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GROUP DISCUSSIONS

Procedure Progress subject. I mean, each one with his


neighbour before you interrupted. At
As soon as the back of the examiner least I was talking about it to No. 6. I
The Group Discussion (GD) is turned, the candidates feel a bit free. also saw others talking to one another,
procedure involves summoning of the The tension is eased and they start but I do not know what they talked
candidates of approximately same age, talking in low murmurs with their about. You can be sure most of us have
educational and experience level, neighbours. While one or two remain been discussing the subject only. Now,
competing for the same job or silent, there are others who indulge in you are holding up our discussions.
opportunity and subjecting them to a whispered conversations, asides and No. 3 : (Smiling) I do agree with
GD Test. In this group there are six cross-talks. Soon the tempo of these you, No. 1. Most of us have been talking
candidates who are seated in a closed asides and conversations increases and to our neighbours, friends. As you said
circle, which enables each to observe the volume of the noise goes up leading we have been talking in asides and cross
the other members of the group without to confusion as all seem to be talking at talks. But, as you would all readily agree,
any hindrance. Each candidate has been one and the same time. At this stage, that is not a Group Discussion.
assigned a roll number, also called as we find No. 3 raising his voice to the No. 2 : All right man, do not talk in
chest number, since the number printed extent he could be heard by all in the riddles. For heaven’s sake, tell us plainly
on a cloth is worn on the chest. Thus, group and addressing the entire lot. what you want us to do.
not only the candidates, but also the No. 3 : (Displaying a friendly, No. 5 : Why ask No. 3 ? I suggest we
examiners can readily recognise who is disarming smile and sincere warmth)
elect a leader. He can conduct the
doing what in the group. During the Friends, may I seek your kind attention
discussion and tell us what to do.
test, each member of the group is for one moment please. Pardon me for
No. 3 : Thank you, No. 5. I suppose
addressed by this chest number. For the my interruption, but I have something
it will be a good idea to have a chairman.
GD Test, none from the group is important to say. And, of course, it
But I got the impression that the
designated as chairman, president or concerns all of us.
examiner did not favour our electing a
leader. On the other hand, the candidates (The confident and assured manner in
chairman. Now, No. 1, will you agree to
have been informed that it is only an which No. 3 addresses others and his
act as the chairman ?
informal friendly chit-chat and they can pleasant, friendly approach bring
immediate silence and order in the group. No. 1 : No, no, not me please. You
carry on the discussion in whatever way say the examiner didn’t favour the idea.
they want. The group is given 25 to 30 The asides, whispers, cross-talks, etc.,
cease and all eyes are turned towards No. Then why do you ask me to be the
minutes to complete the exercise. chairman ? Do you want me to get
3. Since he mentioned that he had
something of interest to speak about, the blacklisted ?
Presentation curiosity of all is aroused.) No. 5 : Well, I did not hear the
No. 1 : Yes No. 3. You said that you examiner telling us not to have a
We present here the tape-recorded had something of common interest to chairman. I thought he gave us full
version of a ‘live’ Group Discussion tell us. Pray, go ahead. freedom.
conducted at the Competition Success No. 3 : Well, dear friends, we have No. 4 : You are very right No. 5.
Institute. The expert examiners of the been given a task in this test, which is The examiner did not spell it out in so
Institute have given their comments at to discuss the subject : “To Become A many words. But, if you all remember,
appropriate places which will help our Superpower India Must Urgently he emphasised that this is only a friendly
readers to appreciate correctly the Achieve Total Self-sufficiency In Nuclear chit-chat and not a formal debate. He
various aspects of the Group Discussion And Economic Spheres”. Our success clarified that anyone can say anything as
Test and understand the exercise better. in this test will greatly depend on our and when he feels like. There is no
ability to complete this task, that is, the need for voting, etc. But all the same
The examiner, after explaining the group discussion on this subject within everything was left to us. Therefore, if
task, the modus operandi and subject for the time-limit set by the examiner. You we wish to have a chairman, we can
the discussion, withdraws to the all know that he has given us half-an- certainly have one. Now that No. 1 has
background leaving the group completely hour to complete the discussion. I am declined to act as chairman, what about
free to carry on with the discussion on afraid, already five minutes are over and you No. 5 ? Would you like to be the
its own. Though not visible to the group, we are yet to begin the discussion. Let chairman please ? If there are other
he is able to observe and listen to the us rush things a bit to complete our contestants or volunteers, then we can
group deliberations from his seat behind task in time. go in for an election.
