group discussion

GD or Group Discussion is considered to be a comprehensive set of techniques that are required to judge the degree of suitability of a candidate who is to appear for admissions or scholarships and jobs. Under the radar of GD, a lot of aspects are taken into consideration that comprise of the personality of the individual such as- thoughts, feelings and behaviour expressed in a group. Typically these behaviors are taken to be makers that determine whether a person will be a good manager or a bad one. Both IIM and non-IIM MBA colleges put a lot of emphasis on the GD while carrying out the screening process.

The time span for GDs are 20 to 25 minutes. Within this time, a topic is assigned to the members of a group and they are encouraged to carry out the discussion on it. The panelists scrutinize every single participant and judge them based on their leadership quality, ability to communicate effectively, thought process, and the ability of coming of up convincing argument.

Since GD (Group Discussion) is one of the most important parameter for selection of candidates to the best B-schools in India, it is important to have a comprehensive idea of topics that are included in the GD.

In a GD, candidates can expect topics from four broad categories-

·        Current Affairs

·        Abstract topics

·        Business and Economy

·        Social issues

 

What are the skills
that are judged in a GD?

The group discussion technique is a very effective
way to judge the candidate’s ability to work in a group. Given below is the
list of qualities judged during a GD.

        How good you are at communicating with other

        How easily you behave and interact with the other group members

        How open-minded you are

        How flexible or rigid you are in accepting the viewpoints of others in the group

        Your leadership skills

        Your analytical abilities

        Problem-solving & critical thinking skills

        Time management skills

        Your skills at putting forth your ideas in an unbiased manner

        Social attitude and confidence

 

Few Topics here are explained for your better understanding.

1.   Impact of COVID 19 on the global economy

As per the research and findings of the World Bank, with the outbreak of the global pandemic, most of the countries are expected to face recession in 2020-2021. The income per capita is expected to contract to an extent that has never been witnessed before since the 1870s.

The chances of revival of the economy are completely dependent on the recession of the pandemic which would somewhat allow the domestic mitigations to be lifted by the middle of 2021. One of the most crucial things that the pandemic has highlighted is the immediate need to act on the benefit of public health while protecting the most vulnerable populations. A stage needs to be reached which shows ways to recover from the pandemic.

Should COVID-19 continue to ravage the world and force us to reintroduce restrictions on movements and disrupt businesses, chances of the recession being deeper also increases. The hardest hit has been taken by the developing economies.

 

2.   Importance of the Statue of Unity

There are two side to every such topic. Hence the pros and cons of the statue of unity as stated as below:

Pros

The world’s highest statue is believed to be a huge tourist attraction.

The builders claim that the statue will remain intact for the next 10 centuries and hence it is expected to generate revenues in the form of national income of the country for all these years.

Owing to the PPP model on which the statue has been built, the greater percentage of the total amount of money spent on building the statue is private money (invested by L&T) and not public money (10% has been contributed by the government).

The Statue of Unity is also set to boost tourism with the setup of hotels, transportation facilities and various other services.

It will also generate employment in the Narmada district, both directly and indirectly.

With the huge influx of tourists in the area, the government claims to be able to recover the amount invested in building the Statue of Unity.

Cons

The biggest flipside to this project is considered to the amount of money wasted in a project of such scale in a country as poor as India. There are many issues that would have benefitted from 200 crores- healthcare sector, education, agriculture, safety of women being some of the many.

The land where the Statue of Unity stands was originally owned by the Tadvi tribe. The project was opposed by them initially. But were later compensated by cash, substitute land, and promise of employment before the acquisition of the land.

There were a lot of controversies regarding the construction of the statue from the people of the adjacent villages namely Kevadia, Kothi, Waghodia, Limdi, Navagam, and Gora. The people put forth their demand of the restitution of the land rights which constituted of 927 acres approximately. This land was previously acquired for building of a dam.

