Why do we have GD ?
Reasons for having a GD y y y y y y y y It helps you to understand a subject more deeply. It improves your ability to think critically. It helps in solving a particular problem. It helps the group to make a particular decision. It gives you the chance to hear other students' ideas. It improves your listening skills. It increases your confidence in speaking. It can change your attitudes.
Strategies for Improving GD Skills for Tutorials & Seminars Asking questions and joining in discussions are important skills for university study. If you find it difficult to speak or ask questions in tutorials, try the following strategies. Observe Attend as many seminars and tutorials as possible and notice what other students do. Ask yourself: y y y y y How do other students make critical comments? How do they ask questions? How do they disagree with or support arguments? What special phrases do they use to show politeness even when they are voicing disagreement? How do they signal to interrupt, ask a question or make a point?
Practice Start practicing your discussion skills in an informal setting or with a small group. Start with asking questions of fellow students. Ask them about the course material. Ask for their opinions. Ask for information or ask for help. Participate Take every opportunity to take part in social/informal discussions as well as more structured/formal discussion. Start by making small contributions to tutorial discussions; prepare a question to ask, or agree with another speaker's remarks. Discussion Etiquette (or minding your manners) Do y y y y y y y Speak pleasantly and politely to the group. Respect the contribution of every speaker. Remember that a discussion is not an argument. Learn to disagree politely. Think about your contribution before you speak. How best can you answer the question/ contribute to the topic? Try to stick to the discussion topic. Don't introduce irrelevant information. Be aware of your body language when you are speaking. Agree with and acknowledge what you find interesting.
Don't y y y y y y Lose your temper. A discussion is not an argument. Shout. Use a moderate tone and medium pitch. Use too many gestures when you speak. Gestures like finger pointing and table thumping can appear aggressive. Dominate the discussion. Confident speakers should allow quieter students a chance to contribute. Draw too much on personal experience or anecdote. Although some tutors encourage students to reflect on their own experience, remember not to generalise too much. Interrupt. Wait for a speaker to finish what they are saying before you speak.
Leading a Discussion You may be in a seminar group that requires you to lead a group discussion, or lead a discussion after an oral presentation. You can demonstrate leadership by: y y y y y introducing yourself and the members of the group stating the purpose of the discussion inviting quiet group members to speak being objective summarizing the discussion
Chairing a Group Discussion When chairing a discussion group you must communicate in a positive way to assist the speakers in accomplishing their objective. There are at least four leadership skills you can use to influence other people positively and help your group achieve its purpose. These skills include: y y y y introducing the topic and purpose of the discussion, making sure all members have approximately the same time, (i.e. no one dominates the discussion by taking too much time) thanking group members for their contribution being objective in summarizing the group's discussion and achievements.
Types of GD
GDs can be topic-based or case-based. Topic based Gds can be classified into three types :1. Factual Topics 2. Controversial Topics 3. Abstract Topics Factual Topics:Factual topics are about practical things, which an ordinary person is aware of in his day-to-day life. Typically these are about socio-economic topics. These can be current, i.e. they may have been in the news lately, or could be unbound by
time. A factual topic for discussion gives a candidate a chance to prove that he is aware of and sensitive to his environment. E.g. The education policy of India, Tourism in India, State of the aged in the nation. Controversial Topics:Controversial topics are the ones that are argumentative in nature. They are meant to generate controversy. In GDs where these topics are given for discussion, the noise level is usually high, there may be tempers flying. The idea behind giving a topic like this is to see how much maturity the candidate is displaying by keeping his temper in check, by rationally and logically arguing his point of view without getting personal and emotional. E.g. Reservations should be removed, Women make better managers Abstract Topics:Abstract topics are about intangible things. These topics are not given often for discussion, but their possibility cannot be ruled out. These topics test your lateral thinking and creativity. E.g. A is an alphabet, Twinkle twinkle little star, The number 10 Case-based GD:Another variation is the use of a case instead of a topic. The case study tries to simulate a real-life situation. Information about the situation will be given to you and you would be asked as a group to resolve the situation. In the case study there are no incorrect answers or perfect solutions. The objective in the case study is to get you to think about the situation from various angles. IIM A, IIM Indore and IIT SOM Mumbai have a case-based discussion rather than topic-based discussion in their selection procedures.
