General Awareness: Pivotal for getting through management entrance exams
While most of the questions in the management exams are centred around 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 (GD) 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. At 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. Candidates who have worked hard sprucing up their general awareness stand out stronger. An analysis of the discussion topics shows that current affair topics, especially on business issues of relevance 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. Those who have been following current events closely since the start of their preparations by now would have a good grip and opinion on happenings around. For others reading through a current general knowledge digest would be a good idea to catch up along with newspapers and magazines. The best source of information is the daily morning newspaper. Slip into a routine of following at least one english daily and a business newspaper. The general interest daily would provide you with enough 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 analysing it and present a point of view substantiated with reasoning. In the business dailies, watch for the sections on corporate news, economy - both indian and world economy and stock market trends. Amongst business related information, it is imperative to be aware of the stock market, business forecast in the short to medium term, the latest economic survey and india's union budget. Apart from this, candidates should be aware of trends in industry, emerging practices in business, technology as well as corporate happenings. Pick out news that would get you up to date with the operations and performance of the leading companies in each of the core sectors of the industry, key business personalities and figures. Some students like 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 it would be good for candidates to follow a few current affairs programmes on television channels as well. 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 knowledge 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.
A Raja & Nitish Kumar
At 47, Andimuthu Raja has come a long way from being a lawyer in rural Tamil Nadu. And even as the end of his stint as Cabinet Minister at the Centre came in a brutal rush after days of stalemate, it was clear that A Raja's political journey is not over yet. His party, the DMK, has made clear that while bowing to the dynamics of a political alliance, it will continue to project Raja as victim.
"Targeted because he is a Dalit," said DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi. Raja is important because he is a Dalit leader, the most prominent Dalit face that the DMK has. Assembly elections are due next year, and the DMK can ill-afford to alienate Dalit voters. Raja's being Dalit got him early breaks in his political career, like becoming Cabinet Minister at the age of 35 - in the NDA government in 1999.
And he never looked back holding several portfolios both in the NDA and UPA regimes at the Centre. He became Telecom Minister in May 2007. And again in 2009, despite 2G scam allegations and the high-profile Dayanidhi Maran being in the race for the post, for being a rare Dalit DMK leader and for his loyalty to M Karunanidhi.
A Raja was born in May 1963 in Perambalur, Tamil Nadu, and likes to reminisce that he had to go to Trichy for an education as there were no facilities nearer home. In Trichy, Raja got a B.Sc. and then his law degrees. As an interesting aside, Raja writes poetry in Tamil. His literary skills are believed to have got him close to Karunanidhi, who too is a poet and writer. Raja was a student leader of the Dravidar Kazhagam, the parent body of the DMK. From a block level leader he rose quickly and was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 1996.
Raja earlier represented Perambalur and now represents the Nilgiris constituency in Tamil Nadu and this is his fourth term in Parliament after being re-elected in 2009. His catchphrase in that election campaign was "Oru kilo arisi oru rupa, oru hello 50 paisa" (One kg rice one rupee, a hello on the phone 50 paisa). As he resigned Raja again said, "I brought revolution in the Telecom sector."
Nitish Kumar born 1 March 1951, is the 29th and 31st and is now the 32nd Chief Minister of Bihar. He leads the Janata Dal (United) party. As the Chief Minister, he has gained popularity by initiating a series of developmental and constructive activities including building of long-delayed bridges, re-laying roads that had ceased to exist, appointing over 100,000 school teachers, ensuring that doctors worked in primary health centers, and keeping crime in check.Nitish Kumar was born in Bakhtiarpur, Bihar to Kaviraj Ram Lakhan Singh and Parmeshwari Devi. His father was a freedom fighter and was close to the great Gandhian Bihar Vibhuti Anugrah Narayan Sinha, one of the founders of modern Bihar. His nickname is 'Munna'. He is a teetotaler, does not smoke, and is a frugal eater. He has a degree in Electrical Engineering from the Bihar College of Engineering, now NIT Patna.
On February 22, 1973, Nitish Kumar married Manju Kumari Sinha, a teacher by profession. They have a son, Nishant, who is a graduate of BIT, Mesra. His wife died in 2007 at the age of 53. He is credited with giving a new face to Bihar after the creation of Jharkhand. The kind of win his Government registered during 2010 Bihar Assembly is viewed among the biggest ever election win by anyone in Indian elections, where the almost entire opposition was wiped off. Many sections of media and political sections consider him as the best Chief Minister from India, able to bring success of governance in a state of turmoil, finishing caste, religion barrier and paving way for development. For his clean and Statesman like status he owns respect from his bitter opponents and all political parties inclduing congress whose many prominent leaders including chief Sonia Gandhi, Home Minister Chidambaram and congress Spokesman Ambika Soni, credited Nitish Kumar's clean, pro-citizen development oriented governance. It is a status which at current only Nitish Kumar enjoys, something a rare feet in Indian politics where someone achieves respect and appreciation from opposition along-with landslide public support from all sections of Society.
Awards and recognition
- NDTV Indian of the year - Politics, 2009
- CNN-IBN Indian of the year - Politics, 2008
- The Best Chief Minister, according to the CNN-IBN and HT State of the Nation Poll 2007.
- Economics-Times "Business reformer of the Year 2009"