This article is published as part of MUN Spotlight, a special series dedicated to Model UNs from around the globe. The aim of this series is to introduce MUNs and their organizers to our MUNPlanet audience and beyond. Today we're taking you to Bangalore, the Silicon Valley of India and home to FutureMUN 2016!
MUNPlanet: Please introduce
yourself and your MUN to our audience.
Hello! I am Sreekumar Ravindrakumar and I am heading
FutureMUN 2016 as the Secretary General. If you are looking for a rich
experience in diplomatic and intellectual simulations then FutureMUN 2016 is
just that experience. FutureMUN went international in its second edition which
was a massive success and this year in its third edition it promises to get
even bigger and better. We have 8 committees that offer you challenges from
different fields of international coexistence, to solve in three days.
FutureMUN 2016 is sure to be a melting pot for ideas from across the globe.
MUNPlanet: What makes FutureMUN a prodigious simulation as you say?
FutureMUN offers you a one-of-a-kind experience with its 8 committees which have greatly interesting and pressing international issues to discuss for three days. One of our committees is designed solely with the purpose of solving crisis and will be at it continuously for three days while another committee takes you back on a historical ride just to see how you would change the course of history if you had the authority. Last year we had international participants on our Executive Board (EB) as well as amongst our delegates and like I mentioned earlier, we are only going to get better this year, hence promising a wider and varied perspective on issues at hand.
MUNPlanet: In one sentence, convince us why we should choose FutureMUN instead of other upcoming conferences in India?
8 committees with gripping and challenging issues to discuss, one crisis committee just to show the delegates how nerve racking international diplomacy can get, one historic committee to test and retest history and spice things up, EB qualified enough to be counted as future global leaders, minds from all races clashing- This is Future International Model United Nations 2016, where discussion trumps destruction.
MUNPlanet: Can you tell us how the things have changed in terms of organization? What can we expect this year?
Anybody participating in FutureMUN 2016 will find it hard to miss the wider reach compared to the last year. There are more hands behind the curtains and more eyes on the details. The EB this year is more dynamic and experienced. More intellectually informed and well researched delegates are expected. FutureMUN is definitely set to have a bigger impact and set the bar even higher than the last year.
MUNPlanet: To do the right job, you need the right people. Tell us more about the Executive Board and the application process behind it.
We are still in the process of selecting our EB. Once we are done with the same we will be releasing our EB choices immediately. As far as the selection process goes, we start by opening the applications for anyone who is interested to apply. When selecting the members for the EB the experience they have from previous MUNs plays a crucial role and hence the selection is made based on that criterion. However, experience is not the only criterion; which is why the shortlisted candidates are interviewed over a telephone call to make sure their interest in this conference is genuine. Their knowledge on rules of procedure is tested, their opinions on foreign policies are asked. They are also asked about their criteria for judging the delegates and what is more important for them- rules of procedure or dynamicity of the delegates and only then is the final selection made.
MUNPlanet: This year’s FutureMUN Conference is chaired by some of the India’s finest MUNers. How hard was to select people in charge of committees?
To be honest, it was one of the toughest tasks in hand, as we saw a lot of experienced and talented people applying for FutureMUN EB. However, choices had to be made and the best had to be selected - which is exactly what we have done. We also had to keep in mind to select a good mix of international members on the EB. The process is still going on like I mentioned earlier and with every selection we make we have to keep in mind that we make the right choice as a massive number of people will be participating in and watching this MUN. The pressure is imaginable.
MUNPlanet: When it comes to MUNs nowadays, the similarities between them is one thing we notice immediately, especially in the debating procedure and resolution writing. Just to spice things up, you decided to deviate from the norm and determine the right balance between formulating the right processes and obtaining the desired results. How exactly are you planning to achieve this?
Committees and planning are at par with utmost excellence.But this year is more dynamic. Any problem is to be viewed as a major barrier in the formulation of an evaluation policy. Thus, handling it through the right processes will directly impact the results. The final outcome is what matters always. Such deviation, I’m sure, will help gain knowledge and skills essential for developing goals- goals that benefit all global citizens. This FutureMUN is more than just mere debates and resolutions.
MUNPlanet: Model United Nations has been widely acclaimed in the Indian Sub-continent for years now. Why are MUNs so popular in India in your opinion?
The Indian youth today is quite well informed and at the same time is quite sensitive towards the ongoing international issues and causes. Conferences like Model United Nations offer these students a platform where they can come forward and voice their opinions, debate with a number of likeminded individuals about the possible causes and at the same time peacefully discuss the possible measures that can be taken to make the world a better place to live in for the future generations. These conferences give them an opportunity to showcase their talent when it comes to diplomacy and problem solving.
MUNPlanet: Similar to the previous question, acknowledging the relevance of diplomacy and international relations in the contemporary world, MUN simulations have so much to offer to students. What makes Model United Nations so significant in students’ professional development?
Student receptivity and the demonstrated pedagogical value of experiential learning or 'learning-by-doing,' has resulted in the growing use of simulations and games in the field of international relations. In simulating the actual workings of the UN, the Model UN provides an essential feature of the cooperative learning environment. In preparing to go to a Model UN, each student becomes an “expert” in one aspect of an issue or policy for their delegation. Beyond the verbal and writing skills students gain, Model UN can contribute to the mental development of students. They can expand both cognitive ability and subject matter tolerance. In practical terms, self-confidence of students in having participated in a large group and awareness of political issues will certainly increase.
