Now that Prelims is due in 2014 and the clock has started ticking, the natural question in the minds of aspirants is how can they quickly prepare current events and general awareness since general awareness and current affairs forms the crux of paper 1 of Prelims exam.
Topic List for Current Affairs and General Awareness:
The best way to quickly go through current events and build up your GK base is to first list the topics to focus on instead of trying to read everything you come across. Doing so will waste your time and effort when you should be making best use of them. Some of the topics to be covered are listed below.
- Persons in news: This includes person appointed to important posts and recent deaths of well-known persons.
- Awards and Honours: Important awards like Nobel Prize, Booker Prize, Indira Gandhi Peace Prize, Magasaysay prize etc and honours like Bharat Ratna.
- Sports: Cover not just cricket but also other sports like Badminton, Hockey, Wrestling, Shooting, Chess etc. Who is doing well and bringing laurels to the country. For instance, women shuttlers apart from Saina Nehwal are doing really well in Badminton. Who defeated Vishwanathan Anand to become the world chess champion and so on.
- Arts and Music: The famous artists in various disciplines like sarod, tabla, dances, sitar, famous vocalists etc.
- Defence: Recent deals like acquisition of aircraft carrier Vikramaditya, induction of Tejas, development and testing of various missiles, defence exercises involving India and other countries, defence pacts and issues like China’s Air Defence Identification Zone over the East China Sea etc.
- Nuclear Issues: These include nuclear energy issues relating to Iran, our own nuclear reactors and issues facing them like in Kudankulam. Location of nuclear plants, heavy water plants, uranium reserves in India and other countries.
- Polity Issues: Various developments related to Indian polity including legislature, administration and judgements of higher courts. Some of these include NOTA option on voting machines, Lokpal Bill, section 377 of IPC, barring convicted candidates from contesting elections etc. Also you should be aware of the important provisions of landmark legislations like Food Security Bill, Lokpal Bill, PFRDA Bill, Companies Bill, Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and Their Rehabilitation Bill etc.
- Economy: Not only should you know the important economic indicators like growth rate, inflation rate, forex reserves, IIP, repo rates but also the latest developments and policies affecting the Indian economy.
- Environment and Ecology: This is a very important topic for not just Prelims but also Mains exam. You should be aware of the important conservation efforts like protected species and their habitats, UNESCO sites in India, threatened and exotic wildlife species in India, important national parks and sanctuaries and their location, current issues like global warming, climate change and so on.
- Summits and Conferences: Important summits and conferences held in India and other places like the WTO conference at Bali, BRICS summit, Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka etc.
- Science and Technology: Important developments particularly in the field of medicine like development of anti-Malaria vaccine, stem-cell research, space technology and mission to Mars, China’s landing on Moon etc.
- Facts of India and World: This includes important road and rail systems in India, mountain ranges, important rivers and their tributaries, soil types and their spread etc. Refer the Oxford Student Atlas for this. Other facts include various firsts like first president, prime minister, election commissioner, army chief and so on. Questions involving logical sequence could also be asked from this topic. The Manorama Year Book is a good reference book for this topic.
These are the important topics you should stress on to cover current affairs and GK quickly for Prelims 2014. Apart from the books mentioned above you should read the newspaper regularly along with a good current affairs magazine like Civil Services Chronicle.
Even Quicker Way of Covering Current Affairs and General Awareness
If you do not have adequate time of going through multiple sources to cover current affairs and general awareness topics you can enrol for the Membership Program and get regular updates focussed on the above topics in a convenient PDF format to read online or download to your computer.
What’s more, I have also prepared tests on current affairs and general awareness topics along UPSC prelims pattern to help you retain what you read. Find out more about the membership program.