNN Scoop waiver full scholarship to attend Asia’s most important debate tournament Bali UADC 2015 being held at Indonesia this June.

On the other hand, DNN is in the process of setting up a small homely office. Tarkashala 5 and Nepal Bangladesh debate exchange program are soon to be organised by DNN in coming days.

“We are very proud that we have managed to uplift debate culture from almost zero to such a height that it will now flourish own its own,” Chair Ghimire adds, “But we envision to give this process a world class shape for which we are sitting to conduct an annual strategic meet very soon.”

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