Group Discussion (GD) Topics for MBA Admissions

Group Discussion

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Group Discussion or GD, is a popular and modern way of assessing students’ personality. It has been widely used by almost all B Schools to evaluate suitability of a candidate for admission in MBA course at their college and by corporate to hire new recruits. But, it is one of the most difficult part of process, either admission or job application for a candidate. It becomes therefore, important to understand what Group Discussion is and how can one succeed in performing good in this process.

What is Group Discussion

Firstly, a Group Discussion is a process where you would be asked to form a group of 6-10 students, given a topic ranging from business to abstract, preparation time of 5-15 minutes and then asked to perform GD. A group discussion is discussion among GD members about various facts of given topics, different ways to approach to it etc. It may include “What is it, why it is, advantages, disadvantages, comparisons, different parties/stakeholders to it, the way forward and conclusion. Not every GD topic will have the above mentioned aspects and it will vary significantly over topic and arguments made by other GD members.

Some GD aims to check the knowledge of candidates, while some seeks to check clarity of thought process and lateral thing. In general, it is a group exercise, where you are not only judged based on what points you made, but how to manage the group.

Types of Group Discussion Topics

Let us now discuss the various kinds of Group Discussion, which may come, in case you apply to a B School. GD topics can be classified under various categories as named and discussed below:-

  1. Factual Topics

    These are mostly used GDs across B School. These topics require background knowledge and facts and figures related to the topic. It has both pro and cons and participants are expected to cover both sides of it rather than only one. It is generally an easy kind of GD for students who regularly read newspaper or follow news, especially business. Generally students handle these topics diplomatically, but are expected to make their stand clear backed by true facts and figures. In case you want to excel in these topics, you must follow business news regularly.

Factual Topics of GD can be:

  • Socialism vs. Capitalism
  • India vs. China
  • Globalisation and Privatisation
  • Privatisation of Education in India
  • MBA in India is over rated
  • IT Boom in India
  • Reason for Corruption in India is democracy
  • Women Empowerment
  • European Depression
  • Indian MNCs come out of age
  • Indian IT sector as driver of Economy
  • Indian Agricultural Sector
  • Industry- Academia Gap in India
  • War does no good to any nation
  • Corruption ruins the values of a society
  • India as next Asian Economic Giant
  • Narendra Modi is best Indian Prime Minister
  • Indian Foreign Policy: Power of soft skills
  • India deserves a permanent seat in UNSC
  • Entrepreneurship as a career
  • FDI in India
  • India should reduce its Defence Spending and spend more on Education & Health care
  • Indian Pharma Sector: Next Big wave
  • Is Indian economy back on track?
  1. Argumentative Topics

    These topics require a lot of arguments and backing your stand by your understanding and facts. It can be generic or specific. It is argumentative because different members within your group will have different opinion about the topic and they will take opposite stands. Difference of opinions will heat up the GD, but keep patient and take a diplomatic stand, rather than sticking to a stand too aggressively. The panelists seeks to see how rational is your thought process and how beautifully you can keep in front of others such that they are convinced and accept your points rather than differing form you.

Argumentative Topics, also known as controversial topics can be:

  • Reservation in India
  • CSR
  • Politics in Colleges
  • Beauty Products Ad impact on Women in India
  • Reality Show
  • Capital Punishment for Rapists
  • Internet contents should be censored
  • Formulation of new states leads to development
  • Corrupt and Efficient Managers are better than honest and inefficient managers
  • Profit making should be only business of business
  • Private Firms vs. State run enterprises
  • Advertisements: Profits or waste of money
  • Usefulness of Social Networking Website or just waste of time
  • Teachers make nation and Netas spoil Nation
  • Traditionality vs. Modernity
  • Free Competition vs. Import Substitution
  • Religion should be a private matter
  1. Abstract Topics

    These are random topics for GD without any background or known history. It aims to check candidate’s creativity and imagination. It checks how a student manages uncertainty and thinks out of box. Because it is more about intangible things, one should approach these topics with a lot of examples and share experiences to prove his/her point. It is approached differently by each members, but you should understand what panelists are trying to evaluate is on basis of your comprehension skills and communications skills.

Abstract Topics can be:

  • Red
  • Where there is a will, there is a way
  • Act like Roman in Rome
  • Infinity
  • Sky
  • Passion
  • Wisdom
  • Criticism is good
  • A ship docked at harbor never faces a storms
  • Every cloud has silver lining
  • All that glitters is not Gold
  • Education vs. Literacy
  • Customer is always the kind
  • Job Creators vs. Job Seekers
  • Short Cuts never lead to success
  • Why MBA
  • Life
  • Dream
  • Circle
  1. Current Topics

    These topics generally deal with the current news and controversies surrounding the society or country as a whole. Like Factual Topics, it also requires knowledge of the news, facts and figure behind it and related points both in favour and against. It aims to check the general awareness of the candidate. Many a time, it may happen that you don’t have any clue on the given topic. In that case you should not initiate the discussion, rather hear points from 2-3 members and form your points accordingly to ensure your participation in GD. Apart from your knowledge quotient, you should carefully listen to the points made by others and correct them in case of any incorrect facts or figures.

Some of the current topics can be:

  • FDI in Defence
  • Make in India
  • India-China Relationship: Friends or Foe
  • Prime Minister’s visit to Silicon Valley, USA
  • New IITs and IIMs will improve Indian Education System
  • Indian CEOs ruling MNCs
  • RBI should cut the rates to boost economic growth
  • Modi Government: Success or Fail
  • Can India become next China
  • India: Only shining nation among the BRICS
  • Land Acquisition Bill
  • Goods and Service Tax (GST) Bill
  • Leadership Crisis in Congress
  • Indian Banking System set to revolutionize with new payment banks and small banks
  • New Development Bank or BRICS Bank
  • Indian Private Banks: Best Performance
  • Digital India, Skill India
  • Startup India, StandUp India
  • Swatch Bharat Abhiyan
  1. Opinion Based

    These topics are opinion based and panelist try to evaluate you on basis of your rationality of through, how you articulate it, show leadership and convincing skills to convince fellow members in group. They check more than contents, your personality by evaluating communication skills, presentation skills, ability to perform in group etc.

Opinion based topics can be:

  • Love Marriage vs. Arrange Marriage
  • Live in Relationship
  • Too much focus on cricket is killing other sports in India
  • Women are better managers
  • Fresher are better than experienced
  • Growing Big: Boon or Ban
  • Indian way of Management
  • Indian Philosophy in the world
  • Real Entrepreneurs do not need MBA
  • Business Ethics: Only talked never practiced
  • Indian Education System
  • Religion as a way of life
  • Social Media killing book reading habits
  • Indian Media
  1. Case Based Topics

    These topics are open ended situation based topics where panelists ask the team to discuss a situation and resolve the issue by providing a background case. Though, less practiced these topics bring the leaders and good personality members out of the team. It requires a lot of team effort and convincing skills among members to reach a consensus and perform the GD.

Some of the examples of Case based topics would be:

  • Recruitment process
  • Trade Union Strike
  • Competition between two companies
  • Government vs. a company
  • Kingfisher Airlines Management dealing with bankruptcy
  • Contract Negotiation between two firms
  • Employees vs. Management
  • Salary Negotiation between HR and employee
  • Handling Internal Fraud and Corruption within company
  • Becoming a whistle blower to disclose fraud within a company

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