How to Face GD
A group discussion consists of: y y y y y y Communication Skills Knowledge and ideas regarding a given subject Capability to co-ordinate and lead Exchange of thoughts Addressing the group as a whole Thorough preparations
Communication Skills The first aspect is one's power of expression. In a group discussion, a candidate has to talk effectively so that he is able to convince others. For convincing, one has to speak forcefully and at the same time create an impact by his knowledge of the subject. A candidate who is successful in holding the attention of the audience creates a positive impact.
It is necessary that you should be precise and clear. As a rule evaluators do not look for the wordage produced. Your knowledge on a given subject, your precision and clarity of thought are the things that are evaluated. Irrelevant talks lead you nowhere. You should speak as much as necessary, neither more nor less. Group discussions are not debating stages. Ability to listen is also what evaluators judge. They look for your ability to react on what other participants say. Hence, it is necessary that you listen carefully to others and then react or proceed to add some more points. Your behavior in the group is also put to test to judge whether you are a loner or can work in a group. You should be able to convey your thoughts satisfactorily and convincingly before a group of people. Confidence and level headedness in doing so is necessary. These add value to your presentation. In case you are not good at it, you might gain by joining an institute that offers specialized courses in public speaking. For instance, British Council Division's English Language Teaching Centre offers a wide range of courses like conversation skills, business communication skills, business writing, negotiation skills and presentation skills. Mostly people attend these courses to improve their communication skills. Students here are involved in activities which use communication skills and teachers provide inputs, monitor and facilitate the classes. The course at the Centre makes you confident enough to speak before people without any nervousness. Knowledge and Ideas Regarding a Given Subject Knowledge of the subject under discussion and clarity of ideas are important. Knowledge comes from consistent reading on various topics ranging from science and technology to politics. In-depth knowledge makes one confident and enthusiastic and this in turn, makes one sound convincing and confident. Leadership and Coordinating Capabilities The basic aim of a group discussion is to judge a candidate's leadership qualities. The examiner withdraws and becomes a silent spectator once the discussion starts. A candidate should display tactfulness, skill, understanding and knowledge on varied topics, enterprise, forcefulness and other leadership qualities to motivate and influence other candidates who may be almost equally competent. Exchange of Thoughts A group discussion is an exchange of thoughts and ideas among members of a group. These discussions are held for selecting personnel in organisations where there is a high level of competition. The number of participants in a group can vary between 8 and 15. Mostly a topic or a situation is given to group members who have to discuss it within 10 to 20 minutes. The purpose is to get an idea about candidates in a short time and make assessments about their skills, which normally cannot be evaluated in an interview. These skills may be team membership, leadership skills, listening and articulation skills. A note is made of your contributions to the discussion, comprehension of the main idea, the rapport you strike, patience, assertion, accommodation, amenability, etc. Body language and eye contact too are important points which are to be considered. . Addressing the Group as a Whole In a group discussion it is not necessary to address anyone by name. Even otherwise you may not know everyone's names. It will be better to address the group as a whole.