the smoked glass screen. No. 1 : No. 3, What is your problem ? No. 1 : You can ask No. 6, who is my
We have already been discussing the neighbour here. Earlier, he was telling

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me that he was the college union ideal, we do not have time for all these. to it that they had their due share of
president. Secondly, these are not required for a opportunity to express their views and
No. 3 : Let us first ask No. 2. It is friendly chit-chat. All that is required play their part in the group task. Thus,
his idea that we should have a leader. here is for everyone to express his views No. 3 has emerged as the natural and
No. 2 : No, thank you. I don’t want to the group on the subject. No. 1 said able leader with ideas and resourcefulness.
to be the president. It looks to me that that No. 6 is a good speaker. Let us Nos. 2, 5 and 6 have followed suit and
No. 3 is right after all. A friendly chit- then start with him. Thereafter, we go given support to No. 3. But they did not
chat and a formal president who will in clockwise fashion, which means after display enough dash and enterprise to
conduct a debate do not go together. 6, it would be No. 1, then 2, 3, and so capitalise on the opportunities offered to
No. 3 : Okay, No. 6. That leaves you on till we finish the round with No. 5. them. None of them agreed to be the leader.
as the sole volunteer to act as president. After the first round, we can repeat the No. 3 being the natural leader did not
You can take charge and proceed process for the second round. Now. No. require any official mantle. Further, we
further. You have to hurry as we might 6, please go ahead. find that No. 3 has always placed the
have already eaten up five minutes by Comments : Since no leader was interest of the group and those of others
now. designated, initially we found some delay, ahead of his own. Thus, he did not
No. 6 : What is the point ? You all suspense and confusion in the group volunteer to be the official chairman or the
have said that a president is not activity getting started. There were only first speaker. Unofficially, he has been both
necessary. No. 2 has himself changed asides and cross-talks in the beginning. and that is the secret of his success.
his mind. At this stage, No. 3 displayed initiative, No. 6 : Gentlemen, I wish, first of
No. 2 : Hey No. 5, as I said in the assumed responsibility and becomes the all, to No. 3 and of course, everyone
beginning, you can tell us how we natural leader. He cleared the ground and else also in the group for giving me the
could go about the task and complete it asked the group to come to grips with its honour and privilege to be the opening
successfully. Come on. Let us hurry, task. After posing some challenge to No. 3 speaker in this Group Discussion. I feel
please. in the opening phase, No. 2 extended good honoured because this is a ver y
No. 3 : Friends, I submit that each support to No. 3. When there was strong distinguished and elite gathering. All of
one of us talk on the subject for two opposition from No. 5, the situation was you are graduates and post-graduates of
minutes in the first round. Or, shall I handled with tact and imagination by No. distinction, each one a scholar and a
say, for not more than two minutes, 3. The opportunity to act as chairman specialist in his field and in his own
please. Thus, every one of us will get a was offered by No. 3 to Nos. 2, 5 and 6, right. To be frank, I feel diffident to
chance to place his views before the but all declined the offer. Thus, No. 3 face such an august gathering and that
group. After one round is over, we can stood fully vindicated in his views and is the reason I did not venture on my
have another round to counter the stand. Again it was left to him to find a own to covet the honour of being the
arguments or answer criticism. workable solution and he ably motivated individual to inaugurate the proceedings,
No. 5 : Who will start the ball No. 6 to start the discussion. We find all despite the good natured promptings
rolling ? Also who are to be Nos. 2, 3, those, including No. 5 and No. 1 who made by my esteemed friend, No. 1
4 and so on speakers ? We have to decide voiced some opposition to No. 3, ultimately (Turning to No. 3), Mr. Chairman, Sir you
those things also. becoming his ardent and willing followers. are the Chairman in fact, indeed, the de
No. 2 : Why don’t you be the first Besides No. 3, Nos. 2, 5, 1 and 4 have facto leader, President and Chairman.
