GD Monday – ‘The Odd-Even Formula Mooted By The Delhi Government Is A Great Initiative’ – Week 3

The new season of GD Mondays is in its 3rd week.


You can view the first weeks GD Monday discussion on ‘Celebrities Can Escape Crime’ – Week 1, here.

For the second weeks GD Monday discussion on ‘Make In India, A Success’ – Week 2, click here.


Is the Delhi governments odd-even formula working in Delhi? Or is it a failed attempt at crippling the city’s air pollution issue? What is your view?



This is how it will work:

1) Users can post their arguments in the comments section below by logging in through their user id.

2) You can argue and counter-argue on the topic for the entire week.

3) The thread will be moderated by Team InsideIIM to ensure the discussion is kept relevant and is not abusive.

4) On Saturday, experts and industry professionals at InsideIIM (all ex-IIM, XLRI, ISB only) will rate each argument on the thread on the scale of 10 with some guidance.

This cannot replace the experience of the actual GD but this exercise will surely help you shape your line of thought. While we may not be able to help you here with your delivery, we ensure that if you go through these next few weeks with us on this thread you will markedly improve your content. Hopefully, there will be more substance when you actually speak in a GD after going through this exercise.


Find the 2013-14 season of GD Monday here.

Find the 2014-15 season of GD Monday here.




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Tony Sebastian

Last year, the World Health Organization conducted a study of 1600 cities and Delhi was named as the most polluted. We have a real problem in Delhi. Pollution at the level present in Delhi currently is severely harmful. As many as 10,000 people a year may die prematurely in Delhi as a result of air pollution. Clearly, something had to be done. The government of Delhi has initiated the Odd-Even policy to tackle this issue and although some consider it to be an outlandish concept it really isn’t. Look at Beijing, Paris or Rome; All of these ‘Megacities’ implemented similar Odd-Even policies when faced with problems of severe pollution. The Odd-Even policy may seem like a burden to many but the immense pollution and the tremendous burden it imposes on us far outweighs it. The Odd-Even Policy has been implemented in Delhi to curb both air pollution and traffic congestion. As of now, it seems to be succeeding on both fronts although we need to wait for a greater time period to suggest a direct cause and effect relation by excluding other factors that are influencing the results. Realizing that there are various other contributions to air pollution and exemptions in the policy make it harder to implement, the Delhi Government is studying the impacts of this policy so that it will be in a better position to formulate a comprehensive plan to combat pollution and to make Delhi’s air breathable. As a first step to a bigger framework, the Odd-Even Policy is a successful measure against pollution, however putting curbs on vehicles without tackling the major impact the industrial plants have on pollution, it would not amount to much.
The people in Delhi, realize the problem of Pollution and are working together to make it a better place to live.

Team Insideiim

Very good approach highlighting the pollution problem in Delhi and then moving to Odd-Even specifically. If you can talk as well as you type, you’ll be through. 8/10

Tony Sebastian

Almost all major policy decisions aimed at curbing something regardless of the purpose has lead to people devising ways to circumvent the system. A particularly important part of the effective implementation of a policy decision is the support of the people. Some may say that people might buy 2 cars only to circumvent this system and drive on both days, but the Delhi Government is investing in the Public Transportation System in Delhi so that even if so inclined, people would not need to circumvent the system for greater convenience. Look at previous instances of such policies in action, they are temporary curbs aimed at reducing pollution when they reach harmful levels. Purchasing new vehicles to circumvent the system for a temporary policy seems highly improbable as the costs incurred would not be compensated by any value gained in doing so, and most people would not adopt this practice.

Vaibhav Mangla

In a survey recently it was emphasized that Delhi’s least polluted area is more polluted than Beijing most polluted area, also Delhi High Court termed living in Delhi as living in “Gas Chamber”. So given the grave situation in Delhi it has been a bold and efficient move for curbing pollution. We have seen the similar steps being used in some of the cities in the world when the situation is out of hand and the results of it has been encouraging. Not only it will help in reducing traffic but will also make people more adaptive to public transport and make it more efficient. The other steps like banning diesel cars and increasing environment cess tax for trucks entering Delhi are the steps which have also been implemented for reducing pollution. So rather than criticizing we should see the positives of the move and help in its success.

