India V/s China: Will India remain way behind China?


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An important component of final admission round for MBA in top B-schools is Group Discussion (GD). It carries a good weightage and success in it can enable you to convert the call.


One of the recent hot topics under discussion at the National and International level is whether India that used to be far ahead in economic development and progressed at a faster pace after independence than China, would now remain behind the dragon which has been leaping forward in all spheres of growth and development in almost all the sectors.


This topic is now placed in the GD round for MBA admission in number of B-schools. Candidates are advised to take clues from the undernoted pros and cons on the topic and present their view effectively taking more entries during Group Discussion round. 

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Don’t deny the facts

The report that Chinese dragon is way ahead of Indian elephant in terms of the respective future  growth is not a myth since the statistics and the impact of China on Global economy can be very well observed. In order to match the growth of China, the Indian elephant needs wings to fly else it will remain way behind.

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Points supporting the topic (Pros)

  1. China although reeled under the agonizing rule of Monarchs and feudalism became a unitary state and began its growth march as a closed economy till Maozedong ruled China. India became a federal state which had to amalgamate the princely and other states for future growth environment.
  2. Reunification of China resulted in state controlled pure communist economy which pushed the growth at a faster pace. India although also a socialist economy adopted the path of mixed economy having the co-existence of public and private sectors seemed to grow fast but did not match that of China.
  3. Since 1978, when Deng came to power, China adopted the policy of ‘one child’ and has changed its mammoth population as an asset and devoted work force. India due to its structure has not been able to match China and its population is more a liability than an asset.   
  4. In the severe global slow down and recessionary trends China’s GDP growth is 9% where as India is estimated to grow at less than 7%. China has more than 200 billionaires as compare to 70+ of India.  They spend more than $190 billion in public health, where as India spends around $65 billion. Life expectancy is 75 years in China as against India which is around 65 only. The gap is now widening even in values of most social indicators like living standards, such as life expectancy, infant mortality rate, years of schooling among others.
  5. China is sending astronauts to the moon and sending a well designed space station. This announcement has surprised the world. China has become more competitive than any other country during the last 15 years and since it opened up the economy. Now the investors and companies wish to enter China. It has become more business and education oriented.
  6. Various estimates visualize that China will take over USA by 2018 as the world’s largest economy.
  7. China, after 1978 under the influence of Deng accelerated leaving India far behind. China’s income is almost double that of India. China adopted a road that India could always have adopted; indeed right after independence. No one, not even the Indian capitalists, were advocating greater import of foreign capital. Natural resources like minerals were exported from India while finished goods were imported. Precious and scarce foreign currency went on flying from India.
  8. Since 1949, China has been devoting its resources to the all round development like infrastructure development, exports at low prices, internal and external security, defence mechanism – in 1962 India was a victim to strong defence forces of China to which Indian forces were no match.
  9. The comparison between the two pairs of countries is revealing. In 1950 India had much higher per capita income than China. This situation reversed in 1999 when India had almost half of the per capita income than that of China.
  10. China is less exposed to foreign and institutional debt while India has not been able to reduce its foreign debt substantially.

China and India both suffered a lot but India has not been able to manage its growth map in a sustained and planned manner while China has surpassed all the estimates and is ready to emerge as second to none in near future. 

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Against the Topic (Cons)

  1. The democratic structure of Indian polity and the concept of Public Private Partnership, competition between public and private sector in healthcare, economic activities, food provisions, housing shelters etc. were aimed to give a boost to Indian economy which began to grow with enthusiasm.
  2. India has jumped 16 ranks to settle at the 39th spot on the global competitiveness index 2016-17 prepared by the World Economic Forum, that lists 138 countries. This is the second year in a row that India has jumped 16 spots. In the year 2015-16, India was ranked at the 55th place. China which was at 28th position has remained at the same position. Now there is less gap and hopefully India will cover that one also. India is also the second most competitive country among BRICS nations.
  3. In its report WEF says “China, on 28, remains top among the BRICS grouping although another surge by India – which climbs 16 places to 39 – means there is now less of a gap between it and its peers. With both Russia and South Africa moving up two places to 43 and 47, respectively, only Brazil is declining, falling six places to 81.”
  4. With the freedom of mobility all over the country for all, skilled and professionally equipped find better employment opportunities in various upcoming industries. Establishment of industrial houses, infrastructural developments like roads, rails, water management with the help of construction of dams etc. have become the catalysts of growth in agriculture and industry alike. Natural resources in India are abundant like minerals, water resources, human resources, etc.
  5. India has all the socially well knit requirement for growth of a civilized society.  It is an example of unity in diversity where thousands of tribes, castes following different religions co-exist. India is an example of one of the greatest democracies in the world.
  6. China, however, with all the abundance of natural resources began its march on growth in all the sectors initially like a closed economy for the world. It couldn’t even get the U.N. Membership with its new name. No freedom of trade and commerce, press etc. was allowed till Maozedong held the reins of power. The growth in Indian polity is evident as in 1952 India had a per capita income of $60 as against China whose per capita income was $50
  7. India despite the long foreign rule and diversity in caste, creed, language and customs have never been so hostile to foreigners as China has been.  Till 1978 China despite a growing economy remained a closed economy from the world.
  8. China and India both are the victims of corruption although it is more rampant in India. But people will tolerate corruption, although with reluctance since they can throw the corrupt out of office. Democracies coexist with all sorts of imperfections and can indeed withstand a lot of misery unlike authoritarian regimes.  India unlike China embarked on the path of growth and development on the strong grounds of democratic federalism with the thrust on participation from all walks of society.
  9. An estimated economic growth of 7% in the severe global recession is encouraging since even the fastest growing economies don’t expect a growth rate of more than 5%. China, despite achieving faster pace of growth in the authoritarian regime, will be forced to make a political transition as profound as the Eastern European states did with their economies.
  10. The world has great faith and trust in the vibrant growth model of democratic India, where the growth is achieved by negligible use of force. India, with a given freedom of choice to its citizens managed to control the population growth whereas China made the one child policy a compulsion.
  11. Indian IT and other professionals are most sought after in the world. India is working hard and its major population is an asset now. Even the rag pickers’ ward are getting education in good schools. Such factors make India a freedom and self driven country.
  12. Unlike China, for India any hope of growing faster depends on harnessing the private sector entrepreneurial talent which has always been there but was stifled for a long time. This requires a less interventionist government but a better regulatory regime. India will remain a soft state, a consensual polity. Although it has not been able of keeping sustained growth at the sort of rates which China has attained, India is the country that has been able to provide current account convertibility to its currency whereas China has so far been afraid of doing so. To stay a stable and peaceful society, India has all the ingredients.  The elephant has capability to surpass the dragon without wings.


India is a country that has open economy. It pushed the import liberalization policy harder, has consistently been making efforts to strengthen the international relations. The period of early 1990s saw the liberalizing economic policies, increase in annual growth rates, the reform process has been kept up, has maintained its territorial integrity. Unlike Pakistan, India has not had a civil war, has survived as a democratic open society based on consensus and debate. Life is about more than per capita income and its growth... Read More GD Topics


Selected Reference & reports

1. (Kumar, Dharma [[1998 ] The Chinese and Indian Economies in Kumar [1998]

2. Global Competitiveness Report 2016-17 by World Economic Forum

3. The Times of India dated January 12, 2013

4. Economic game published in the December 31st 2011 edition of the Economist.

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