Address the person farthest from you. If he can hear you everyone else too can. Needless to add, as for the interview, attend the group discussion in formal dress. The language used should also be formal, not the language used in normal conversations. For instance, words and phrases like "yar", "chaltahai", "CP", "I dunno", etc. are out. This is not to say you should use a high sounding, pedantic language. Avoiding both, just use formal, plain and simple language. Hinglish, (mixture of Hindi and English) should be discarded. Confidence and coolness while presenting your viewpoint are of help. See that you do not keep repeating a point. Do not use more words than necessary. Do not be superfluous. Try to be specific. Do not exaggerate. Thorough Preparation Start making preparations for interview and group discussions right away, without waiting till the eleventh hour, this is, if and when called for them. Then the time left may not be adequate. It is important to concentrate on subject knowledge and general awareness. Hence, the prime need for thorough preparation. Remember, the competition is very tough. Only 460 candidates make it to the final list from 2.75 lakh civil service aspirants each year. It may so happen that you are called for interviews and group discussions from three or four organizations but are not selected by any. The reason obviously lies in your not being well-prepared. In a group discussion you may be given a topic and asked to express your views on it. Or in a case study GD, students have to read a case study and suggest ways of tackling the problem. For this you should have a good general knowledge, need to be abreast with current affairs, should regularly read newspapers and magazines. Your group behaviour and communication skills are on test, i.e. how you convince the others and how clearly you are able to express your points of view. You should be articulate, generate ideas, not sound boring, should allow others to speak, and adopt a stand on a given subject. During the course of the GD this stand can even be changed, giving the impression that you are open to accommodate others' viewpoints. Additional marks may be given for starting or concluding the discussion. Points to Remember y y y y Knowledge is strength. A candidate with good reading habits has more chances of success. In other words, sound knowledge on different topics like politics, finance, economy, science and technology is helpful. Power to convince effectively is another quality that makes you stand out among others. Clarity in speech and expression is yet another essential quality. If you are not sure about the topic of discussion, it is better not to initiate. Lack of knowledge or wrong approach creates a bad impression. Instead, you might adopt the wait and watch attitude. Listen attentively to others, may be you would be able to come up with a point or two later. A GD is a formal occasion where slang is to be avoided. A GD is not a debating stage. Participants should confine themselves to expressing their viewpoints. In the second part of the discussion candidates can exercise their choice in agreeing, disagreeing or remaining neutral. Language use should be simple, direct and straight forward. Don't interrupt a speaker when the session is on. Try to score by increasing your size, not by cutting others short. Maintain rapport with fellow participants. Eye contact plays a major role. Non-verbal gestures, such as listening intently or nodding while appreciating someone's viewpoint speak of you positively. Communicate with each and every candidate present. While speaking don't keep looking at a single member. Address the entire group in such a way that everyone feels you are speaking to him or her.
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Indian cultural values have nothing to fear from globalization The impact of economic reforms has been that rich people have become richer rich and poor people poorer. Management education is only for the rich. Reservation in parliament for women. The US dollar is no longer a stable currency. The impact of Internet on India. Behind every man there is a woman. Politicians are not interested in the future of our country. Wisdom does not come with age. Corruption is the main outcome of democracy. Is the consumer really the King in India? Globalization verses Nationalism. Conditional access system for cable TV watchers: boon or bane? If India is poorly governed, the reason is that we have designed our system of governance for protecting if not encouraging corruption. Commercialization of health care: good or bad? Should agricultural subsidies be stopped? Do we lag behind China? Who says MNCs are superior to Indian companies? Food comes first, ethics later! To survive in the civilized world one needs to be a hypocrite. Money is the sixth sense without which one can't enjoy the other five. English language as a mode of instruction in primary level. Men and Women are different. Given the present state of affairs, India will remain a developing country forever. IIM's and IIT's encourage only brain drain. Whether reservation to women is beneficial? There is no alternative to Pokhran nuclear test in present scenario. Modern cinema is a boon to Indian society. Should youth indulge in politics? US war on Iraq-justified or not. Role of UN in peacekeeping. Position of Women in India compared to other nations. Environment Management. Is China better than India in software? Should SONIA Gandhi be made the PM BPOs in INDIA Govt contribution to IT Will punch lines rule the Advertisements? Premarital sex India or west, which is the land of opportunities Water resources should be nationalized "BALANCE BETWEEN PROFESSIONALISM AND FAMILY" Is it necessary to ban COCOCOLA in India? About Hockey being the primary game in India.