Team Insideiim

Good follow up to the first argument. especially since you brought up new points around diesel vehicles ban etc. Delhi High court’s ‘gas chamber’ comment shows you read the papers. 7.5/10

Akshay Bhargava

Agreed. A great,bold,non-political focussed move by Delhi government. Alarming situation demands co-operation from all walks of life. A 15 day trial would give a nice insight how it could be taken further,but it creates awareness among people regarding pollution. Also Supreme/High Court though exempted showed willingness to join the movement is an example set before public. opposition will keep pointing out flaws but government must take this mini step to big front.
To add,recently concluded Paris Climate Talks was closely watched by many people and hope all countries come together to build a good environment for coming generation. Everyone must together to build a nice future for ourselves.
Save Planet Earth from uneven disturbances in climate.

Team Insideiim

Paris Climate talks – good that you brought it up but you should have built on that point further. Rest was competent but no other real new point. 6.5/10

Raj Ram

More than 8 millions vehicles in the city,around 1400 vehicles added daily on road,Hving appx 16.7 million population,N infamous for being top most pulluted city in the world n consistant increase in air pollution level has bought odd even plan to curb this pollution.which was earlier tried in Rome Paris Beijing etc. Running odd numbered vehicles on odd day n even on even day frm 8am to 8pm on trial basis for 15dys shown some hope frm govt n people to curb ths death threat. Increase use of secured public transport,allowing limited vehicle regstrn wud surely help to make OE wrth to try. But more than this an individual concern fr envirnmnt wud set realy long trm measures to curb pollution. Its nt abt ths or tht its tht Smthng has initiated to curb d evil of pollution.

Raj Ram

Whn CNG was introduced there were lots of doubts abt hw it wil wrk evn nt hvng cng fuel pumps,doubts over security hazards,but now it is widely accepted. Yes delhi lacks proper public transport facilities but this wud b gud step to look frwrd on improving PT on different scales. Apart frm in state vehicles thousands of other states vehicles entering delhi also add pollution to delhi. OE surely give some relief bt ultimately to reduce pollution, Measures toward pollution creating entities must be monitered on strict norms .

Team Insideiim

Hope that you know you can’t write a WAT the way you have written this argment using sms typing. You have spoken about a lot of things but a lot of them are a repetition. So late in the GD you need to come up with more points. Having said that if you do get a chance to talk so long you will get decent points. 6.5/10

Rajshree Gupta

Too philosophical to start with but people change when change is the only option left. Any experiment in its nascent stage may find stiff resistance from people on which it is imposed. The ray of hope is that the Delhi public has mixed views on the odd-even experiment. There are many who have happily agreed to the notion and are abiding by the law. The success of any public policy depends on how public takes it. Delhi comprises of different sections of people. Middle class who, mostly, cannot afford to buy a new car but would rather go for a car pool (money saving) would make a contribution in reducing the pollution. On the other hand, the rich class who can afford to have odd and even numbered car may think of circumventing the law and can easily do it. More appropriately, the ratio of ‘for the policy’ to ‘ against the policy’ will decide the course of odd even scheme. While the media projects a good number of people in favor of getting out of their comfort zones and use the public transportation is a silver lining for this policy.
Although my point comes from the psychology, but a few facts say that if you practice a habit for 21 days, it can be a usual routine. Odd even policy is a short term viable solution. It might show Delhi citizens a better pollution free Delhi. Moreover, citizens want to contribute in reducing pollution but are unable to do so because of their usual accustomed lifestyle. Odd even policy can prove to be an opportunity to get out of their cocoon and do their bit for a better nation.

