NLS Debate

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The National Law School Debate (NLS Debate) is an annual debating tournament conducted by the Literary and Debating Society of the National Law School of India University, Bangalore, for teams from Universities all over Asia. It is one of the largest inter-varsity Parliamentary Debating tournament in Asia with over 450 participants.[citation needed] The debates is held in the 3-on-3 format.


NLS-D began with an intent to popularize debating across the country has advanced in its quality, and has improved in terms of the reach of the tournament. NLS-D remains the only South Asian face of any International debate competition.The debate had very humble beginnings. The 1st edition which happened in the November of 2002, saw nine teams taking part. It followed the 2-on-2 debating format. St. Stephen's College was the winner, while National University of Juridical Sciences(NUJS) were the runners-up. The 4th edition of the Debate saw it being transmuted into a 3-on-3 parliamentary Debating format. The number of participating teams increased from 9 to 80, in a span of 9 years. The debate has seen the participation of many Indian Institutions like Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B), R.V. College of Engineering, St. Stephen's College, Ramjas College, Loyola College, Hansraj etc. and International teams like Faculty of Law-Colombo (FOLC), Lahore University of Management Studies (LUMS), The American University of Bangladesh etc.

The Tournament has been won the most number of times by RVCE, Bangalore and IIT Bombay with a tally of 3 wins. IIT Delhi, NLU Delhi, Ramjas College and FOLC have won it 2 times each.

The Debate has managed to stay on the fun side of the spectrum with its legendary break night party, which is the social event of the debate calendar in addition to an opening night dinner and a closing Championship Party. The level of hospitality that the college has extended, which involves every team getting picked up and getting dropped from the airport/Railway Station, Accommodation and Food for the entire duration of the tournament. A separate novice break for people who haven't debated before encourages greater participation.

List of Winners[edit]

Year Winner Runner-Up
2002 St. Stephens NUJS
2003 IIT Delhi St. Stephens
2004 University College Lahore[1] RVCE, Bangalore
2005 IIT Delhi Lahore University of Management Sciences
2006 Faculty of Law-Colombo Ramjas College, New Delhi
2007 Ramjas College, New Delhi Faculty of Law- Colombo
2008 Ramjas College, New Delhi Hansraj College, DU
2009 Faculty of Law-Colombo[2] RVCE, Bangalore
2010 IIT Bombay RVCE, Bangalore
2012 National Law University, Delhi Shri Ram College of Commerce, New Delhi
2013 RVCE, Bangalore National Law University, Delhi
2014 National Law University, Delhi M. S. Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Bangalore
2015 IIT Bombay National Law University, Delhi
2016 NUJS Shri Ram College of Commerce, New Delhi
2017 RVCE, Bangalore Ramjas College, New Delhi
2018 IIT Bombay NUJS
2019 RVCE, Bangalore Symbiosis Law School, Pune

Format of the event.[edit]

The debate follows a 3-on-3 format, with one team (of 3 speakers each) forming the Government, and the other the Opposition. The process of scoring and tabbing them is called tabbing. The scoring of the teams is done by judges who are students from the participating colleges, who return the scores to the adjudication team, led by the Chief Adjudicator (CA), and is assisted by the Deputy Chief Adjudicator (DCA), and the Deputy Chief Adjudicator(Observer).



  1. ^ "Metro Plus Kochi / Events : National Law School debate". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 2005-10-17. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  2. ^ "Karnataka / Bangalore News : Colombo team aces National Law School debate". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 2009-12-04. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  3. ^ "Iconic debate competition turns 10". The Hindu. 26 March 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
  4. ^ "NLU Delhi wins 10th NLS Parliamentary Debate; SRCC declared runners up". Bar and Bench. Retrieved 6 April 2012.