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Tribune’s debate in Kashmir focuses on impact of social media
Rifat Mohidin/Azhar Qadri

Srinagar, August 25
In a convergence and clash of ideas articulately presented and argued at The Tribune Inter-College Debate, held for the first time in Kashmir, students from across the Valley debated the pros and cons of the social media, a contemporary topic which is continually redefining, revolutionising and shaping up the modern world.

J-K Governor NN Vohra presents the best college trophy of The Tribune Inter-College Debate Contest to the Government College for Women, MA Road, in Srinagar on Monday. To Governor’s right is The Tribune Editor-in-Chief Raj Chengappa and to his left is Vinay Verma, General Manager, The Tribune. Also seen is Arun Joshi, Resident Editor, J-K edition. Tribune photo: Amin War

The students, who had come from colleges located as far as north Kashmir's Uri town and the edges of south Kashmir, debated on the select topic: "Does social media contribute towards enhancing better understanding and cooperation, nationally and internationally?"

The debate was held at Lala Arifa Auditorium of the Government College for Women, Maulana Azad Road, Srinagar. Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra, who was the chief guest, said the information technology revolution was "the best thing which has happened to the world". The Governor also had a word of caution against misinformation and rumours spread via social media.

“Misunderstandings and misinformation can cause tensions. Tensions can lead to confrontations. Confrontations can cause conflicts and conflicts can cause violence, law and order situations leading to unrest and disturbances. So, there are issues which we need to safeguard," he said. Vohra also asked Additional Director General of Police, Armed, SM Sahai to take note of points raised by debaters, particularly female speakers in reference to the women's security. Raj Chengappa, Editor-in-Chief of The Tribune Group of Newspapers, presided over the function.

He spoke about the increasing importance and dynamism of the social media. He compared the invention of internet to the milestones in human evolution. "The birth of the social media has resulted in the death of space and time that separated all of us," he said. Chengappa said the social media was having a "profound impact" on our daily communication.

General Manager, The Tribune, Vinay Verma, presented the vote of thanks to guests and participants and termed the debate as "a milestone in the history" of the 133-year-old newspaper.

Arun Joshi, Resident Editor of The Tribune's Jammu and Kashmir edition, earlier made the welcome address and said "the social media has made the life easier and internet has transformed the communication beyond imagination". The function was also attended by ADGP (Headquarters) SP Vaid, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Rohit Kansal, Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, Farooq Shah, principals and teachers of various colleges and schools. The Government College for Women, Maulana Azad Road, was adjudged the best college. Winners Sana Shah and Nisheet Zehdi were given a cash prize of Rs 10,000 and a trophy.

Safiya Mehraj and Muvahid Rashid of Government Degree College, Bemina, that was adjudged the first runner-up, were awarded a cash prize of Rs 8,000, a certificate and a trophy.

The National Institute of Technology (NIT), Srinagar, was adjudged the second runner-up. Fatima Jalid and Joyjit Singh of the institute were awarded a cash prize of Rs 5,000 and a trophy.

Muvahid Rashid, a BA-II student of Government Degree College Bemina, who debated in favour of the motion, was adjudged the best speaker and was awarded a cash prize of Rs 5,000 and a trophy. The participants were given certificates and cash prize.

Editor-in-Chief, The Tribune, presented a memento to the Governor. The jury, which evaluated the debaters, included veteran journalist Mohammad Sayeed Malik, eminent educationist Nusrat Andrabi and Director, EMMRC, Kashmir University, Shahid Rasool. The jury members were presented mementos by the Governor.





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