 

3.   What can we learn about spending on public health from the widespread of COVID 19?

Most of the Indian states have neglected its public health services for decades. With the outbreak of the pandemic, the importance of a sound public healthcare system have shown its irreplaceable value. Although it is not favour by the higher middle class and the elites of the Indian society, there no denying to its capabilities of shouldering the lion’s share in treating people. Not just for preventive services, but also in providing clinical care, more than 90% of the COVID 19 patients requiring critical care have been treated by the hospitals run by the government.  

In the entre Indian subcontinent, the state of Kerala with its robust public healthcare system has been successfully able to contain the spread of the virus and treat those who are infected. Other richer states like Maharashtra and Gujarat has suffered owing to its understaffed government hospitals and other public healthcare facilities.

Keeping this situation in mind, the first and most crucial step to improve the public healthcare system is to increase the health budget. At present it stands at a meagre 1.15% of the GDP, but needed to be doubled in terms of the National Health Policy that was devised back in 2017. To add to it, it should be 3-4% of the GDP. States too need to reconsider their spending on healthcare.

Another point to take away from Kerala’s public healthcare system is its inclusion of primary healthcare being a part of the health services. The most importance steps that are quintessential in dealing with a pandemic involves testing, detection of cases at its early stages and the preventive measures. All these processes are carried out by the staff at the PHC level.

Unfortunately, these are the sections which are grossly understaffed and hence overburdened in most of the states.

With the outbreak of the pandemic, the shortcomings of the public healthcare systems have been exposed. But, it is also an eye-opener since it is easier to work for the overall development of the system with the setbacks clearly visible.

 

4.   The reality of the pandemic fueled virtual world of education in India

As per the data collected by UNESCO, with the outbreak of the global pandemic, the most affected sectors have been education and work. With more than 60 million teachers, educators and lecturers and about 1.37 billion students in 138 countries being stuck at home, there has been no other option but opting for e-learning. Online classes via platforms such as Zoom, Skype, and Google classroom, schools, colleges, and universities have been conducting classes and engaging with students.

However, in a country like India, where an overwhelming population lacks access to the internet, e-Learning is a model that is doomed to fail right from the start.

Having an internet connection for the student living in urban areas might not seem to be a hurdle. But for a staggering number of 55,000 villages in the country, internet is a far-fetched idea since they do not even have the luxury of a mobile network. Only 28% of the students from the rural households might have internet access while the rest are left to fend to themselves. Adding to this is the undependable nature of power supply which hinders students from appearing in the online exam.

Kashmir does not have a 4G connection when it comes to the internet, and the colleges and institutions are reeling under the stress of their students being unable to take part in the school/college/university curriculum. Lack of devices is another concern since most of the students and teachers do not have a desktop or a laptop which would allow them to attend and conduct classes virtually.

With the passage of time, incidents of privacy breaches are also increasing as universities are hiring proctors who are misusing sensitive information of the students such as residential address etc.

In conclusion, the scenario of e-Learning is very different in India in comparison to the rest of the world. While other countries might continue with their virtual classes even after the pandemic recedes, it will take at least another decade for India to be able to eliminate the said hurdles and make e-learning a favourable alternative for every student in the country.   

5.   Impact of lockdown on the Indian economy

In order to understand the extent to which the economy of India has suffered from the lockdown, the Institute for Competitiveness and Times Network performed a detailed Business Perception Survey. They also noted Indian Government’s response to the disruption of businesses due to Covid-19.

From the findings of the survey it has been observed that approximately 71.31 per cent of the businesses were affected by poor cash flows, and the worst hit among all sectors was that of manufacturing sector. Other sectors which have been severely affected by the delay as well as cancellation of projects were retail, non-profit, consultancy, education, and finance.

However businesses have also come up with different approaches by tweaking around their long term plans in the post-lockdown period. With the help of some specific government actions, businesses have been able to move away from short term strategies for cost cutting. For the same reason, cases of deferred payments and salary cuts have come down drastically in the post-lockdown period. Although the government has been focusing on the strengthening of the domestic supply systems, almost 90 per cent of the businesses believe that the focus of the government should be on building up substitutes of imported goods which are also essential commodities.

Nevertheless, it should not be assumed that businesses are in complete support of the protectionist economic system. An overwhelming percentage (47%) of the respondents have stated that they would like to continue their association with the global value chains.

