Literary Symposium Desk (LSD), the literary club of IIMA, held its second annual Student-Faculty Debate on 19th August wherein the most capable student debaters in the institute went up against the doyens among the faculty. It was a battle of logic, wit and composure and received a tremendous response from within the IIM A community. The event was attended by faculty and students across all years and programmes.
The topic of the debate was “Placements should be the end goal of a management student”. The faculty team comprising of Professor Ajay Pandey and Professor Ankur Sarin debated against the motion while the student team comprising of Sarthak Phadke and Prashant Sarkar debated for the motion. The arguments were logically constructed and the frameworks adopted by both sides seemed to be infallibly strong. It would indeed have been a very difficult debate to judge. Fortunately, it was an exhibition debate and the real enjoyment was in listening to and appreciating the views put forth by both sets of speakers.
The students put forth the view that placements form an accurate gauge or metric to assess a candidate’s capability and therefore serve as a strong incentive to management students to perform to the best of their ability. The professors argued that placements are the end, but the more important issue is the means to the end. In that sense, placements do not serve so much as an incentive as they do as an end- students lose sight of other, more important things when trying to achieve that end.
The students effectively postulated that since IIM A has done so much for us, we should be giving back to society and a way to do that is through placements- so why should it not be an end goal worth pursuing? The professor’s response was simply that placements are a reflection not of how you value yourself but of how others value you and the former is more important than the latter.
The debate lasted an hour and the audience remained engrossed throughout. The event successfully achieved its objective: it had made the audience sit back, listen carefully and think. And that is precisely what a good debate is supposed to do.