In the modern world, the importance of highly specialized scientific and technical education is well recognized. But a broad education which enhances one’s general awareness is equally important. General awareness is necessary for every individual as it contributes to personal enrichment and a better understanding of the world (and the universe) as a whole.
General awareness has different connotations for everyone due to different elements present in it. It helps you to do everything from planning a garden (Geometry, Meteorology, pest control, planting season), to balancing a cheque book (addition, subtraction), to cooking (lots of Science and Chemistry involved) and the knowledge of understanding of Art (color, forms, proportions, etc).
The more you know about specific things, the more you can connect the individual, separate facts from other facts which lead to deep understanding. Interestingly, general awareness changes with the environment. It could be different for the rural community, a housewife, a corporate, and a politician or even for a student.
As we fathom the importance of general awareness the question that usually strikes our mind is what general awareness is all about. Is it similar to GK? What is its importance?
Who was the first prime minister of India? When was World War II fought? How many countries participated in common wealth games 2010? All these questions and answers come under the category of general knowledge. That refers to all kind of events that have taken place in the recent past and had repercussions thereafter in some way or the other. This information spreads around in the form of current affairs and settles down in recorded form as general knowledge.
“General awareness is nothing but what you accumulate in addition from your surroundings. It is the means of acquiring knowledge that is easily accessible to every individual. General awareness should neither be confused with common sense nor General knowledge. While the former is subjective the latter forms an integral part of general awareness. But certain aspects of general awareness like Consumer rights, RTI, government policies, rights of a citizen should be common for all as it affects every individual.”
For a student in school or graduate level there is a thin blur line between general awareness and general knowledge as one overshadows the other. General awareness also helps the students to grow in the academic front. In the present world lot of highly coveted career options like MBA, MBBS, Engineering, IAS, etc dedicate a major portion to general awareness.
While most of the questions in the management exams are centered on verbal and quantitative abilities, general and business awareness does play a key role in facilitating preparation. It is put to the test not only in the written examination but also in the subsequent stages - group discussion and interview.
At the written examination stage, only some exams carry a section on general awareness, with the thrust on current affairs relating to politics, business and economy. During GD and interview, all institutes would test the general ability of candidates. The boundary of preparation is literally limitless for general and business awareness. Strong general awareness skills are a distinct advantage in GD and candidates who have worked hard sprucing up their general awareness stand out stronger.
Current affairs topics, especially on relevant business issues are firm favourites with the examiners. It is useful to be well versed with developments in the corporate world. Keeping abreast since extensive knowledge cannot possibly be gained in a day, the earlier you start the better it is.
Media including print and electronic act as a vital literacy supplement and the best source of information. Daily newspaper is the best source of information on current affairs. The sections to carefully read are the front page, science and technology, politics, editorials and lead articles. The editorial and lead articles are useful as they go beyond reporting news to analyzing it and present a point of view substantiated with reasoning.
MBA graduates should focus more on the business dailies, watch for the sections on corporate news, economy - both Indian and world economy and stock market trends. Apart from this, candidates should be aware of trends in industry, emerging practices in business, technology as well as corporate happenings. They should have the mastery as to how to get adjusted with seniors, how to strike the business deals or how to establish a business using his intellectual property.
Another good hobby would be to maintain a file with clippings of important news. This is a handy methodology and it can be used to refresh memory before going for a group discussion and interview. Other channels of information to follow are few current affairs programmes on television and street plays. They provide a good discussion platform and you can get to hear a range of view points on current issues and develop your own views on them.
Building up general awareness is an ongoing process. There is no logical end to mastering it since it needs to be updated in order to keep it current. A consistent effort is required to build a good level of awareness. It needs to be spread over the entire preparation phase and needs constant updating.
Since our childhood, our parents and teachers have focused on imparting us with education outside the four walls of our classroom. This instills in the child a sense of awareness and the need to be vigilant in this unpredictable world full of threats.
But due to onset of internet revolution it is now easy for everyone to find information about the global events. Due to technological advancements, there is information available in many forms like newspapers, internet, radio and television. Accessibility to information is in hand which would help an individual to update himself in any area of general knowledge that suits his interests.
A student should never say that he has no time to read a newspaper or knowledgeable books. We are supposed to manage our time properly. We cannot ignore taking lunch and going to sleep and on the same footing, similarly we should allot some time to other useful issues like reading news paper regularly and it definitely helps one in their personal and professional career later in life.
People, who know and understand, are empowered to act, and to make their own choices. People who do not know, and do not understand, are pawns. They are acted upon. You will be able to think, assess situations and people, and events in a much more detailed and meaningful way. You will also be much more interesting to talk to.
If you lack general awareness you are narrowing down your future possibilities, because you just never know what the future may require of you. If you don’t know a little about a lot of things you seem very stupid, so you really don’t make a good party guest and you aren’t very impressive as an executive, also if you don’t get a little knowledge about a lot of things how can you ever figure out what it is you want to be?
To sum up, one should keep in mind that general awareness broadens our sense of perceiving the outer world and change our outlook of understanding things. It makes our entire life more meaningful and successful. As a layman one should never underestimate the necessity of general awareness as it is a learning cycle which is a continuous process.
For such topics of Basic understanding on the subject matter which may be useful for MBA admissions later for GD & PI sessions, please keep on visiting www.mbarendezvous.com, Portal with Management by objective approach.