speaker No. 5 ? participated actively and on their own Like an uncrowned, but most beloved
No. 5 : Why not you, No. 2 ? during the preliminary phase. No. 6 has monarch, you are, Sir, our dearest
No. 1 : What about those who should remained as mere spectator and no active Chairman. The second reason is my
speak for the motion and those against contribution was made by him. He did not personal weakness. Well, my dearest
it ? We must know who is going to be speak or express any opinion. He did not friends, I am not overstating the fact
on which side. Then only the order and volunteer to be the chairman or the opening when I tell you that this may be the
sequence of speakers can be decided. speaker. As a consequence, he has been 1000th time that I am addressing such
No. 3 : One minute, please. ignored by the active participants. meetings. But, I have never addressed
Although, what No. 1 says would be However, No. 3 as a good leader, has seen a gathering till date which did not have

WINNING THE FIRST IMPRESSION


Remember, you may not get a second chance to create a first impression. You can impress people even before you say
a word. Your inner mind should glow, which must be reflected on your face. Your movements and posture must be active,
positive, alive and responsive to make you acceptable immediately to the group, as also to your examiner who is behind
the curtain and is watching every movement of yours. Your body language should reflect your confidence, openness,
readiness and cooperation; your eyes should radiate sincerity, friendliness and positive ideas; your voice should reflect
your warmth and the depth of your knowledge, so that you can draw everybody’s attention the moment you initiate your
presentation. Be a problem-solver rather than a problem-creator. Lead the discussion to a positive end.

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a Chairman or President. Since I am talk about the subject proper during the validity in India’s claim to be a nuclear
addicted and accustomed to address the second round. I would like to hear the state. My honest opinion on this issue is
honourable Chairman, it is but natural views of No. 6 and also our President that it is still not plausible to praise or
that I cannot overnight talk to a first, before I offer my own. (Turning to lambast the deal until the Agreement
gathering without a Chairman, all the No. 3) Yes Sir, you are looking at the 123, the decisive and final step in that
more so, when we are privileged to have watch. The time is up and I stop now. direction, gets the nod of the American
a born President in our midst. Comments : No. 1 is just an imitator Congress and the President. However, I
No. 3 : (At this stage No. 3 tactfully and lacks originality. He is also devoid of wish to say categorically that self-
interrupts him) Thank you No. 6. As an ideas as he avoids the subject even after sufficiency in nuclear power generation
opening speaker you have done an being told about it. Further, his forgetting alone can lead to our autonomy, which
admirable job. Now the time is over. We the subject itself indicates his lack of precisely implies a policy free from the
all will be eagerly looking forward to interest and enthusiasm. He did not inter vention of the US or any other
hear you again during the second round. volunteer to speak when the opportunity global power. And unless we have an
Now No. 1, your turn please. was offered to him. Instead he passed the independent nuclear and defence policy,
Comments : No. 6 has got the gift of baby on to No. 6. he will be of no use to it cannot be possible to attain the
the gab and possesses fluent and powerful the organisation. superpower status. Simultaneously, we
expression. But he is not realisatic, rational No. 2 : Well, thank you all. I want should also keep it in mind that economic
or logical. He lacks organisational sense. India to have nuclear bomb. India must self-sufficiency is inextricably linked to,
He beats about the bush all the time and be like America, China and Russia. Then or say, complementary to nuclear self-
has not referred to the subject even once. we don’t have to go to foreign countries. sufficiency until we develop the strength
May be he is shallow and lacking in ideas. We can get everything here. We have and prowess of evolving an indigenous
He tries to impress the group by praising got many scientists. We can do better model of development and keep looking
No. 3 and using bombastic and flowery than Pakistan. I vote for the proposition. for ward to Western aid in different
language. A humbug. Comments : Candidate No. 2 is spheres, we shall be bound to remain
No. 1 : Gentlemen, having heard talking in fits and starts in and incoherent dependent on the US and other
the wonderful opening speech of No. 6, manner. His ideas are limited and hazy. developed nations. In that situation, the
I really get nervous to stand up before He is unable to analyse the problem in possibility of economic self-sufficiency
you and make a speech. To be frank, I depth, arrange his ideas according to their will be seriously impeded. That may, in
am no match to No. 6, or for that matter, importance and priority and argue his case turn, stymie our progress on the path of
