Importance of General Knowledge and reading?


Recently, I have read an article published in news paper regarding the change in the attitude of modern day students in reading various general books and news papers. In the past, acquiring general knowledge was very significant. Teachers used to emphasize on the importance of acquiring general knowledge and being in touch with the current affairs.� With stiff competition and privatization, there is a tremendous change in the way in which a student pursues his studies now. So much focus is laid on only the syllabus prescribed and many say that they don't have time to read other general books and they don't have time even to read news paper. I have heard all this statements from various students in real life.

While we pursued our elementary education in public school, the educational system was excellent. Each day, there will be a class specifically devoted to moral issues and also there will be special class devoted to a discussion on general knowledge and related things. Slowly, the educational system in India is getting changed and it is to be seen as to how our Kapil Sibal brings the required reforms in educational sector now.

I have personally seen few professionals who are not sound subject-wise and who struggled to pursue their systematic education. But, few of these professionals, have done so much later in their professional career and they are successful now. These people have mastered so many other things like human psychology, the communication and various things and those issues were helpful to them when they come to profession and eventually it leads to success in some cases.

I have also seen few other professionals who are sound subject-wise, but, struggle to make their presence in the profession and there may not be any match between his/her subject knowledge and the development in the profession.

I am not generalizing the issue and I want to emphasis the importance of acquiring general knowledge and reading other useful general books like auto biographies etc. I am of the strong opinion that a student should never say that he has no time to read a news-paper and every student should read the news paper regularly and should never ignore the things happening around him or her. We have so many public libraries now, but, very few are utilizing those libraries. When we were pursuing our primary and elementary education, we used to struggle to find a place in the library and look at the book or a news paper of the day. But, today, we rarely find students going to libraries and retired people are passing their time in libraries now and these libraries have become the meeting place of retired people.�

I don't think that Bill Gates could become successful only with his technical expertise. Bill has mastered as to how to get adjusted with seniors, mastered as to how to strike the business deals, mastered as to how to establish a business using his intellectual property. Now a day, students are�not reading the auto biographies and the attitude of the students is fast changing. The advantage of reading an auto biography or listening to a successful personality is that it tells us the facts, shows the real world and we can learn the secrets of success without getting experienced.

In view of their functions, a student who pursues courses like CA, CS and LL.b, should lay due emphasis on the general knowledge too, but, many are saying that they don't have time to concentrate on other general issues. I never believe in the statement that "I don't have time". We are supposed to manage our time properly.

Auditing is a complicated exercise and an auditor may have to deal with the corporates and companies. Pure subject knowledge may not help a student pursuing courses like CA, CS and LL.b to become successful in their chosen path. We can't completely master other technical subject. For example, a student with complete commerce background may not suddenly acquire knowledge of mathematics or computers like a Software Engineer. But, everyone can acquire the general knowledge and a student should never neglect to know as to what is happening around him in real life and should lay emphasis on current affairs too. A student can spend some 30 minutes a day on reading news paper and may use some 2 hours in a week to read some auto-biography.

Look at any successful personality in the society, you can find varied skills in him apart from an expertise in some area. I am sure on one thing that if students do not lay emphasis on general knowledge apart from their concentration on syllabus, it may become fatal to them during later part of their life. A student should learn about the politics in an organization and about the people. Students can learn so much about organizational politics, about the people and the importance of hard work by reading the book "Wings of Fire" written by Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam. It is an example only and when you experience the things by reading and listening without really getting experienced, you tend to be ahead of others and it saves your time.

We can not ignore taking lunch and going to sleep and on the same footing, we should allot some time to other useful issues like reading news paper regularly and it helps one in their personal and professional career later in life.

My endeavour is to advice my dear students that they should also lay emphasis on general knowledge and current affairs and they should never forget as to what is happening around them in the real world. I request my dear students that they should never confine themselves only to their syllabus and they should also inculcate the habit of reading other useful General Books and books like Auto Biographies.

Note: Though, I may appear that I am generalizing the issue, my intention is to communicate with my dear students on an important issue.


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Durga Rao 
on 08 April 2010
Published in Students
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