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Articles about Velammal Group in the Press
Novel event to help students face group discussion

The Hindu dated 8 May 2006

A crucial stage of the placement process is a Group Discussion (GD). While the other stages such as technical, general aptitude tests, technical and HR interviews are under the control of the candidate, the GD aspect depends on the knowledge of the topic, ability to converse smoothly within a group, calmness under pressure bringing out the communication, general awareness and the interpersonnel skills of the candidate.

Typically a student when preparing for GDs concentrates on discussions within the class or departments or among trainers for placement. This simulation rarely brings out the spirit of competition or intensity that happens in the placement and often the students end up totally unprepared.

To overcome this, the placement cell consisting of S. Mohamed Tajudeen and Shriram Raghunathan of Velammal Engineering College conceptualised and conducted a novel event, called the Group Discussion Challenge, for the pre-final year students of all branches.

A pool of eligible candidates (six each spread across two categories below 70 per cent, 70 - 80 per cent — shortlisted at random and all students above 80 per cent) were given time to prepare for the event. (Thus typically if a department has 100 students and 25 students above 80 per cent, totally 37 students will prepare for the GD ensuring that more students are involved in the process.) From among this, 10 students per department were shortlisted at random and faced the GD. Since the participants' names were announced from a pool of people only on the day of the event, a degree of preparation across the students was ensured. It also tested the leadership skills of the departmental student coordinators, who had to not only prepare, but also ensure that the other shortlisted teammates also prepared.

The topics given included Budget 2007, IT Boom-bane, and Globalisation. The students were in groups of 12 for the final two rounds.

The event recreated the grind of a typical competitive GD and provided the audience a snapshot of how to perform.