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Cricket should be banned or not. Present state of Indian Cricket team. Love marriage/Arranged marriage. Advantages of Co-education. How to deal with international terrorism. Is peace and non-violence outdated concepts? A Unipolar World spells disaster for underdeveloped countries like India. What shall we do about our ever-increasing Population? Corruption is the price we pay for Democracy. Foreign Television Channels are destroying our culture. What India needs is a Dictatorship. With media publishing and telecasting trivia, censorship is the need of the hour. KaunBanegaKrorepati is less about knowledge but more about money and personality. Beauty contests degrade womanhood The rise of regional blocs threatens independent nations like India Six billion and one bronze! Is dependence on computers a good thing? Should the public sector be privatized? Is India a Soft Nation? Value based politics is the need of the hour Religion should not be mixed with politics How to deal with high oil prices Our cricketers are not to blame for match fixing Why can't we be world players in industry as we are in software? Multinational corporations: Are they devils in disguise? Should there be limits on artistic freedom (the controversy on Fire). Should there be private universities? Do banning fashion shows and New Year parties save our culture? Are Big Dams Necessary? A Gandhian State selling liquor is an anomaly Bride burning and dowry may look bad, but are an integral part of India. The education system needs serious reforms The impact of MTV on our psyche Showing Violence and Crimes should not be allowed in films and on television. Let us legalize gambling The objective of Management is to maximize profits Do professional managers have a chance in our family run businesses? The Internet is an exercise in hype Smaller businesses and start-ups have more scope for professional growth. Dot com or doubt com? The Wheel is Turning Round and Round There is no right way to do a wrong thing Group Task: How can we have Mount Everest in India? Do Beauty and Brains Go Together? Marriage is a social trap Secularism has become a tool to justify the wrongs done by the minorities.
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Media is a mixed blessing/How ethical is media? To fight Aids, stop being coy about sex education. What should India strive for- Westernization or modernization? Developing countries need trade, not aid. Flexibility of labor laws is the key to attracting more Foreign Direct Investment. Voters, not, political parties are responsible for the criminalization of politics. The voters are required to be well informed and educated about their candidates so that they can elect the right aspirant by their own assessment. India should go for the presidential form of democracy. In our economic matters, there is an excessive tendency towards the thinking rather than doing. Government should clean its own hands before pointing finger at the private sector for corruption. Is the NPA ordinance too harsh? Reforms have to grow up. Is the consumer really the king in India?. If India is poorly governed, the reason is that we have designed our system of governance for protecting, if not encouraging, corruption? Commercialization of health care: Good or Bad? Is the US economy headed the Japanese economy way? Economic freedom not old fashioned theories of development will lead to growth and prosperity. Markets left to themselves encourage greed. For globalization to succeed in India people must be able to see what is in it for them. Should businessmen run the finance ministry Should important services like transport be left to market forces? Is there any point in having a business strategy when the world changes from month to month? Is the patents bill good for India?. Globalization is good for developing countries Public sector being a guarantor of job security is a myth Is industry less growth here to stay? Capitalism is a very flawed system but the others are so much worse? How can business get rid of the bad name that it has earned? Government pumping money into the economy is not the solution for our economic problems Business ethics are no longer a luxury for corporates but a necessity? How should privatization proceeds be utilized? Will Mumbai's film industry ever evolve into a truly modern corporatized one? Why not use a brand index to measure national prosperity?. What we need to reduce scams is better regulatory bodies. War rhetoric is misplaced in a country like India which is trying to globalize its economy. Trade can help the poor? Steal a few lakhs and you're a criminal. Steal a few hundred crores and you become an industrialist. Managerial skills learnt in the classroom can never match those learnt from experience Democracy is hampering India progress Religion is a private affair and should be of no concern for the state Decreasing defense expenditure and increasing social expenditure is the need of the hour Joint family is a blessing in disguise. Higher education should be made possible only for those who can pay for it. The weaker sex is the weakness of the stronger sex.
