Conquering the Continent and Beyond | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 12, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 06:37 PM, July 12, 2019

Conquering the Continent and Beyond

IBA-DU debaters dazzle on the global stages of debating by shattering national records and setting new benchmarks

The recent performances of Bangladeshi teams in the Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championship 2019 and United Asian Debating Championship 2019 provide testament to the unprecedented development of the Bangladeshi debating circuit which has been largely spearheaded by IBA-DU.

In the recently concluded 10th United Asian Debating Championship 2019, which was hosted in Hanoi, Vietnam from 24-30th June, a team from the Institute of Business Administration, Dhaka University (IBA-DU) emerged as the runner-up by narrowly losing the finals to a team from Ateneo De Manila University of Philippines on a 7-2 split decision. The IBA-DU team comprised Sajid Asbat Khandaker, Sourodip Paul, and Mohammad Wasif Amin Khan. In the preliminary stages, they won 7 out of 8 rounds to rank at the top among the 62 participating teams coming from 16 different countries across Asia. In the knock-out stages, IBA bested teams from Lahore University of Management Sciences, Ateneo De Manila University, and Taylor’s University Malaysia on their way to the grand finale. Sourodip and Sajid were crowned the 3rd and 4th best speakers of the tournament out of 186 participants. The only other Bangladeshi team to proceed to the knockout stages this year was North South University (NSU), comprising Miraz Rahman and Asif Mehedi, who eventually lost to Taylors University in the quarter-finals. Miraz and Asif were also among the top 10 overall speakers, ranking as 9th and 10th respectively. Rawnak Zaheen Wasi, an IBA-DU alumnus served as the deputy chief adjudicator. Furthermore, in the judging wing of the tournament, Adel Mostaque Ahmed, an IBA-DU alumnus, and Kazi Ashfaqul Huq from IBA-DU qualified to judge the knockout stages of the tournament. They both served as members of the equity team and Adel has been elected the next United Asian Debating Union (UADU) council chair. 

The following week, in the Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championship 2019 (Australs 2019), hosted in Bali, Indonesia, the same IBA-DU team made history by becoming 6th out of 76 teams in the preliminary stages, winning 6 out of 8 rounds. Australs is regarded as the most competitive 3v3 debating tournament in the world where teams from all over the continents of Asia and Australia take part. Previously, IBA-DU were crowned the ESL (English as Second Language) Champions of Australs 2018.


This is the first time a team from Bangladesh has been in the top 10 after the preliminary stages of Australs. IBA-DU fought gallantly in the knock-out stages and defeated teams from the University of Sydney and Singapore Management University on their way to the Open Semi-Finals, in which they lost to Australian National University by an agonizingly close 4-3 split decision. Sajid and Sourodip ranked as the 8th and 10th overall best speakers, as well as became the 1st and 2nd best ESL (English as Second Language) speakers of the tournament. Wasif emerged as the 6th best ESL Speaker of the tournament. No other debater representing a Bangladeshi team has ever made it to the top ten. In the judging wing of the tournament, which is also extremely competitive, Kazi Ashfaqul Huq from IBA-DU, Asif Mehedi Adi and Miraz Rahman from NSU broke as judges.

Even last year, IBA-DU made it to the finals of the United Asian Debating Championship. IBA-DU clinched the 2017 Asian British Parliamentary Championship and reached the finals of the 2018 Asian British Parliamentary Championship. It is the only institution from Bangladesh to have reached the open knockout rounds of World Universities Debating Championship (WUDC) on more than one occasion.

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