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Initiation Techniques
2. Body of the group discussion
3. Summarization/ Conclusion
Initiation Techniques

Initiating a GD is a high profit-high loss strategy.


When you initiate a GD, you not only grab the opportunity to speak, you
also grab the attention of the examiner and your fellow candidates.
If you can make a favourable first impression with your content and
communication skills after you initiate a GD, it will help you sail through
the discussion.
But if you initiate a GD and stammer/ stutter/ quote wrong facts and
figures, the damage might be irreparable.
If you initiate a GD impeccably but don't speak much after that, it gives
the impression that you started the GD for the sake of starting it or getting
those initial kitty of points earmarked for an initiator!
When you start a GD, you are responsible for putting it into the right
perspective or framework. So initiate one only if you have in-depth
knowledge about the topic at hand.

Body of the group discussion

Different techniques to initiate a GD and make a good first


impression:
i. Quotes
ii. Definition
iii. Question
iv. Shock statement
v. Facts, figures and statistics
vi. Short story
vii. General statement
i. Quotes
Quotes are an effective way of initiating a GD.
If the topic of a GD is: Should the Censor Board be abolished?, you could
start with a quote like, 'Hidden apples are always sweet'.
For a GD topic like, Customer is King, you could quote Sam (Wall-mart)
Walton's famous saying, 'There is only one boss: the customer. And he can
fire everybody in the company -- from the chairman on down, simply by
spending his money somewhere else.'
ii. Definition
Start a GD by defining the topic or an important term in the topic.

For example, if the topic of the GD is Advertising is a Diplomatic Way of


Telling a Lie, why not start the GD by defining advertising as, 'Any paid
form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods or
services through mass media like newspapers, magazines, television or
radio by an identified sponsor'?
For a topic like The Malthusian Economic Prophecy is no longer relevant,
you could start by explaining the definition of the Malthusian Economic
Prophecy.
iii. Question
Asking a question is an impact way of starting a GD.
It does not signify asking a question to any of the candidates in a GD so as
to hamper the flow. It implies asking a question, and answering it yourself.
Any question that might hamper the flow of a GD or insult a participant or
play devil's advocate must be discouraged.
Questions that promote a flow of ideas are always appreciated.
For a topic like, Should India go to war with Pakistan, you could start by
asking, 'What does war bring to the people of a nation? We have had four
clashes with Pakistan. The pertinent question is: what have we achieved?'
iv. Shock statement
Initiating a GD with a shocking statement is the best way to grab
immediate attention and put forth your point.
If a GD topic is, The Impact of Population on the Indian Economy, you
could start with, 'At the centre of the Indian capital stands a population
clock that ticks away relentlessly. It tracks 33 births a minute, 2,000 an
hour, 48,000 a day. Which calculates to about 12 million every year. That
is roughly the size of Australia. As a current political slogan puts it,
'Nothing's impossible when 1 billion Indians work together'.'
v. Facts, figures and statistics
If you decide to initiate your GD with facts, figure and statistics, make
sure to quote them accurately.
Approximation is allowed in macro level figures, but micro level figures
need to be correct and accurate.
For example, you can say, approximately 70 per cent of the Indian
population stays in rural areas (macro figures, approximation allowed).
But you cannot say 30 states of India instead of 29 (micro figures, no
approximations).
Stating wrong facts works to your disadvantage.
For a GD topic like, China, a Rising Tiger, you could start with, 'In 1983,
when China was still in its initial stages of reform and opening up, China's

real use of Foreign Direct Investment only stood at $636 million. China
actually utilized $60 billion of FID in 2004, which is almost 100 times that
of its 1983 statistics."
vi. Short story
Use a short story in a GD topic like, Attitude is Everything.
This can be initiated with, 'A child once asked a balloon vendor, who was
selling helium gas-filled balloons, whether a blue-colored balloon will go as
high in the sky as a green-colored balloon. The balloon vendor told the
child, it is not the color of the balloon but what is inside it that makes it go
high.'
vii. General statement
Use a general statement to put the GD in proper perspective.
For example, if the topic is, Should Sonia Gandhi be the prime minister of
India?, you could start by saying, 'Before jumping to conclusions like, 'Yes,
Sonia Gandhi should be', or 'No, Sonia Gandhi should not be', let's first
find out the qualities one needs to be a a good prime minister of India.
Then we can compare these qualities with those that Mrs. Gandhi
possesses. This will help us reach the conclusion in a more objective and
effective manner.'
Summarization/ Conclusion