 

6.   Implications of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizen (NRC)

Just like any other topic in a debate, there are arguments for the motion and against the motion. But before diving headlong into the arguments, it is crucial to discuss briefly what these concepts of CAA and NRC are.

What is CAA?

As per the Citizenship Amendment Act, migrants who are Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, Jain, Sikh, and Parsi and have migrated to India illegally on or before 31st December, 2014 from countries of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh and have resided in the country for five years are eligible for an application of Indian citizenship.

What is NRC?

National Register of Citizens or NRC is a list of residents of Assam which is prepared for the purpose of identification of bona fide residents while deporting those who are illegal migrants in the states at the northeastern border of the country. However, from the time of its implementation, there has been a growing demand for its implementation all throughout the country.

Now let’s discuss the arguments in both in favour and opposed to the motion:

Pros:

·        It is essential for all countries to have a register for its citizens. Hence, with the nationwide implementation of the NRC, illegal migrants will be excluded. This would be of great help since India has been struggling for ages with the huge influx of illegal migrants in the eastern and north-eastern states.

·        The CAA claims not to exclude any legal citizen of India based on religion. Moreover it claims to provide a safe haven to those who have faced persecution based on their religion in the neighbouring countries.

·        The act also claims that there is no exclusion of the possibility of granting an Indian citizenship to those meet the terms and conditions despite of belonging to these three major religion.

·        The law has also excluded those residents who are living in the states with an Inner Line Permit.

·        The date of cut-off has been set to 2014 because future immigration is not encouraged.

Cons

·        The law goes completely against the principles of the Indian Constitution, specifically Article 14 which states equality amongst every religion.

·        There are numerous implications in the north-east region since they are sparsely populated, making them more vulnerable to influx of immigrants. This increases the chance of altering the demographics.

·        There were too many flaws in the implementation of the NRC process in Assam. Owing to the Assam Accord, the cut-off dates being fixed on March 1971. The result of such poor implementation policies, innumerable families had to spend their meagre life savings to procure the documents. Yet, many were left out of the list.

·        Although “detention centres” have been built and more are to be added for holding back “illegal immigrants”, it is more of a perquisite to the displacement of millions of people. The problem also escalates since Bangladesh has completely denied its role in outward illegal immigration.

·        The base on the NRC and CAA stands- the theory of numerous illegal migration is set to fail on one most important account- the economy of Bangladesh is at a much better position in comparison to that of India. The growth of Bangladesh’s economy has been almost a double of India (8.1 per cent while India has been stuck at 4.5 per cent). Moreover, the per capita income of Bangladesh is slightly less than that of West Bengal or the Indian average and is also higher than that of Assam.  

·        There also lies the question why Hindus migrating from countries like Sri Lanka and Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar are excluded from the list of eligible candidates who can apply for Indian citizenship.

 

7.   Implications of the abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir

Ever since India’s independence in 1947, presidencies including that of the Deccan, Mysore, and Madras joined hands with the Indian union. Although there was not much of a choice left for many, Kashmir was provided with a chance to choose their side- India or Pakistan. On October 1949, Article 370 was introduced to the Indian constitution and has been a part of the ruling of Jammu and Kashmir.

But there were major shifts brought about by the Modi government in 2019 as Article 370 was removed from the constitution.

But the question arises- what is Article 370 all about?

·        With Article 370 in place, the state government of Jammu and Kashmir has the right to form laws other than sectors of defence, finance, foreign affairs and communications.

·        The Article also provides Kashmir with the right to have its own flag and constitution while restricting the right to ownership. There are also limitation on acquiring citizenship for any outsider or non-resident.

·        Hence, the residents of the state are not liable to follow the laws of the country like the rest of the citizens especially when matters of property ownership and citizenship is involved.

The connection between Article 35A and Article 370

Article 35A was introduced in 1954 which allows local legislatures in Kashmir the right to determine the permanent residents of the area. Activities such as permanent settlement, buying land, holding authoritative jobs or qualifying for scholarships within the borders of the state are also forbidden by the article. Any female resident from Kashmir is also not allowed to marry any non-resident of the state. Hence with the Article 35A in implementation, Article 370 received additional benefits- the power vested in the local authorities by these two articles were greater than that of any other state in the country.