MUNPlanet: How do you see new technologies, for example communities such as MUNPlanet, changing Model United Nations landscape in the coming years?
I am personally quite grateful to communities like MUNPlanet because they play an extremely important role in bridging the gap between the people interested in MUNning and the ones interested in hosting a MUN. These communities have also gone a long way in helping organisers like us and providing us with a platform where we can market our conference and tell interested people what we have in store for them.
MUNPlanet: Besides providing seven conventional committees, FutureMUN is also offering a Special Fictional Committee. Which one did you have in mind? P.S .For all of our fellow Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings fans, we’re hoping it may be one of the science fiction ones.
FutureMUN always strives to deliver more than what’s expected so as far as committee X is concerned you can expect something bigger, better and even more challenging than the usual Sci-fi centered themes. But you’re always free to keep guessing….sci-fi, political, historical, even apocalyptic fiction….nothing is impossible for FutureMUN. To know more about what exactly committee X has in store for you keep your eyes peeled for all the updates posted on social media!
MUNPlanet: Is international character important aspect for conference’s success?
Yes definitely! Since these conferences are designed around the nations that make up the world and their views on different matters of international importance it is extremely important to actually get delegates and EB from as many of these nations as possible. Also today’s youth is very much interested in these conferences and the matters discussed in them so it only makes sense to invite as many individuals from as many countries possible if we are to have a good and enlightening debate that actually serves the purpose of such conferences. Also I have immense respect for the quality that is added to these debates thanks to the experiences the international delegates bring with them and share in the committees. It definitely takes the standard of the debate to a whole new level.
MUNPlanet: Even though nightlife and food specialties seem enough, there are plenty of other things that we should try while in Bangalore. Give us your favorite spot in the city.
There are a lot, I must say.
- Bangalore Palace
- Lakes in Bangalore like Ulsoor Lake, Sankeytank etc
-Wonderla the Amusement Park
- Innovative Film City
- Bangalore Aquarium
- Bannerghatta National Park
MUNPlanet: Can you give us a perfect recipe for Bangalore Dosa? Will you be serving it to your delegates and why not?
Recipe- (just one among the plethora of Dosa-options available in Bangalore)
Set Dosas are soft, spongy fluffy dosas made with parboiled rice and beaten rice. They are usually served in sets of 3-4, along with a vegetable curry and some chutney. The batter though fermented is not allowed to turn sour, in fact a generous pinch of sugar is added to cut the sourness if present.
Idli rice/Parboiled rice – 1.5 cups
Normal rice – 2.5 cups
Urad dal – 1 cup
Beaten Rice/Poha – 1/2 cup
Sugar – a generous pinch
Yogurt/Curd – 1/4th cup
salt according to taste
Oil or ghee to grease each dosa
Wash the rice urad dal several times in water. Soak the rice dal together for 5-6 hours. Wash the beaten rice thoroughly soak it in yogurt for 5-6 hours. Blend the rice, dal beaten rice together to form a smooth batter. Cover and keep the batter aside to ferment. Should take approximately 7-8 hours.
Add salt, sugar to the batter, mix well.
Heat a flat griddle, pour a ladle full of batter on to the hot griddle & spread very little of the batter gently. Do not spread the batter more as the dosa needs to be thick and should look like a pancake. If the batter is well fermented you will have many pores on the dosa. Pour ghee or oil around the pancake. Using a big lid cover the dosa and let it cook for about 30-40 seconds. Remove the lid, flip the dosa and cook on the other side uncovered.Ideally a set dosa is cooked only on one side, but just to ensure it is cooked well, we can also roast it from the other side.
Prepare a couple of more dosas like this, serve with chutney and sagu.
As far as serving dosas to the delegates is concerned, the answer is a no. We at FutureMUN want to take event hospitality to greater heights. Keeping the cultural background and ethnicity of all the delegates in mind (especially those from outside India),we would like to serve them better variety. On the other hand, we do not limit the ‘Bangalore-discovering options’ for our delegates, they can always explore Bangalore delicacies anytime!
MUNPlanet: Often called a Silicon Valley of India, Bangalore is probably a number one choice of MUNers interested in technology. What makes Bangalore IT capital of India?
1)The city has the greatest growth rate for any city in a span of few decades. This fact points out the attractiveness of the city as preferred investment destination. The rate of return is high and almost guaranteed.
2)With 212 software companies,21 engineering colleges among which Bangalore university thathas a whopping 57 engineering college affiliated to it, and the highest number of software professionals in the world; we can see why the city is theIT capital of India.
MUNPlanet: We came to the final question. What do you, as an organizer, expect your delegates to take from the conference?
I expect the delegates to take back an experience that they will cherish and remember for the rest of their lives, an experience that makes them come back again the next year for more! Also I want all of them to take back an understanding that we all are nations that are unique in our own way yet when we stand together and work for a cause we can actually make this world a better place to live in. I want them to grow from these conferences as individuals who are keen on working towards international unity cause after all united we stand and divided we fall.