Most GD do not really have conclusions. A conclusion is where the whole


group decides in favor or against the topic.
But every GD is summarized. You can summaries what the group has
discussed in the GD in a nutshell.
Keep the following points in mind while summarizing a discussion:

1. Avoid raising new points.


2. Avoid stating only your viewpoint.
3. Avoid dwelling only on one aspect of the GD.
4. Keep it brief and concise.
5. It must incorporate all the important points that came out during the GD.
6. If the examiner asks you to summaries a GD, it means the GD has come
to an end.
You could be asked to discuss anything from economics, sports, politics and the environment, to
philosophy, entertainment, humor and movies.
What to look out for

Look for controversial or debatable topics which could go either way. You will probably be given a
topic which has no black and white consensus. Think about moral and ethical issues, as well as the
practicality of economic and political decisions. Research some important case studies and try to be
well-rounded in your knowledge. You don't want to become an expert in only one area, only to find out
that your given Group Discussion topic has nothing to do with it!
These topics may evolve due to the nature of current affairs. Here's a handy guide to help you out.
The Economy

How the stock market works


The foreign exchange rate, liquidity, basic economic theory
Economic reforms in India
How banking works; ontribution of banking system in economy of the country
The global economic scenario
Derivatives trading
The role of technology in business banking
The pros and cons of globalization
Emerging communication technologies
Foreign exchange rates, capital account convertibility
PM Dhan Jan Yojana - Financial inclusion
Inflation viruses GDP growth
Lokpal bill a step to control corruption
Deregulation of diesel prices
Food security in INDIA
When there is pension why tension
When you invest in share why fear
Cash subsidy- direct benefit scheme will help improve the PDS system
FDI investment is defense and insurance is need of the hour
Disinvestment in govt banks to below 50% stake will help reducing GOVT control
Monitory policy in the preset scenario needs change . dynamics of monitory policy
India needs a new EXIM policy

Political events, opinions and situations

India's case for a permanent seat on the security council of UN


The present situation in Middle Eastern countries such as Iraq, Syria Palestine
The India-US Nuclear deal - is it beneficial or not?
The emergence of ISIS a threat to the world peace
Less Government and good governance
Public sector, private sector and PPP model is need for growth of GDP
Principles of political theories, pros and cons of each ideology, how the most important
governments function
Public sector VS Private sector
Retirement age of politicians
Value base politics
RTI a boon or curse

Debatable topics - issues concerning:

Advertising - fairness, company responsibility, unbiased information


Technology - the replacement of human workers, management, the telecommunications sector,
its role in the economy, problems with technology
Use of Social sites Education or addiction

Present Education system has worsen the levels and skill and unemployment
Women are better managers than man
Language issues in society and in the workplace
The effects of globalization and trade on the world and in India
The "brain drain"
Immigration of village population to urban - a pressure on big cities
Whether GOD exists ?

Here is a sample of questions you may be asked. We'll take a look at the question itself and various
perspectives/ideas you should consider when forming your supporting argument.
Political corruption can be beneficial.
Consider: corruption cuts through the red tape created by bureaucracies; it benefits business
corporations and helps the economy; various case studies of countries where corruption is a part of
everyday life; corruption allows for re-investment into the economy and economic growth; corruption is
subjective and depends on the values and customs of a specific society, individual or organization;
corruption cannot be proven show a negative causal relationship of a bad economy/government
Cons: the cons of corruption can be quite obvious - corruption is undemocratic and unfair, corruption
lowers the standard of living and widens the per capita income of society; issues of ethics, morality and
justice
Does a country or economy become worse if it is corrupt? Or it corrupt because that is the only means
out of getting out of the mess? Is corruption inevitable? Are the laws made to be broken? What about
law loopholes? Consider Indian politics in particular and whether bureaucracy is a hindrance to Indian
economic reforms. Is it better to be honest and inefficient, or corrupt and efficient?
MBA programs should be taxed at higher rates in India.
Consider: given the capacity for those with MBAs to earn higher income, these taxes should be
adjusted accordingly; also consider that taxation is a policy which is decided for masses at large - taxes
should be fixed and not based on profession; MBAs and other professionals are already taxed a
"professional tax", therefore charging an additional higher rate is not required.
Investment in the game of cricket hinders the development of other sports in India.
For: Players need the investment in order to have the best and latest equipment, therefore investment in
other sports is needed; we must have investment in order to compete on a global basis since other
sports such as soccer are much more popular
Against: The Sports Ministry has a fixed budget and needs to allocate money for cricket because it is
so popular; if demands for cricket are high, the department has no other option to fund the sport.
Corporations will sponsor a game which will give them the most publicity, and cricket is arguably the
most important game in India - therefore, these corporations will inevitably sponsor cricket no matter
what.
More Group Discussion questions to get you thinking!