I can’t even rate myself as a patch on in an analytical and objective manner. As nuclear self-sufficiency as well. The
the subject, Mr. President. (He looks up this candidate is confused and lacking in relationship between the two is quite
to No. 3) Well, Sir, since No. 6 has named organising ability, his chances of becoming evident. In fact, without economic self-
you as President, I am duty-bound to a successful leader are remote. At best, he sufficiency, we cannot master the best
follow his tradition. (At this stage, No. 2 could serve as a follower and be useful and most advanced technologies, which
slowly whispers to No. 1). when able guidance is available to him. are very cost-intensive and warrant an
No. 2 : No, the subject is “ To No. 5 : Friends, one of the most hotly impeccable system of maintenance. Here,
Become A Superpower India Must debated issues today is whether India can it should also be kept in mind that
Urgently Achieve Total Self-sufficiency emerge as a full-fledged nuclear power attaining the status of a global super
In Nuclear And Economic Spheres.” or not. Following the civil nuclear deal power certainly implies for us nothing
No. 1 : (No. 1 hastily adds) Well, between India and the US, the debate short of competing with the US. Now,
No. 2 you can speak louder. I want to be has assumed greater significance. The China is also surging on that track with
correctly informed about it by the most critical question that has arisen from giant steps. So, it is even more imperative
President, I mean No. 3. Never mind. this debate is about the autonomy of our today to realise that if we are really keen
As No. 6 has demonstrated, we can speak nuclear capability. While critics of the deal to emerge as a global superpower, we
on any subject equally well. Our dub it as a blatant assault on our hitherto must adopt policies that may effectively
esteemed Chairman said that this is a independent nuclear policy, its realise the twin goals of economic as well
friendly chit-chat and everyone has full supporters articulate the view that the as nuclear self-sufficiency. We can’t forget
freedom to express his honest and deal is the outcome of a fairly pragmatic that it was the denial of nuclear
humble opinion. Sorry No. 2, I will also thinking and is bound to infuse more technology by the US in the past that

group discussion
In a formal debate the chairman or the president acts as the leader, sets the ball rolling, functions as an arbiter and gives
decisions. In a formal selection or interview, the chairman and the members of the interview board function as leaders. They
decide the questions to be asked and the candidate has to follow the lead set by them. On the other hand, in the Group
Discussion Test, the examiner does not act as the leader. He totally withdraws to the background, once the subject is
introduced and stays behind as a silent observer. The group starts discussion on its own. It is here that the candidate is called
upon to prove his mettle among his equals, who, incidentally, are also his competitors, and emerges as the leader, successfully.

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gave us chance and determination to world into a battlefield but to establish
develop our own nuclear technology and peace by using its untapped potential WINNING STRATEGY
weapons. And the year 1998 proved to be for development. Moreover, with so It doesn’t matter, if you don’t always
a watershed in that regard when we many countries heading for acquiring hit the bull’s eye. The other rings
successfully conducted a series of nuclear nuclear capability, it will automatically in the target score points too.
tests. Subsequently, defying all sanctions become redundant as is the case with
imposed by the US and other countries poisonous gases and chemical warfare. to the user and his civil population. But
in the wake of the 1998 nuclear tests, we Also, with the fast proliferation of atom or nuclear bomb can be dropped
tirelessly kept working for the peaceful nuclear capability by many countries, the on major cities and industrial centres as
and non-abusive uses of nuclear acquisition of nuclear strength would was done in Hiroshima and Nagasaki of
technology. This factor has forced the act as a deterrent rather than for an Japan. If we have no capacity for nuclear
US to re-orient its thinking which was attack. It is crucial, therefore, to lay retaliation then Pakistan and its ally
reflected in the agreement upon the emphasis on making use of nuclear China can blackmail us. Secondly, we
2006 civil nuclear deal between the two power for the development in different cannot depend on the goodwill of the
countries. The strategic indispensability sectors. One great advantage of nuclear Big Powers. They will put their own
of this deal was discussed and further power is that it can be a much more interests before ours. What is worse, to
re-asserted by the two sides during cost-effective and enduring means of get their protection, you have to become
bilateral talks between Prime Minister energy than various other exhaustible a satellite of the superpower, mortgaging
Dr. Manmohan Singh and President sources on which we depend today. It your independence and sovereignly. No.
