A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been made recently between Indian Institute of Management Calcutta and the PGP 16th batch (Class of 1981) of IIM Calcutta, being represented by Sandip Bhatia to institute ‘IIM Calcutta Annual Debate (In memory of Bobby Saldanha)’. For this the donor (PGP 16th batch (Class of 1981) of IIM Calcutta) has gifted an endowment. As per the agreement, IIM Calcutta will hold an annual ‘IIM Calcutta Annual Debate (In memory of Bobby Saldanha)’ every year, starting from 2020. The event will be hosted in association with the student-run, IIM Calcutta Debating Society.
A good speech is what we use to unwind after a long day – the core mantra with which IIM Calcutta Debating Society, the youngest club on campus was set up to indulge the “Argumentative Indian” in us and the aim is to build a noteworthy contingent of debaters while also hosting exhibition debates and tournaments to encourage a culture of healthy debate among students. Debating Society conducts The Freshers’ Debate, Mock Debates, Vidyasagar Memorial Debate and Open Debate every year.
Mr. Bobby Saldanha, an alumnus of the PGP 16th batch of IIM Calcutta, was a regular in the college quiz and debate circles in late 1970’s Calcutta. His debating skills were known far and wide and represented the best in the art of persuasive brinkmanship at the podium.
While reminiscing, his batch mate Sandip Bhatia recalls, “Listening and absorbing the logic, humour and language of Bobby Saldanha debates was a treat. If you were his opponent, you would have to resign to excruciatingly painful defeats. His arguments were flawless and combined with his sense of wit and spontaneity, he was virtually unbeatable”.
In 1979 Bobby joined IIM Calcutta, and what was to become it’s SWEET 16 batch. The Year Book wrote the following ode to Bobby after he was recruited by CITI-BANK at the Campus, “Bobby’s major contribution to academics was his ‘theory of nerves’ which merely stated that all you needed for a group project was strong nerves; the chaps with weak nerves would do it for you!”
Professor Anju Seth, Director, IIM Calcutta thanked the PGP 16 batch for their gift and hopes that other batches too would come forward to contribute meaningfully in keeping IIM Calcutta’s tradition of excellence higher.