·        Reasons for the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A

·        Preventing terrorist activities on the borders

·        Preventing violation of human rights within the boundaries of the state

·        Maintaining peace, law and order

·        Including residents of Kashmir in the mainstream of the country

·        Developing economic and social stability

 

 Impact of abrogation of Article 370

 Since the discussion of the implication of Article 370 has been on the lines of its benefits based on some broad categories, we shall discuss how the   abrogation of the article has impacted life in Kashmir based on those aspects.

 Internet services

 Jammu and Kashmir faced the longest internet shutdown in the history of democracy (from 4th of August, 2019 to 4th of March, 2020). Moreover, the post   shutdown period only saw the restoration of 2G and broadband internet while 4G is still not available.

 Travel and tourism

 The tourism industry while is responsible for almost 10 per cent of the GDP of J&K has been in shambles since the abrogation of Article 370 as only   50,000 tourists visited the state during this time.

 Economy

 The total loss incurred in ten districts of Kashmir only after 120 days post August 5th 2019 was ₹17,878.18 cr. (as per the Kashmir Chamber of       Commerce and Industry).

 Employment opportunities

Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy or CMIE stated that the percentage of unemployment crossed the threshold of 20 per cent in August 2019 while previously it had decreased significantly for almost 30 months.

 

8.   Detailed discussion on Whatsapp’s new privacy policy

On 16th of January, 2021 many Whatsapp users received a notification that stated that the messaging platform has updated their privacy policies and terms of service. The users have been provided with a deadline of 8th February, 2021 to accept these updated policies and continue using the app. Those who do not wish to agree with these new changes are free to delete their accounts.

However, there has been a lot of confusion regarding these new and updated policies and users are suspecting a possibility of data breach.

So let’s discuss the major changes in the new privacy policy and terms of service of Whatsapp.

“By tapping AGREE, you accept the new terms and privacy policy, which takes effect on February 8, 2021. After this date, you’ll need to accept these updates to continue using Whatsapp. You can also visit the Help Center if you would prefer to delete your account and would like more information.”

From here when we dig deeper into the new privacy policy, it is evident that the manner in which Whatsapp shares information with Facebook, which was completely absent in the older version.

To further elucidate, there is a mention of “other Facebook Companies” and the manner in which they function and support “services, such as to provide technical infrastructure, delivery and other systems; market our Services; conduct surveys and research for us; protect the safety, security and integrity of users and others; and assist with customer service”.

Hence, it evident that with the newest update, Whatsapp now shares its information with third party service providers as well as other Facebook companies who belong to the stature. While previous updates included a crucial declaration –“your Whatsapp messages will not be shared onto Facebook for others to see. In fact, Facebook will not use your Whatsapp messages for any purpose other than to assist us in operating and providing our Services”, the new update has no mention of this information.

Upon deletion of a Whatsapp account, users should also keep in mind that the data stored will not be automatically be deleted. Instead, it will remain stored for a long period of time. It also states that “… when you delete your account, it does not affect your information related to the groups you created or the information other users have relating to you, such as their copy of the messages you sent them.”

 

 Top GD topics of 2021

Four types of GD Topics in MBA admissions.

         Current Affairs Topics

         Abstract Topics

         Business & Economy Topics

         Social Issues

 

 Current Affairs Topics

1.      Impact of COVID-19 on Global economy

2.      Impact of COVID-19 on Indian economy

3.      Impact of COVID-19 on mental health

4.      COVID 19: Importance on spending on Public Health

5.      COVID 19: How India fared in fighting coronavirus compared to developed countries

6.      How prepared is India to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak?

7.      Nationwide lockdown to flatten the COVID 19 curve: Dent on Economy

8.      Coronavirus and lockdown has exposed social inequality in modern India

9.      Farm Bills 2020 – Pros, Cons & Challenges

10.  Lessons for the world from COVID-19 pandemic

11.  Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan: Call for self-reliance

