The magic of real knowledge?


          Listening to many CA, CS and Law students and practically observing as to the style of study normally adopted by the students, I would like to emphasize on the importance of gaining true knowledge rather getting degrees by mastering as to how to get marks, ranks and degrees. I never say that it is very easy to get marks, ranks and degrees without systematic education. But, I would like to make it very clear that there may not be any relevance between the marks one has obtained and his true knowledge of the subject. One has to focus on gaining true knowledge of subject for himself as it will make him truly successful in life. I have been writing on the importance of gaining real knowledge and my writing might have hurt somebody and some have criticized my writing. But, I would like to make my point straight always and I know that there will be always people who disagree with others and I may also be wrong at times. With very good handwriting and remembrance of certain important issues, one can get good marks in examination, but, his marks may not represent his true knowledge.

          I would like to give you one example. Students shall be reading case laws as suggested by the Institute and other materials. Many are not able to understand as to why they need to look at the judgments first of all. Again, some students simply try to remember a set of case laws without laying focus on the logic and reasoning assigned in the judgment.  A student who has understood the logic and reasoning behind a judgment, may not show interest in remembering the case law and ultimately he may not secure good marks. But, in his professional career, he will be successful and I am sure on that.

          Even the coaching centre lays much emphasis on examination and getting marks rather the subject knowledge. Many students follow some material and the materials are usually prepared to get marks and complete the course.

          I want to advice my dear students that if they focus only on getting marks and clearing the exams, they will be struggling throughout their professional career or life.

          During my college days, I have focused on certain issues and when I came to profession, I never got an opportunity to systematic education and the knowledge acquired during my college days stayed with me. I have focused on an issue as to whether imparting education is a business or not when I was student. At that time, I had gone through the judgments of the Supreme Court on the issue and especially the land mark judgment of T.A.A.Pai Foundation and I could get complete understanding of the issue and it stays with me.  I have utilized my college days properly and I know the value of acquiring real knowledge and as to how it helps one in their professional career and life. If I talk to the students pursuing law now, then, they will say that they will learn everything when they come to profession and it is enough if they get degree now. But, actually, they suffer when they come to profession. Student life is very valuable and one should use that in a proper manner. A student may not have so many responsibilities and many can devote their complete time and attention towards studies. After completing the course, a student may not get enough opportunity to concentrate on theoretical part of the subject. Some may be employed in some companies and some may be working with practicing Chartered Accountants and firms. In companies, the atmosphere may not be conducive for learning. In firms and while you work with the practicing Chartered Accountants, you will be busy with many issues and there will not be much time for studying the subject or research.

          As such, in most of the cases, what you study when you are a student stays with you. I would like to tell you in brief about Sir Sorabji Pochkhanwala, the founder of Central Bank of India, and as to how he has achieved so much believing in true knowledge. 

 The brief about Sorabji Pochkhanwala:

 1.     Due to his family background and problems, Sorabji could not get higher education.

2.     When Sorabji was searching for a job as an Accountant or an Assistant Accountant, the banking industry is dominated by Europeans completely and it is very rare to see an Indian as a Manager in the European Banks at that time.

3.     After a long wait, Sorabji could join a Bank as an Assistant Accountant at the age of 19.

4.     Though, he has joined as an Assistant Accountant in a Bank, he has high thinking always and he believed in knowledge.

5.     Not content with what is supposed to be done by him as an Assistant Accountant; Sorabji has tried to learn as much as he can during the course of the employment.

6.     At one stage, Sorabji has felt that there is a limitation on learning by doing and he has to go for systematic education.

7.     Simultaneous to his obligations in the Bank as an Assistant Accountant, Sorabji has attended classes during his weekend to pursue a course conducted by London Chamber of Commerce at that time and he could complete the course.

8.     Sorabji has high thinking from the beginning and his actions motivated at high thinking and self-respect has provoked many Europeans who are jealous of Sorabji.  

9.     Sorabji has to face many evils while he was working and many tried to oppress him.

10. With the theoretical knowledge he has got in Banking work, at 29, Sorabji has taken a decision to start a Bank of his own and that to without support.

11. At 29, Sir Sorabji, has found Central Bank of India and they used to work in a small room in Bombay and with few tables.

12. Soon, Central Bank of India has become a big bank in India and Sir Sorabji has expanded the Bank to a great extent and he is remembered as pioneer of Indian Banking industry. Central Bank of India is the first Indian Bank run by Indians completely.

 “This is the magic of real knowledge”

Sorabji’s life is unbelievable and he could start Central Bank of India as he possessed true knowledge. 

I am sure that many students are focusing on temporary solutions and towards security. Many students feel that if they complete CA or CS, they will be placed in a big company with very good salary and gives security for them in life. Many are not focusing on acquiring true knowledge and when you don’t possess the knowledge required, then, you may have to listen to others always and people will dictate terms to you. You will be under somebody always? 

As the coaching centres are concerned with pass percentage as imparting coaching was a business for them, they might not drive a student towards research and acquiring true knowledge. I advice students to listen to truly experienced teachers and their suggestions help alot. By attending the classes being conducted by ICAI, one can do self-study and I don’t think that there is a need to go to coaching centres at all.  Rather going to commercial coaching centres, if a student wants to concentrate much on a subject in which he lacks a grip or understanding, then, he can choose a good teacher who teaches the subject and that helps him. 

Believing that students are more knowledgeable and mature, I would like to advice and request the students to focus on acquiring real knowledge and make use of their student life properly as otherwise, they will be suffering throughout and dependant always. 

Note: I have expressed my personal view and I have no intention to insult anyone and it is for the reader to appreciate my view or disagree with that. It is my personal opinion.


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Durga Rao 
on 26 March 2010
Published in Students
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