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Women cannot successfully combine both career and home. Developing countries should spend more on development than on defense. Money is required to earn more money. Classical Music Heritage And The Growing Pop-Culture Nice Guys Finish Last All Work And No Play Makes Jack A Dull Boy Bullet For Bullet: Is It The Right Policy? Should India Break Diplomatic Ties With Pakistan? Age and Youth: Experience And Young Talent East Is East & West Is Where All The Action Is': Mark Twain India Needs Gujral Doctrine For Better International Relations Doctors' Accountability To Improve Health-Care Universal Disarmament Is A Must Indian Cricket Team Shouldn't Be Allowed To Play Abroad Is India moving away from a secularist state? Education in India - or the lack of it What ails Indian sports? The Age of Information Is Philosophy just an armchair theory? Success is all about human relations Borderless worlds - Dream or reality? Quality is a myth in India. Education and success - Is there a correlation? We don't learn from history, we repeat it Do we need a global policeman Indian villages - our strength or our weakness? Agrarian Economy in India - boon or bane if there were no armies in the world...... Indian customs - are we in a time warp? "How green was my valley........ Is nature paying the price? Management Education - Is it necessary to succeed in business The role of NGOs in economics and politics NGOs - Do they serve peoples interests or are they pressure groups? Death of Socialism Role of women in development Kids today are not what they used to be Casteless India - A pipe dream Should Trade Unionism be banned in India Repeated elections - Should taxpayers pay for it? Indian bureaucracy - foundation strengths or colonial hangovers? In India, the whole is less than the parts - Do we lack in team spirit? Generation X - Drivers of our future or are they our lost souls? Do we need a cut in the defense budget? "Dot.com" companies - Is there room for everyone? Artificial Intelligence - Will man be ever replaced by machines? If I were to choose my person of the millennium...
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The entire world is a stage.... When managers become Hamlets... If Patel were our first Prime Minister....... Materialism - Have we sold our souls to the Devil? You've come a long way, baby - The rise and rise of feminist power. Role of ethics in tobacco industry, liquor industry etc. Should gambling be legalized in India? Are we unfit for Democracy? Survival tools for the new millennium Examinations - has it killed education Cultural Invasion through the air waves Should doctors be tried in Consumer Courts Abortion and Euthanasia - Is it morally right for society Are beauty pageants necessary? The relevance of Gandhism today India and the WTO Did India handle the hijack issue properly? Is E-Commerce the best thing for India Managerial skills learnt in the classroom can never match those learnt from experience Democracy is hampering India progress MBA in India is highly overrated. Religion is a private affair and should be of no concern for the state Decreasing defense expenditure and increasing social expenditure is the need of the hour
Hot Topics: 1. 2. 3. How to deal with international terrorism. Should we pursue our policy of dialogue withPakistan? Is peace and non-violence outdated concepts?
Current Topics: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. A Unipolar World spells disaster for underdevelopedcountries likeIndia. Is Globalization Really Necessary? What shall we do about our ever-increasingPopulation? Corruption is the price we pay for Democracy. Foreign Television Channels are destroying ourculture. What India needs is a Dictatorship. With media publishing and telecasting trivia,censorship is theneed of the hour. KaunBanegaCrorepati is less about knowledge butmore about money and personality. Beauty contests degrade womanhood The rise of regional blocs threatens independentnations like India Six billion and one bronze! Is dependence on computers a good thing? Should the public sector be privatized? China and India are similar nations withcontrasting ways Is India a Soft Nation?
16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24.
Value based politics is the need of the hour Religion should not be mixed with politics How to deal with high oil prices Our cricketers are not to blame for match fixing Why can t we be world players in industry as we arein software? Multinational corporations: Are they devils indisguise? Should there be limits on artistic freedom (thecontroversy onFire). Should there be private universities? Do banning fashion shows and New Year partiessave our culture?
Social Topics: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Are Big Dams Necessary? Films are corrupting the Indian Youth A Gandhian State selling liquor is an anomaly Bride burning and dowry may look bad, but are anintegral part ofIndia. Our Culture is Decaying We are not serious about saving Wildlife/Environment The education system needs serious reforms The impact of MTV on our psyche Showing Violence and Crimes should not be allowed in films and ontelevision. Let us legalize gambling
Management Topics: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Is management an art or a science? The Rush for MBA is really a rush for big money Ethics in Business are just a passing fashion The objective of Management is to maximize profits Do professional managers have a chance in our family run businesses? The Internet is an exercise in hype Is an MBA necessary to succeed in life? Family owned business vs professionally run businesses Smaller businesses and start-ups have more scope for professionalgrowth. Dot com or doubt com?