12.  National Education Policy 2020

13.  National Recruitment Agency – Pros & Challenges

14.  National Health ID – Pros, Cons & Challenges

15.  How to revive Indian economy?

16.  Ban on Chinese Apps in India

17.  E-Learning: A substitute for classroom learning?

18.  Work from home – Pros & Cons

19.  Balance between Profession and Family

20.  Private trains in India – Benefits & Challenges

21.  How will 2020 shape 2021?

22.  Does Nepotism exist in Bollywood?

23.  Should mother tongue be the medium of instruction in schools?

24.  Affordable Healthcare in India

25.  Commercialization of health care: Good or Bad?

26.  Digital payments in India

27.  Ever growing air pollution levels – Where does the problem lie?

28.  How can we deal with increasing Cyber Crimes?

29.  Censorship of Web series – Pros & Cons

30.  Unemployment in India

31.  OTT will replace movie theatre

32.  Is social distancing the new world order?

33.  Online education, work from home: Have we arrived in virtual world

34.  Citizenship Amendment Act – What and Why

35.  How will Abrogation of Article 370 improve situation in Kashmir

36.  Should there be a limit to Media Freedom?

37.  Why Individual Data Privacy is important?

38.  Will companies benefit from the Companies Amendment Bill?

39.  Discounts on E-commerce website are harmful in the end

40.  Is India ready for electric vehicles?

41.  Will fake news kill social fabrics of India if unchecked?

42.  Can India afford spending a fortune on projects like Mission to MARS?

43.  Is it still too early for India to have bullet trains?

44.  Making Aadhaar mandatory is not a good idea- for or against

45.  Implication of State Assembly elections at the national level?

46.  Is banning of Pakistani artists from India justified?

47.  Modicare: Will it be an affordable healthcare project?

48.  Implications of CAA-NCR

49.  Doklam Standoff

50.  Free Speech an excuse to polarise

51.  Chadrayaan-2 mission

 

Abstract Topics

1.      Hard Work vs. Smart Work

2.      How important is it to be patient in Business and Management?

3.      Work-Life Balance is a Myth

4.      Building strategies vs. Execution

5.      Self-motivation

6.      First impression is the last impression

7.      Change is the only constant

8.      Leader vs. Follower

9.      Grass may be red, sky could be green

10.  Friends, Enemy or Frenemies?

11.  Innovation vs. Invention

12.  Ethics or Profit?

13.  Freedom: A Myth?

14.  Thoughts on Me Too Campaign

15.  Do we need more entrepreneurs than managers?

16.  Can failures teach you important lessons in life?

17.  Women are better multi-taskers than men

 

 

Business & Economy Topics

1.      Will reduced Goods & Services Tax (GST) help the Indian economy in growing faster?

2.      How is the falling rupee impacting the Indian economy?

3.      How capable in India of leading Solar Energy, Wind Energy revolution?

4.      Cashless Economy – Is India ready for it?

5.      Is MBA necessary to be Successful in Business?

6.      Should the Indian economy be privatized?

7.      Can India become a $5 trillion economy by 2024?   

8.      Blockchain Technology – Pros & Cons

9.      Views on Bitcoin/CryptoCurrency

10.  Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail sector good for India- agree or disagree?

11.  Ways in which Technology is impacting the Banking sector

12.  Agriculture vs. Manufacturing Industry in India

13.  How can we control banking frauds to reduce NPAs?

14.  Minimum Support Price: Is it a Political gimmick?

15.  Is Globalization an Opportunity or a Threat?

16.  How will the deal between Walmart and Flipkart impact the Indian Economy?

17.  Will India be able to double Farmers’ Income in the next 5 years?

18.  Is ‘Startup India’ Boosting Entrepreneurship

19.  India V/s China: Will India remain way behind China?

20.  How beneficial is the merger of Public Sector Banks?

21.  Make in India campaign

22.  High Deficit Financing V/s high interest rates: Can both go together?

23.  Will RERA restore the trust of homebuyers?

24.  Should Business Lobbying be made legal in India?

25.  Demonetization: Discuss its Success & failures

26.  Views on YONO

27.  Is Corruption in Economy the root cause for Indian Economic slowdown?

28.  Views on Merging the General & Railway Budget

29.  Statue of Unity – Symbol of Pride or Wastage of Public Money?

30.  Will Automation and Artificial Intelligence reduce or increase Jobs?

31.  Surcharge on Income Tax (IT) for the Super-Rich     All You Need to Know about Right to Information

 

