United Nations Flag - credit: sanjitbaskshi via flickr
United Nations Flag – credit: sanjitbaskshi via flickr

Delegates please take your seats!

Young people all over the world are increasingly looking for ways to collaborate, organise and make their voices heard in a big way. One of the most exciting ways to do this is through Model United Nations (MUN) conferences in India. Here are Asia Options’ tips and advice to help you decide which MUN conference in India you should choose.

The experience of participating in a MUN will put to bed all those tired clichés that have been trotted out time and time again. These youth-run simulations of UN committee sessions (often the General Assembly or the Security Council) are an exciting, engaging and dynamic way to make your voice heard.

You can hone your leadership skills while negotiating free trade agreements with a difficult G20, develop your research capabilities while reading real United Nations documents and build on your networking after debate is over with young people from India and abroad, who often prove to be invaluable professional contacts as well as a solid base for international friendship groups.

If international travel, global youth engagement, current affairs and Indian or South Asian studies are things you are interested in, it’s highly likely there is a MUN for you.

 

Model United Nations in India

India is into MUNs in a big way. For many young people, the way they perform at these conferences determines their entrance into universities or can make a competitive difference on their resume post university. In a nation as diverse and complicated as India, there is always an incredibly wide range of opinions and backgrounds at any MUN. Debates are always exciting and you’ll be rubbing shoulders with some high-performing delegates.

Many of these MUNs are also very keen to accept international committee chairs

There are dozens of different MUNs to choose from in India, most of which accept international delegates either as individuals or as part of a school group. Many of these MUNs are also very keen to accept international committee chairs who can lead and direct debate as well as judge delegates’ performance.

There is a nominal fee to take part in MUNs. They often have very reasonable accommodation and meals packages too, to make the experience even easier. The age range for delegations varies but is generally from 16 to 22 years. The only problem is (as is often the case in India) that the sheer range of MUNs is overwhelming and it can be hard to decide where to do it.

To help in your search, here is a list of the most reputable MUNs in India where you can apply to be a delegate or even a committee chair.

 

Indian International Model United Nations

Almost a MUN franchise (in a good-way), Indian International Model United Nations (IIMUN) has become a renowned brand in education conference management. IIMUN hosts India’s biggest MUNs and sponsors Asia’s Largest Youth Conference in Mumbai. IIMUN is completely youth run with all organisers and delegates between the ages of 16 and 22.

All resolutions drafted and passed by IIMUN are forwarded to various UN bodies as documents of recommendations.

All resolutions drafted and passed by IIMUN are forwarded to various UN bodies as documents of recommendations. IIMUN is the Asian celebrity version of MUN, regularly hosting guests and speakers such as UN Secretary-General Ban–Ki-Moon and Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri Pritviraj Chavan.

IIMUN hosts MUNs in a dizzying array of cities across the nation but the biggest in 2016 are in Mumbai (April 15th-17th), Chennai (Date yet to be announced), Hyderabad (July 24th-26th) and Pune (date yet to be announced).

Keep an eye on the various chapter websites as dates are liable to change and information on applications and committees are regularly updated.

 

Dhirubhai Ambani International Model United Nations

Dhirubhai Ambani International Model United Nations (DAIMUN) is one of the most prestigious Indian MUNs being affiliated to The Hague International Model United Nations (THIMUN) – the oldest and largest international MUN in the world, which has a consultative role within the real UN. For three and a half days students debate draft resolutions on themes, which are under constant change as all themes are designed to mirror contemporary global events.

DAIMUN is able to provide accommodation for international delegates in Mumbai as well as airport pick up and meals. It has a great introduction to MUN procedure and preparation on its website. Applications for 2016 are not yet open but estimated to be available mid-year.

 

Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences International Model United Nations

The Kalinga institute of Social Sciences, located in Bhubaneswar, Odisha – one of India’s poorest states – hosts the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences International Model United Nations (KIITMUN) This institute – one of the state’s largest universities catering to more than 25 000 students – has an academic and cultural focus on rural South Asian development with a particular emphasis on the marginalisation of indigenous tribal (Adivasi) communities.

This focus is reflected in KIITMUN’s delegates who share the university’s development passion and come from all over the region (Kazakhstan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Afghanistan) to take part in this exciting event. In 2014, KIITMUN held India’s biggest MUN and one of the world’s largest with over 1200 delegates and 100 foreign press representatives in attendance. Last year, the MUN was fortunate to have Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav and the Afghani Ambassador to India, Shaida Mohammad Abdali speaking at the conference.

Bhubaneswar is a beautiful city known as India’s ‘Temple Town’ and makes a fantastic base for exploring

Bhubaneswar is a beautiful city known as India’s ‘Temple Town’ and makes a fantastic base for exploring the nearby sacred town of Puri and the monolithic Konark Sun Temple. In addition from Bhubaneswar, the fascinating and rarely visited Adivasi areas of India are readily accessible.

If you are not too dizzy from all the acronyms, start applying and get ready for a particularly Indian international experience.

All those in favour, please raise your placards!

To help you with your application have a look at Asia Option’s 10 important tips for a successful application. And, for more supporting information on India generally, including accommodation, make sure you visit our getting started page, India Options.

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Felix Pal

Felix is completing his PhD in International, Political and Strategic Studies at the Australian National University. Since his first trip in 2008, Felix has travelled extensively through the region. Having studied both Hindi and Urdu, he regularly finds himself back in Delhi for work, research and travel.

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