Mr. George W. Bush on the sidelines of can spur all-round development and 6 also spoke of economic and social
the G-8 summit at Heilingendamm reduce the burden of poverty by problems. But I wish to emphasise that
(Germany) on June 6, 2007. While we facilitating power consumption at a national security and sur vival take
can’t outrightly reject the possibility of cheaper rate. We are still far behind precedence over everything else.
some ‘compromise’ on western countries in developing Since power shortage is the big bane
our part, we should not lose sight of the advanced technologies and means for the to our economic development, I
positives that the deal entails for us. So, production of nuclear power for peaceful appreciate Prime Minister
it is high time we should start evolving a means. But our policy makers should Dr. Manmohan Singh’s recent deal with
broad, futuristic perspective to capitalise consistently strive towards that goal the US President, Mr. George W. Bush
on the possible advantages accruing from without sacrificing our national interests which will ensure the latest technology
the deal instead of being too much on the chessboard of global deplomacy. and supply of reactor fuel uranium
hypercritical. Unless we do so, it will be impossible to exclusively to generate power.
Comments : No. 5 reveals excellent have both economic and nuclear self- However, on military side, we should
grasp over the subject. His views are sufficiency. never compromise. Even in the civil
highly matured and realistic. He has been Comments : No. 4 has spoken well nuclear deal between India and the US,
very successful in creating a strong as and argued a difficult case with India has been successful in keeping its
well as favourable impact on the group by remarkable imagination and persuasion. strategic nuclear programme i.e., its
his positive and dynamic approach. A He has been quite successful in creating a weapons programme, out of public eye.
positive leader with proven capacity. very favourable and strong impact on the It has also retained the power to decide
No. 4 : Friends, there are many group with his performance. He has plenty the status of all its future nuclear
countries today which have either of ideas and his arguments are rational, reactors – whether civil or military. In
acquired or are likely to acquire nuclear methodical and with training his mildness this context, we should not have agreed
capabilities in future. It implies that the can be easily overcome. to open even our civil nuclear facilities
ability to produce nuclear weapons is no No. 3 : Friends, our friend No. 4 to IAEA (International Atomic Energy
longer the monopoly of only the world’s has brought out some new points and I Agency) inspections since it would cap
so-called big powers. As mentioned by think it is important that we take a Indian nuclear arsenal by separating
No. 3, besides India and Pakistan, Israel closer look at some of them. As you militar y and civil reactors. Further,
and Iran too seem to have gained nuclear would appreciate they are not only separating the civilian reactors from the
capability. Canada, Australia, Libya, Spain, controversial but have a vital bearing on military, according to some experts, may
North Korea, and some South American the security and defence aspects of our be a quite difficult, if not impossible task.
countries are also said to possess country. To be brief, the theme of No. Comments : No. 3, who has been
nuclear capability. However, even as 6’s presentation is that India should not displaying initiative and taking part in the
these countries are hell-bent on giving aim to go nuclear. His hope is that since group’s deliberations from the early stages,
palpable shape to their nuclear ambition, poison gas has gone out of use, nuclear has now demonstrated that he has the
there is a growing realisation that arms weapons will also go out of use. In my resources and ability to stand up to stiff
race cannot solve any problem but only considered view, this is not a correct competition and challenge and turn the tide
create more problems. So, it is being comparison. In the case of poison gas, it in his favour. He has a good and firm grip
stressed that the basic objective of was meant for the front-line troops and on the subject. His ability to persuade and
developing means for nuclear power subject to wind and other climatic motivate others, especially under adverse
generation should not be to turn the conditions. It could cause more damage circumstances is very high.
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