Current Affairs Topics to explore for IIFT GK

Monday, November 19th, 2018

Current Affairs Topics to explore for IIFT GK

As is well known, General Knowledge (GK) forms an important component in the entrance exam for the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade to be held on 2nd December this year. GK can broadly be divided into 2 components- static and current. In this blog, we look at some important current affairs topics which students will be well-advised to study further on. The list is based on the kind of topics that have been posted in questions in past years’ papers. Following are some of those topics:

1. Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, and Winter Olympics

One must especially go through the major events where Indians won gold or other medals. In addition, aspirants must be aware of the host nation, top medal winners, key events, top performers from other countries and the respective mascot. Sticking to sports, the Football World Cup was another massive event this year. So one needs to know the winners of top individual awards, plus key team insights.

2. National Schemes and Data

Students must be well-versed with any new central government schemes launched. They must keep track of the best performers under several schemes to have released data such as ODF (Open Defecation Free) states, cleanest city, best performing Gram Sabha, state topping Ease of Doing Business Index, smart cities’ list new additions etc.

3. International Indexes

This primarily includes the most prestigious of indexes such as the Doing Business Index, Human Development Index, Human Capital Index, Environmental Performance Index, City Liveability Index etc. Specific focus must be paid on India’s rankings, toppers and bottom in each rank and the body to have awarded the ranking (like World Bank, UNDP, WEF etc.). In case of major improvement or drop-off in India’s rankings, that will also need to be tracked.

4. International & National Elections

Elections have been held in some states in India earlier this year such as Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Tripura. Similarly, a lot of countries have seen key political developments. Zimbabwe, Chile, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Spain, South Korea, Liberia, South Africa and some others have all seen political movements of some sort. Beyond political, major appointments need to be understood. This includes national positions such as the Chief Justice of India (CJI) and the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC). Internationally, the UNHCR, WHO and the UNESCO have all witnessed changes at the top over the last 12 months.

5. Awards & Functions

This year the Nobel Prize has been dogged by #MeToo allegations, leading to the Literature prize being dropped by the committee for the first time. Several other awards have emerged within the space such as the Millennium Technology Prize and the New Literature Prize. The Pulitzer saw a rapper win the top gong in music for the first time. Nationally, there was much news regarding the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awards. Beyond this one needs to follow the Ashok Chakra, Shaurya Chakra, National Film Awards, the Padma Awards, Man-Booker Prize, Fields Medal and the Academy Awards among a few others. Diversity and inclusion have been key themes at several of these award ceremonies this year.

6. Key National Court Cases

The Supreme Court and other courts in India have been busy this year with several pronouncements or revisions to earlier indictments. This includes the Right to Privacy, Aadhar card linking, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Sabrimala Temple, Adultery, Triple Talaq, Passive Euthanasia, NOTA revision and resolving key water disputes such as around Kaveri and Mahanadi rivers. These topics are not idea for quizzes but more for detailed discussions, so the focus on them may instead shift during the GD-PI-WAT process.

7. Space Travel

NASA, the European Space Agency and ISRO have all been busy this year launching probes and manned mission to space. Some of them have been for research purposes while others for telecommunications or defence. The Orion Mission sends people into deepest orbits of space as yet while the Parker Solar Mission is the first attempt to track the outer atmosphere of the sun. Needless to say, Parker is unmanned. ISRO has also launched several satellites into outer space, and even launched some for other countries.

8. International Treaties, Agreements and Summits

These have been plenty this year. India has newly joined or been a key participant at several such meets last 12 months. IIFT aspirants must carefully scan through all relevant news on RCEP, BIMSTEC, ASEAN, BRICS, SCO, Wassenaar Arrangement, EU and the GCC. India has also participated in several international military collaborations with countries such as USA, UK, Thailand, Nepal, Bangladesh, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Oman and Israel amongst others.

9. Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A)

There has been much activity on this front both in India as well as globally. Nationally some important ones, students must look at are- Walart-Flipkart, Axis Bank-Freecharge, Havells-Lloyds, Tata Steel- ThyssenKrupp, Hindalco-Aleris, PVR-SPI and Bhart-Telenor. Outside India, major M&A activity would include Bayer-Monsanto, AT&T- Time Warner, Amazon-Whole Foods, Apple-Workflow, Qualcomm-NXP, CVS-Atena, Disney- 21st Century Fox, Verizon-AOL, Meredith- Time Inc. and Walmart-Bonobos. IIFT aspirants must know the country of origin and the industry of both the companies involved. They must also know the size of the deal and key personnel who sold off or now in charge. The reasons for these mergers or takeovers would be important during the next phase.

10. Corporate Appointments

This includes a list of the appointments in the bigger companies for the top positions such as CEO or President. Indians heading multinational firms, female leaders, or leaders from companies in the news are always more important. Unlike the other topics, this is not very year-specific, as even a 2015 appointment in a big, famous company can be asked in an indirect manner. One could get something like a match-the-following for this category. Companies to watch out in this space include Flipkart, Wal-Mart, Nestle, ICICI, Amway, Uber, GE, Soft Bank, Ford, Airbnb, Macy’s, Wells Fargo, Netflix, Snapchat, Starbucks, Yes Bank, Bank of Baroda, Hotstar and PepsiCo. From the longer-term perspective of the GD-PI-WAT stage, aspirants must also check out the management styles and business strategies of some companies considered as disruptive businesses.

In the next part of the series, students get to know some key Static GK topics they need to go through. In the meanwhile, these topics mentioned above must be mastered to as far an extent as possible.

Download IIFT GK Papers 2012 to 2018 (with answers)

Other posts related to General Knowledge

How to prepare for General Knowledge (GK) for IIFT
Mergers and Acquisitions 2018 for General Knowledge Preparation for IIFT / XAT / SNAP
Books and Authors important for General Knowledge (GK) Preparation for IIFT, XAT, SNAP
Heads of Important Organizations of India and the World for General Knowledge Preparation
SNAP GK 2018 – How to prepare for General Knowledge Section in One Week?
IIFT Mock Test for the General Knowledge (GK) Section

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