Social Issues

1.      Success of Swachh Bharat Mission

2.      Smart City Project – How useful will they be?

3.      Social Media: A boon or a bane for the society?

4.      Is Net Neutrality essential to make India Digital?

5.      Will Beti Bachao Beti Padhao abolish the orthodox mindset?

6.      Crime against women

7.      Views on Retirement Homes   

8.      Views on Climate Change Summit

9.      Does Browsing at Workplace affect productivity?

10.  Should national anthem be played in cinema halls?

11.  Rural vs. Urban India

12.  Environment and us

13.  India needs a uniform civil code- For or against?

14.  Give views on the present system of education in our country

 

Some More Topics of Group Discussion

  1. Assertive vs. aggressive communication.
  2. Are e-commerce discounts harmful in the long run?
  3. Did banning of 500 and 1000 notes really uproot the corruption?
  4. Brands rule our lives.
  5. Bullet train is not essential in India
  6. Cashless economy: boon or bane?
  7. Cinema now vs. cinema then.
  8. COVID-19 and its impact on mental health
  9. COVID-19 and job uncertainty
  10. COVID-19 and its impact Economy downturn
  11. COVID-19 and the subsequent change in social fabrics
  12. COVID-19: New Normal or New Abnormal?
  13. COVID-19 and India: is it failure story only? Democratic vs. dictatorship
  14. Does cashless economy help an organisation grow with global perspective?
  15. Does gender bias in portraying women in advertisements over feature or under feature the product?
  16. Dress code or no dress code.
  17. East or West, India is the best
  18. Globalisation: devil or angel?
  19. Greed is good
  20. GST bill’s pros and cons
  21. Hardwork or Smartwork.
  22. How is technology impacting jobs?
  23. How to resolve plastic problem?
  24. If you had to open a restaurant in Kolkata. What would be the factors you would take into consideration?
  25. Is Aadhar card linkage really a blessing?
  26. Is celebrity brand endorsement an effective advertising?
  27. Is Democracy hampering India’s Success?
  28. Is digital marketing taking over traditional marketing?
  29. Is India really ready for a cashless economy?
  30. Is Management an art or science?
  31. Is MBA necessary?
  32. Is social media making us social or unsocial?
  33. Job vs. entrepreneurship
  34. Job in MNC vs. Job in startup
  35. Joint family: good or bad?
  36. Live in relationship: good or bad?
  37. Love marriage vs. arranged marriage 
  38. Make in India
  39. MBA in India is highly over rated.
  40. Mutual fund: is it right investment?
  41. Profits or customers, which one is more important?
  42. Pros and cons of social media
  43. Red vs. Green.
  44. Reservation should be caste based or economy based?
  45. River Ganges pure or impure?
  46. Role of digitalization in the Indian financial system
  47. Role of leadership in an organization
  48. Sabrimala verdict
  49. Share market: gambling or a viable mode of investment?
  50. Should there be reservation in India?
  51. Smart work vs. Hard work
  52. Social media: good or bad?
  53. Social media impact on human behaviour
  54. Social networking sites making people unsocial.
  55. Statue of unity: was it really necessary?
  56. Failure of Indian films in Oscar award competition
  57. Swatch Bharat
  58. The role of technology in financial services
  59. Today’s youth: are they confident or confused?
  60. Trade war and its impact on global economy.
  61. Virat Kohli or Sachin: who is a better player?
  62. Who is the better captain: Virat Kohli or MS Dhoni?
  63. Will e-commerce replace physical stores?
  64. Women are good managers

Women are more complicated than men

The primary purpose of an interview is to transfer information from interviewee to interviewer. Interviews can be formal or informal, structured or unstructured. Interviews can be carried out one-to-one or in groups; they can be conducted over telephone or via video conferencing.