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With the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping across the world, many businesses remain shut, and events cancelled. In India this had meant that the Indian Premier League was first delayed and then relocated. The 13th edition of the tournament is now slated to start in the United Arab Emirates on September 19.

But should the IPL be held at all?

While some countries have resumed sporting events, albeit behind closed doors and with many restrictions, others such as India have continued to keep additional limitations in place. And while the UAE might be in a better position when it comes to the COVID-19 outbreak, it is not a safe haven per se.

But there are arguments to support both sides of the discussion.

To find out more, the Free Press Journal will be holding a full fledged debate on the same motion. The first debate is scheduled for Friday, July 31 at 5 pm. Living as we do in the times of a pandemic, it will be a 'virtual debate'.

Event: The Free Press Journal Debate

Motion: Should the IPL be held at all?

Time: 5:00 PM IST, July 31, 2020

The Bombay Debate: Meet the Moderator and Jury Members of FPJ's upcoming discussion on whether IPL should be held

Moderator:

Roshan Abbas

He is an award-winning radio jockey and actor, who founded Encompass (now known as Geometry Compass). He was one of the founders of Kommune, a performing arts collective for storytellers, and helped conceptualise the Spoken Festival. This incidentally brings together poets, storytellers, thespians, lyricists, comedians, musicians and more, and has both performances and workshops.

Abbas wears many hats. Alongside the pursuits mentioned above, he is a producer, event manager, director, lyricist, CEO, angel investor, author and public speaking coach.

The Jury Members:

Poonam Dhillon

She is an actor and politician who has starred in many films including Noorie (1979), Red Rose (1980), Romance (1983), Sohni Mahiwal (1984), Teri Meherbaniyan (1985), Maalamaal (1988) and more. She had also been a part of TV soaps as well as reality show Bigg Boss, and a part of award-winning theatre shows. From being crowned as the Miss Young India 1978 at the age of 16, Dhillon has led an eventful life. But this goes much beyond her film or acting career.

Vocal when it comes to social causes, she has championed issues such as drug and AIDS awareness, AIDS and family planning and organ donation. She has been a speaker for many events - both at the domestic and international level, and also has a thriving political career. Having joined the BJP in 2004, Dhillon in 2019 became the Vice President of the Mumbai unit of the party.

Dinkar Gupta

IPS officer Dinkar Gupta is the Director General of Punjab police. Having begun his career even as Punjab faced down terrorism and related concerns, he had played a key role in solving many high-profile cases. From being a district police chief for several years to serving on Punjab’s counter-terror and intelligence teams and more recently, being appointed to lead the Punjab Police -- his has been an illustrious career.

He joined the intelligence bureau in 2004, and had spent several years on central deputation, handling sensitive assignments. He has been twice decorated for gallantry, and had worked as the as director general of police (intelligence). More recently, at the end of May this year, he was empanelled to hold director general-level posts in the central government.

And if this was not enough, he has in the past also been a visiting professor for George Washington University and American University in Washington DC, teaching a course on fighting terror.

Alok Rai

The Vice Chancellor of Lucknow University, Professor Alok Kumar Rai is a scholar of management and also teaches students at the Institute of Management Studies at Banaras Hindu University. As the University of Lucknow’s website puts it, their vice-chancellor is a “champion of Customer Relationship Management” who has focused on “building a culture of student centricity across various Departments, Institutes and Associated Colleges of the University, and transforming the face of higher education”.

He is a NAAC expert for assessment and accreditation, and an MHRD expert for different committees, and more. Alongside, he has delivered many a keynote address and lectures across the country. Rai has also provided professional training and consultancy services to different government departments, leading PSUs and several private companies.

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