Inter-college debate competition held to promote fair elections

ITANAGAR, Apr 3: Interesting viewpoints emerged at Dera Natung Government College (DNGC) here on Wednesday as 16 students from eight colleges of the capital complex debated on the topic ‘Can youth make a difference in ensuring free, fair and transparent election?’ at the college.
The inter-college debate competition was organised by the capital complex administration in collaboration with DNGC as part of the Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) to generate awareness on the upcoming legislative and parliamentary elections.
Addressing the event, DC Himanshu Gupta expressed hope that the youths would make a difference “not just as voters but as opinion makers.” He said he hoped that with their involvement the state would witness a decrease in unfair means of voting and MLAs and MPs would be selected on the basis of their performance.
“Since the first school of thought for majority of policies emerges from colleges, they play a pivotal role in ensuring how democratic values can be best achieved by free and fair voting,” Gupta said.
DNGC Principal Dr NT Rikam expressed hope that the debate would bring out the best among the students.
The students debating for the motion were of the view that youths have an influential role to play during the forthcoming elections as they are literate and have a mind of their own. They said Arunachal would be witnessing a lot of new voters who are eager for a change in the form of development.
The students against the motion argued that youths could be easily lured by money and materialistic desires, as is being seen in the current scenario. They also argued that youths often get swayed by their parents’ decision as to whom to vote for.
Mige Kambu and Meto Bage from Don Bosco College, Chinmay Bhattacharya and Vandana Kumari from the NERIST, and Joram Mama and Miti Perme from DNGC were adjudged the winner, the first runners-up and the second runners-up, respectively.
The other participating colleges were Arunachal Law Academy, the Hills College of Teachers’ Education, Himalayan University, Binny Yanga Women’s College, and Government College, Doimukh.
Earlier, the participants’ names had been forwarded by their colleges after they had qualified in the first level debate competitions that had been held at the colleges on the topic ‘Has Arunachal truly evolved as vibrant democracy in the last 32 years?’
The final debate competition was judged by Arunachal Pradesh Union of Working Journalists President Amar Sangno, DIPRO Higio Zarngam and DDMO Moromi Dodum Sonam, and was moderated by eminent media personality Moji Riba.
The capital complex administration is organising a host of activities under the SVEEP to raise awareness on free and fair voting, and to discourage the use of money and muscle power and other unfair means of voting.