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Linking Young Minds Together
     Volume 2 Issue 143| November 8, 2009|


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A Festive Week at Jahangirnagar University


“Uttorer voge dokkhiner doorvog, khotipuroner dabite amader ai juktishlok”- with this slogan Jahangirnagar University Debating Society (JUDS) organized an inter-department debate competition from 14 to the 17 of October 2009. JUDS organized the programme with the sponsorship of Actionaid Bangladesh and Embassy of Denmark along with the association of Bangladesh Debate Federation (BDF). The programme was held at the Zahir Raihan auditorium of Jahangirnagar University and was inaugurated by Professor Mohammad Muniruzzaman, Pro-VC (EDU), Jahangirnagar University.

The title of the programme was 'Debate workshop and inter-department debate competition-2009' and the theme of the debate competition were the two hot issues of present world- climate change and food security. Through this programme, JUDS observed the World Food Day on the 16th October 2009. JUDS organized a seminar titled 'Food Security Challenge: young minds' on food security where more than 150 debaters took part from different universities.

The main objective was to learn about climate change and food security of the present world. With this theme, the young debaters of Jahangirnagar University showed their exceptional debating skills. The young students and debaters represented our country and also acted as a medium to portray the real situation of the world. All over the world, climate change and food security have become major challenges to face and the terrible impact will cause a great deal of damage to the developing countries. Bangladesh is also not out of danger from this damage.

On the 14th of October, Bangladesh Debate Federation (BDF) also conducted a workshop on parliamentary debate with Dr. Abdun Nur Tusher, President of Bangladesh Debate Federation (BDF) being the main instructor of the workshop. Dr. Abdun Nur, Mahfuz Mishu, Secretary General, Bangladesh Debate Federation (BDF) and Kazi Bushra Ahmed from Kotha Abritty Chorcha Kendra also took classes on the necessary aspects of parliamentary debate. There were around 200 participants who took part in the workshop.

The first round of the competition was held on 15th October, where 14 departments from four faculties of Jahangirnagar University participated. All the topics were on climate change, food security and its impact on human beings including our country. On 16th October after the quarterfinal rounds, these four teams participated in the semi-final round where the Department of English competed with the Department of International Relations and the IBA, JU competed against the Department of Public Administration.

The keynote speaker of the seminar was Dr. Md. Khabir Uddin, Associate Professor, Dept. of Environmental Science, Jahangirnagar University, the special speakers were Sharmind Nilormi, Associate Professor, Dept. of Economics and Mahfuz Mishu, Journalist and Secretary General, Bangladesh Debate Federation (BDF), Afif Ahmed, Associate Officer, Hungerfree Project, Actionaid Bangladesh and Ahmed Reza, Associate Professor, Dept. of English, Jahangirnagar University. Dr. Abdun Nur Tusher, Media Personality and President, Bangladesh Debate Federation (BDF)conducted the entire seminar. Debaters from around 20 institutions such as University of Dhaka, Jahangirnagar University, Gono Bishyabiddaloy, Eden Mohila College, Stamford University, ASA University, ULAB, Southeast University and several others participated in this seminar. From this seminar the young generation raised their voices to spread the message across the world.

On 17th October, the last day of the programme, the final debate was held. Two finalist teams were Dept. of International Relations and Institute of Business Administration. The debaters of the Dept. of International Relations were Arafat, Soummo and Imon and the debaters of Institute of Business administration were Gourab, Sakib and Noyon.

After an amazing debate, Dept. of International Relations conquered the trophy of the champion team and the Runners-Up trophy went to Institute of Business Administration. The speaker of the final parliamentary debate was Dr. Abdun Nur Tusher and judges were Mahfuz Mishu Secretary General, Bangladesh Debate Federation (BDF), Ahmed Reza Associate Professor, Dept. of English Jahangirnagar University, Shahnewaz Kabir, founder member of JUDS and teacher of ULAB, and Tanvir Fahim, founder member of JUDS.

At the closing ceremony Professor Dr. Shariff Enamul Kabir, VC, JU expressed his willingness to take part in the debate- 'challenge those who say that session jam is created by students'. He said that regular attendance of teachers could easily reduce session jam.