Do you agree or disagree with these statements? Think about the arguments for or
against them.
Democracy has hampered India's progress.
Globalization is good.
Computers result in unemployment.
Men and women will always be unequal in the workplace.
Corruption is the main outcome of democracy in India.

History repeats itself.


NGOs (Non-governmental organizations) have crept in to malpractices and misuse of
donors fund
An India free of the caste system is simply a pipe dream.
E-Commerce the best thing for India.
Is materialism good or bad?
Is management education really necessary to succeed in business?
Should India aspire to be a nuclear superpower?
Advertising is a form of brainwashing.
How will the introduction of hedge funds and the liberalization of foreign exchange
controls impact our market?
The ends justify the means.
Is identity more important than policy?
Greed is good - it is an essential human quality.
The advancement of women's rights is the basis for social development.
Is China a threat to the Indian economy?
Should the concept of arrange marriage still exist?
The environment - whose responsibility is it?
Made in India make in India will relief of our import bill
Global warming a challenge to coming generations
Capital punishment should be banned or not ?
Changing dynamics of our foreign policy

There are roughly four types of group discussion topics:

Factual speech topics


Controversial and argumentative issues
Abstract discussion material
Case studies

Factual topics for a group are - as the word says - about facts.
Indian Media a fourth pillar of democracy
A controversial group discussion topic is a speech topic that has many
controversies, pros and cons.

1. Reservation system has not benefited to real beneficiaries


Abstract group discussion topics are things that cannot be touched, not be easily
defined or formulated. Just think in a creative manner and start a vivid group
discussion with one of these abstract topics to talk about:
1. Bribery in Business
2. Vegetarianism
The fourth type of group discussion topics are so-called case studies. You
determine a problem and together with the other group members you have to
find a satisfying solution. These are small group discussion topic ideas. Just
modify and alter where necessary, these are just guiding light topic ideas:
1. Malpractice in Insurance 2. Work Ethics - Can we shape workers who have the sense that they serve
the company nd community?
3. School Violence - What are the real causes of violence and bullying in
Schools?
4. Minimum Wage - Why should we have a minimum wage or why not?

Educational qualification for Politicians


Necessity of Women Quota Bill in politics for Women Empowerment
Voters, not Political Parties, are Responsible for the Criminalization of Politics
Corruption is the Price we pay for Democracy
Religion should not be mixed with Politics
Should Tainted Ministers Allowed to Contest Elections?
Presidential v/s Parliamentary Form of Government in India
Reservations in the Private Sector
Decreasing defense expenditure and increasing social expenditure is the need of the hour

General Interest
Is India a Soft Nation?
Should Research on Human Cloning be banned?
Should Sting Operations be Carried Out?
Nuclear War cannot be won and should not be fought
Is Swapping Terrorists for Hostages an Encouragement to Plane-Hijackers?
Brain-Drain has to be stopped
Doctors' Accountability to Improve Health-Care
Universal Disarmament is a Must
Is India Aping the Western Obsession with Celebrities?
India at 60: A Senior Citizen?
Unrest in Countries around India
Flexi Timings or Fixed Timings - Which is better at Work?
Individual Brilliance Certainly makes a Difference
Is Paperless Office a Reality or Not?
Rules & Regulation Breed Corruption
Do NGOs in India Really Work for Others OR Work for their Own Vested
Interests?

Science Is A Boon Or Bane


Should Animals be used for Testing New Drugs & Medical Procedures?
Security Cameras & Privacy
Advertisements Cheat People, Hence Should Be Banned
Borderless World: A Threat?
Borderless World: A Myth or Reality?
Secularism has become a Tool to Justify the Wrongs done by the Minorities
What is the Difference between People who do Things Rightly and People
who do Right Things?
Corruption is a Necessary Evil for Success in Any Sphere
Beauty Pageants are a Must
How to Deal with International Terrorism?
Are Peace and Non-Violence Outdated Concepts?
Indian Army as a Career Option
Capital Punishment should be Banned or Allowed?
Is Dependence on Computers a Good Thing?