On the rooftop at 5PM

Conceived and curated in collaboration with the Takshashila Institution.

Oct 27

Debate 1

Social media has the potential for creating public disorder, and so the sedition law (section 124A of the Indian Penal Code) is a reasonable restriction on freedom of expression.

Against the proposition

Anshuman Behera

Dr. Anshuman Behera is an Assistant Professor at NIAS, Bangalore. Prior to joining NIAS Dr. Behera worked with Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi and Institute for Conflict Management, New Delhi. Dr. Behera’s research areas include Conflict Resolution, Internal conflicts in India, Nepal and Bangladesh, terrorism in South Asia, religious radicalisation.Dr. Anshuman Behera is an Assistant Professor at NIAS, Bangalore. Prior to joining NIAS Dr. Behera worked with Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi and Institute for Conflict Management, New Delhi. Dr. Behera’s research areas include Conflict Resolution, Internal conflicts in India, Nepal and Bangladesh, terrorism in South Asia, religious radicalisation.


For the proposition

Madhav Chandavarkar

Madhav Chandavarkar is a Research Associate at the Takshashila Institution.

Madhav obtained his B.A.,LL.B. from Symbiosis Law School, Pune in 2013. After graduating from a five-year course in law, he felt compelled to join a law firm, and worked with civil, family, service and contractual law in Bangalore. However, he quickly realised that he was not suited to a traditional career in law and decided to enter the policy space; to put it in his words, he was (and still is) more interested in laws at a macro level than a micro level i.e. on a case to case basis.

Madhav is interested in decentralisation and copyright law. He has drafted and filed objections to the Karnataka Municipal Corporation (Ward Committee) Rules, 2013 and attended public meetings at Vikas Soudha for their amendment.

Debate 2

Gender based reservations are required, since meritocracy does not work in a patriarchal society.

Against the proposition

Chitra Gowda

Chitra Gowda holds a BE in Environmental Engineering and Post Graduate in Industrial Safety, she offer nearly 18 years of relevant experience with broad contributions towards the Service and Manufacturing Industries. She has helped design Corporate Social Responsibility programmes on Diversity & Inclusion, Wellness, Sustainability, Carbon accounting and Management, Food Safety, Fleet Safety, Risk Assessment and Management. She herself has served as Head of Sustainability,
Head of Diversity etc responsible for an inclusive, healthier and safer work space.

For the proposition

Jacintha Jayachandran

Jacintha Jayachandran is the Founder of NOW. NOW (Nurturing Outstanding Women) is a self-explanatory name, we think but in addition to NOW, Ms. Jayachandran also works at Transcendix LLP. In addition to this, she is not only an entrepreneur and  public speaker herself but is also a coach and facilitator. She has, over the years, empowered her mentees and students to take their first steps into the professional world too. Her areas of expertise include but are not limited to gender diversity dialogues and discourse, workshops and training sessions on harnessing skill sets, women leadership labs and the designing of interventions to encourage as well as enable inclusive workplaces .

Nov 4

Debate 3

Communities must invest in the arts, as patronage is an outdated concept.

Against the proposition

Abhijit Sengupta

Abhijit Sengupta studied MA in English Literature at Delhi University and taught English in two Delhi University colleges before he joined the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in 1972. He retired from the IAS in 2008 as Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Government of India. He was awarded the prestigious Pearson fellowship of the IDRC, Canada, in 1984–85 and received a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. He has served in many important positions in the Government of India and in the State Government of Karnataka. In 2014, Abhijit Sengupta was Chairman of the High Powered Committee of the Ministry of Culture to review the functioning of various cultural institutions. He has been a member of the Central Advisory Board on Culture and of the Governing Body of Kalakshetra Foundation, Chennai.

Sengupta retained a special interest in English literature over decades of government service. This book is the result of his love for what he feels is the most fascinating language in the world.

For the proposition

Smita Ram

Smita Ram co-founded Rang De in 2008. It is India’s first crowdfunding platform that raises social investments from individuals to provide low cost loans to entrepreneurs and students from low income households across India.

Rang De’s mission is to leverage the internet and provide access to low cost capital to undeserved communities across India and help them overcome poverty.

She worked as Chief Operating Officer until 2010 and currently work as Managing Trustee of Rang De.

Debate 4

STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, math) must form the core of school curriculum. Arts education has a complementary role to play in individual development by improving communication skills and enabling creative expression.

Against the proposition

 Amman Madan 

Amman’s research interests are currently in social stratification and education, social theory and the sociology of organizations. Amman did his M.Sc. in Anthropology with Divyadarshi Kapoor from Punjab University, Chandigarh and then did his M.Phil and Ph.D. with Avijit Pathak at the Centre for the Study of Social Systems at JNU. He worked for a while at the Academic Staff College at JNU, after which he was a full-timer with Eklavya at Hoshangabad, MP from 2000 to 2003. Amman taught a semester at the HBCSE and then joined the department of Humanities and Social Science at the IIT Kanpur, where he regularly received commendations for excellence in teaching.

Amman has been guest faculty for the M.A. programme in Elementary Education at TISS. He is associated with several NGOs including Eklavya, Pragat Shikshan Sansthan, Digantar, etc. He is in the editorial collective of Contemporary Education Dialogue and believes Indian academics must write both for scholarly interaction as well as for the people.