Creative Topics: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. The Wheel is Turning Round and Round If I was the Finance Minister/Prime Minister There is no right way to do a wrong thing Group Task: How can we have Mount Everest in India? Do Beauty and Brains Go Together? When I woke up in the morning I saw A ship docked in harbor cannot face the storms Up the Down Staircase Just as we have smoke free zones, we should have child free zones Marriage is a social trap
SOCIAL TOPICS: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. The Internet chains have come on the wings ofscience andtechnology but are no less restrictive for all that. Secularism has become a tool to justify the wrongsdone by theminorities. Media is a mixed blessing/How ethical is media? To fight AIDs, stop being coy about sex education. What should India strive for- Westernization ormodernization?
ECONOMIC TOPICS: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Developing countries need trade, not aid. Why do we lag behind China? Capitalism is a very flawed system but the othersare so muchworse. Flexibility of labor laws is the key to attractingmore ForeignDirect Investment. Is the business of business only business?
POLITICAL TOPICS: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Reserving seats for women in Panchayat has not onlybeen a farce buthas distracted from developing a more genuine voice ofwomen. Have the nuclear tests of 1998 benefited or harmedIndia? Voters, not, political parties are responsible forthe criminalization of politics. The voters are required to be well informed andeducated abouttheir candidates so that they can elect the rightaspirant by their ownassessment. India should go for the presidential form ofdemocracy.
ECONOMIC TOPICS: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. In our economic matters, there is an excessivetendency towards thethinking rather than doing. Every cloud has a silver lining Can the economy achieve an 8 percent growth rate?. Is disinvestment really that good for India or is arethink inorder? Are co-operatives relevant in today's globalized environment?. Foreign aid is a dangerous drug that can stimulatein small doses butbecome fatally addictive in larger doses. Modern day sport in industrialized society is anindustry, asanything else. Government should clean its own hands beforepointing finger at theprivate sector for corruption. Is the NPA ordinance too harsh? Reforms have to grow up. The future lies with globalization. Is the consumer really the king in India? Globalization versus nationalism Conditional access system for cable TV watchers:boon or bane? If India is poorly governed, the reason is that wehave designed oursystem of governance for protecting, if notencouraging,corruption? Commercialization of health care: Good or Bad? For globalization to succeed in India people mustbe able to seewhat is in it for them Is the US economy headed the Japanese economy way? Economic freedom not old fashioned theories ofdevelopment will leadto growth and prosperity Markets left to themselves encourage greed.
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For globalization to succeed in India people mustbe able to seewhat is in it for them Should businessmen run the finance ministry Should important services like transport be leftto marketforces? Is there any point in having a business strategywhen the worldchanges from month to month? Is the patents bill good for India? Is the business of business only business? Globalization is good for developing countries Public sector being a guarantor of job security isa myth. Is industryless growth here to stay? Capitalism is a very flawed system but the othersare so muchworse? How can business get rid of the bad name that ithas earned? Government pumping money into the economy is notthe solution forour economic problems Business ethics are no longer a luxury forcorporates but anecessity? How should privatization proceeds be utilized? Is the budgeting exercise of any use? Should agricultural subsidies be stopped? Will Mumbai's film industry ever evolve into atruly moderncorporatized one? Will market reforms enrich rich states further,while poorer oneslag further?. Why do we lag behind China? Who says MNCs are superior to Indian companies?. Why not use a brand index to measure nationalprosperity?. What we need to reduce scams is better regulatorybodies. War rhetoric is misplaced in a country like Indiawhich is trying to globalize its economy. Trade can help the poor? The power ministry should cut off supplies to allthe defaultingSEBs. Steal a few lakhs and you're a criminal. Steal afew hundredcrores and you become an industrialist. Should PSUs be divested through strategic sale orpublic offer? 48.The state is above the law?
Management Education Topics 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Managerial skills learnt in the classroom can nevermatch thoselearnt from experience Democracy is hampering India progress MBA in India is highly overrated. Religion is a private affair and should be of noconcern for thestate Decreasing defense expenditure and increasingsocial expenditure isthe need of the hour