Team Insideiim

It’s refreshing because it is a different take on the topic. Without making the topic about pollution (which it justifiably is), you have focussed on the psychology and public policy part of it and articulated quite well. Interesting. 7.5/10

Gargi Priyadarsini

Delhi has been reeling under the pollution threat since a long time.Previous governments were in denial about the problem while the current administration has provided a short term fix.The odd even policy if properly complied by the public of Delhi may help in reducing pollution and traffic congestion.The odd even policy is a good initiative to encourage car pooling, usage of public transport and most important curb pollution.But is it viable in the long term and actually a solution.As per statistics 15% of delhi’s pollution is vehicular and less than 5% from cars.Pollution from burning of wastes ,industries and construction dust which are more significant contributors to delhi’s pollution should be addressed first.So the odd even formula curbs individual freedom affecting the public more rather than adressing environmental issues.The failure of the policy in Mexico and Paris should be a learning lesson for the administration of Delhi and proper planned long term alternatives should be considered.The odd even policy is ideal in theory rather in a practise.The government should take pro environment measures which would benefit delhi’s public in long term rather than taking short term measures.

Team Insideiim

Happy that someone gave the other side too. Why only focus on cars/vehicles? Also, how the policy hasn’t worked in many countries. Overall well-explained and points for a well constructed counter view. 7.5/10

Mridul Agrawal

Delhi has the worlds deadliest air! According to a recent survey released by Greenpeace, PM 2.5 air particulate matter which is the main cause behind the poor air quality exceeds WHO limits by 10 times. Delhi’s odd-even policy is akin to the ones adopted by Beijing and Singapore. This in my opinion is a rational step towards controlling the pollution in the national capital. Consulates of many nations have expressed their concern regarding the quality of air their representatives are exposed to, bringing a bad name to the nation. Also the number of deaths attributed to the poor air quality is staggering high. In the light of such an important problem, the Government has shown great intent to redress the problem by implementing a tried and tested successful policy in a fixed Time-frame, which is a very rational attempt. Also the results have been positive, with the national capital witnessing a significant drop in pollution. Also comparing by importance and priority, convenience of the public can be superseded by an effective, result-oriented step in the right direction.
People in Delhi and all of India must realize that the inconvenience they undergo, only provides them and their families with healthy and cleaner air, thus a healthy and prolonged life, which according to me seems to be a fair deal.
Also this can be considered as a steeping stone, to many such initiatives and future policies. With the Government and its officials leading by example, this policy sets out a very strong positive initiative on behalf of the Delhi Government.

Team Insideiim

Except for some facts and stats, you bring very few new points to the table. So late in the GD you need to give some new spin as most participants will have plenty to say on this topic except that everyone will make the same points. Marks mostly for good articulation and reasonable content. 6/10

prabhjot kaur

A city with approximate 10 million population, and approx 90 lakhs vehicles on its roads, along with pollution levels increasing at leaps and bounds(PM 2.5, the most harmful pollutant crossing 400 mark, which normally should be around 50). For such a city, also the capital, steps had to be taken to curb the situation. Odd even formula is one such step for a long run that still needs to be taken.
Started on a rather pessimist approach with much debates doing the round, odd even has atleast decreased traffic to an extent that 15min drive which on a normal day took 1 hr to cover now takes 30 min. The pollution levels have decreased, though not still termed to be safe or anywhere near to safe. But still, as we say, something is better than nothing.
The main point here is that it is a fight against the pollution, to protect our future from getting fumed in a gas chamber that delhi is becoming. More such schemes implemented and the problem can be solved.

Sivani Mallajosyula

I think its a little too early to decide if this is helpful or not as its only been a couple of days since this started. True , in just few days people have noticed visible difference in both the level of congestion as well pollution but the question is how long before the officials loosen up their patrolling and people start getting tired of figuring out daily if they can take their cars out or not. And also since its a new rule, failing to adhere to which causes fine to the passengers there is a major possibility of more corruption at the traffic police level. A new menace .

Sivani Mallajosyula

not just this but the reduction in vehicular traffic means reduced consumption of petrol which in turn results in a huge loss from tax on petrol to the govt resulting in loss of revenue which could other wise be used for constructive purposes such may be to build infrastructure for make in india!