Group Discussion or GD round will play an important role in MBA admission for the year 2020. All the top MBA colleges will start their WAT/GD/PI rounds from February 2020 and will continue till April. The GD round is a crucial component for the final selection round in not only top B-Schools but also during summer and final placements. In a typical GD round, a group is given a particular topic on which they have to share their ideas and thoughts. And your take or opinion has to be well-articulated, well-researched and not very polarizing. How do you do that? In this article, you will find information on GD types, skills you will be evaluated on, expected topics and how to answer them. Read the full article to know more!
Candidates should expect 4 types of GD Topics during their MBA admission process -
- Abstract Topics
- Business & Economy Topics
- Current Affairs Topics
- Social Issues
- Your leadership skills
- Knowledge on a particular topic
- Problem-solving & critical thinking skills
- How you articulate your ideas in an unbiased manner
- Your flexibility or rigidity in accepting viewpoints of others
- Your behaviour, body language and interaction with other members
Predicted GD Topics For B-Schools
- Night Owls v/s Early Birds – What do you prefer?
- Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Julia Roberts met their spouses at work? What are your thoughts on workplace relationships? Will you be okay dating your colleague?
- The slowdown in Indian Economy in 2019: Temporary or Structural
- Is India ready to be a Cashless Economy?
- Jet Airway Crisis
- Citizen Amendment Act, 2019
- The final Ayodhya Verdict. Was it fair to all?
- Adolescents in India need sexual and reproductive health awareness in schools.
- Mental health in India
- Is the IIM 2017 bill beneficial to all students?
Example 1: Workplace Relationships
Note: The topic is aligned with HR policies many companies have. You are not expected to have an HR perspective. You will be analysed based on a number of perspectives you can bring to the discussion table. It is best if you apply the stakeholder approach.
Who are the stakeholders?
Employee: There are more than 52% millennials who are part of today’s workforce. They are categorised by freedom and autonomy. They perceive restrictive policies as restrictive and binding. They believe in teamwork and ready to spend more time in office if required.
How will “workplace relationship” affect the organisation?
- Attrition might reduce
- Promotes autonomy and freedom
- Couples might be willing to invest more time at the office
- Employees might not engage in these activities covertly, if not curbed
Organization: Organisation is about people. It is of people (management), for people (customers) and by people (employees). For the organisation’s smooth functioning, all need to be kept happy. If there is an office culture that is already set and followed by people who have worked for the company for a longer time or follow a hierarchical, closed and resistant to change, for them “workplace relationships” policy might not work
How will “workplace relationship” affect the organisation?
- Perceived partial treatment
- Productivity issues
- Unfair work division
- Discord in teams
- An unfair advantage in appraisals.
However, there are some organisations that promote workplace relationships and even give monetary rewards, if the couple eventually gets married.
Team members: Basically what effect will it have if the couples are in a particular team. Will team members be comfortable with the relationship? Is it an unfair burden on them? What about subconscious biases? Is separating couples into different teams then the only solution?
Then comes the question of Professionalism. Is workplace relationship against professionalism? To answer that question you need to go deeper to understand the true meaning of professionalism. And once you do that, you will realise that there is no universal definition for the term. Organisations seem to have their own definition, which also keeps on changing.
Example 2: Jet Airway Crisis
Note: This is not your typical “for and against” topic. This is more causes and solution for the topic.
An overview of the topic:
Jet Airways declared a temporary shutdown of its services in April 2019. The company is not able to operate anymore due to lack of funds. The airlines are currently under a debt of INR 8500 crores. The airlines has not been able to pay salaries to its staff since January 2019.
What was the cause?
- Due to stiff competition, Jet Airways started offering low airfares to its customers. While the operational cost and fuel prices remained high. The expenses started weighing in more than the revenue, and thus, they started incurring heavy losses. All these factors crippled the airlines gradually.
- Poor management, risk analysis, untimely monitoring and controlling of the situation could also be some of the possible reasons for the current crisis of the airlines.
- The company can approach investors. That may help the company to get on track.
- There need to be changed in the services provided by the company. India is still a very cost-sensitive economy, hence low-cost operation has a better chance of sailing through.
- Keep ticket prices and competition in check.
Example 3: Is India ready to be a Cashless Economy?
- Before demonetization, the Indian government was trying to increase cashless transactions via Jan Dhan accounts, Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme, etc. From the moment higher denomination notes were demonetized, cashless transactions have increased at a rapid rate.
- Yes! A large part of India is digital illiteracy, however, the new chip powered (contactless) debit card does not require much digital literacy or remembering pin numbers.
- Many state governments are working very hard to spread awareness of digital transactions.
- Indian government along with fin-tech companies are coming up with more incentivised schemes for going digital in financial transactions.
- Before the demonetization, cash transactions constituted 85% among all the financial transactions in India. After demonetization cash transactions are still the king.
- India has a big population of digital illiterates. It’ll take some time to make everyone into digital literates.
- No country has yet been able to be fully cashless. India’s economy is still in a developing stage and hence needs quite some time to transform into a cashless economy.
- There are a lot of doubts about India’s cybersecurity, especially related to Banking. Before going for a completely cashless economy, India needs to strengthen its cybersecurity first.
- Sweden is by far the closest to becoming fully cashless. Cash transactions in Sweden are only 3%.
- M-Pesa has created a huge revolution in Kenya. The usage is so high that even salaries of employees get credited through it. Cash transactions have dramatically decreased in Kenya.
- South Korea gives tax incentives for cashless transactions and can increase the share of non-cash transactions.
Example 4: Mental Illness In India
- As per World Health Organisation’ (WHO) report of 2017, 5 crore (approx) people in India suffering from depression.
- And according to the same report, 10 crore people in India are suffering from some sort of mental disorder. So, mental health is a big issue.
- Indian government came up with the Mental Health Care Act in 2017.
- This act led to decriminalisation on attempting suicide.
- The act also laid out steps to safeguard the rights of mentally ill people. They have the right to know about their treatment options and the right to dignity (which means no getting tied up in chains, etc.)
- This act also brought programs to tackle the stigma of mental illnesses.
What can be done?
- Even after the government rolling out programs to raise awareness on mental health, there is still so much stigma attached to it. Even today, many people interpret mental illnesses as being possessed by ghosts. A survey conducted by The Live Love Laugh Foundation found out that many educated people would like to stay away from mentally ill people. Some even feel that they will catch mental illness if they come in contact with mentally ill people. Therefore, people who are suffering from mental health issues do not seek the needed help from health professionals, as they are afraid of being judged and labelled. Hence, more and more awareness programs should be conducted to educate people about mental health and to encourage them from seeking help.
- There is also a scarcity of healthcare professionals who are well equipped to deal with mental health issues in India. So, more and more people should be trained to treat people with mental illnesses.
- Rural areas do not have the same access to mental health care facilities as compared to urban areas. This gap needs to be filled. Proper distribution of counsellors and other health care professionals should be done both in urban and rural areas.
- Currently, the Indian government spends less than 1% of GDP on Mental health care. There is a need for more funding to invest in infrastructure and recruit more professionals etc.
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