Comments of Professor Dr. Shariff Enamul Kabir, VC, JU.
Jahangirnagar University Debating Society (JUDS) symbolizes the young generation and the young minds of this country. Their determination to show the path of light through professional skill of mental development is commendable. To establish the truth, JUDS has been working since 1997. Ignoring all political clashes we have to create bond of humanity to improve our state but that would not be possible without proper manipulation of logic.

JUDS: What do you think should be the main weapon for students?
VC: Practice of logic. Only complete practice of logic can help attain academic excellence as well as develop mental faculties of students.

JUDS: What steps are you taking to prevent on-campus violence?
VC: At first I will pay my attention to the election of JUCSU. Secondly, I would ensure that teachers and students are regular in class. I will also try to provide sufficient space to practice cultural activities by the students. If students are busy with academic work and cultural work they will not get time to create violence. I believe those who are debaters and cultural activists, they do not indulge in violence.

JUDS: What will be your measures to reduce session jam?
VC: The main cause of session jam is the declaration of undetermined vacations and the tendency of teachers to cancel classes. But I am strongly opposing those who are not interested in taking regular classes. You people arrange a debate competition with the topic 'teachers' irregularity to the class is the main cause to session jam'. I will take part in that debate and show how teachers can reduce the session jam with their willingness.

JUDS: What do you think about vision 2021 and Digital Bangladesh? What part does your campus play in this?
VC: To achieve vision 2021 and Digital Bangladesh we need to change our mentality first. We need to change our mind to take our country to a higher level of development and stop all kinds of corruption. Then the target will come to our hand automatically. Same treatment is for my campus.

JUDS: What do you want to say about an effective parliament?
VC: The first requirement is the participation of the opposition in parliament. Then, through debate the effective decisions should be made.

JUDS: What is your advice to the students?
VC: I just want to say that, students should keep in mind who they are and where they come from. They must understand that the entire nation is paying for their education. To pay the homage to the freedom fighters and to the nation they should build themselves up to work for their country.

Seminar- Food Security: Youth Thoughts
To create awareness about the upcoming challenges 'food security', Jahangirnagar University Debating Society (JUDS) arranged a seminar with the title of 'Food Security Challenge: young minds' on World Food Day, 16th October. As our Prime Minister demanded compensation from developed countries because of being the sufferer of climate changing, the target of the seminar was to get a message from the young debaters to face this problem. At the same time it was also a suggestion from the society of students to our govt. There are so many problems to overcome the food security prolem in our country. All the speakers and the participants discussed and gave their opinions to face this problem. Dr. Md. Khabir Uddin presented the key paper of the seminar. In the seminar paper he showed the ways to face the food security problems through our food production and distridution system. He emphasized on the agricultural development to ensure food security. New technologies and proper methods are the key factor for food production according to Dr. Khabir. Sharmind Nilormi said that food security and climate changes are interrelated matters. The negative impacts of climate change cause food insecurity. Nilormi said about gender issue with climate change. She said, “when a disaster comes it doesn't depends on male or female but the after effect of a disaster varies from male to female. In Bangladesh females are the most sufferers in this case.” Mahfuz Mishu portrayed a very clear picture of the corruption and lacking of our food distribution system. He told about the sufferings of our farmers to get the necessary supports from govt. The seminar was mainly a student's participation. Young thoughts and questions came from debaters. Nepal is one of SAARC. We got a picture of this country from the students who are Nepali. Sandarva Giri, vice presdent, Nepal student society, Bangladesh and also a student of Gono Bishyabiddalay, told about political unrest is related with food security. He gave an example that, last year there were 260 days on strike in 365 days. The production and distribution system were collapsed. So that, those who are supposed to fix the problems are doing reverse.

Most of the people of our country are directly related with agriculture and most of them are illiterate. Food security, climate change these words are too heavy to understand for them. Muntasir Rubyat, student International Relations, JU asked about the involvement of agriculture with the students of University. He asked where are the activities of the students to the poor farmers to develop the agricultural system. He directly asked “there are many debate clubs, theatres but where are the agricultural clubs?” To answer his question. Mahfuz Mishu said “in every sphere of our life agriculture saves us, but one day it won't be able to save us. Most probably in those days we will open agricultural clubs” The seminar arranged by JUDS got a successful conclusion with the opinions of the resource persons and brilliant young generation.



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