National and International Places in News - UPSC Prelims Notes

UPSC Preliminary Examination often asked questions based on geographical locations of places in the news. National and International Places that have recurred in the current affairs are important for IAS Exam aspirants.

Aspirants must be aware of latest current affairs topics to score well in UPSC Prelims exam 2023.

To get acquainted with the types of questions asked around current affairs for UPSC, concerning such places in the news, check this question that was asked in prelims 2020:

  • Siachen Glacier is situated to the:
  1. East of Aksai Chin
  2. East of Leh
  3. North of Gilgit
  4. North of Nubra Valley

In 2019, check this question:

  • Consider the following pairs:
Sea Bordering Country
Adriatic Sea Albania
Black Sea Croatia
Caspian Sea Kazakhstan
Mediterranean Sea Morocco
Red Sea Syria

Daily News

Which of the pairs given above are correctly matched?

(a) 1, 2 and 4 only

(b) 1, 3 and 4 only

(c) 2 and 5 only

(d) 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

As world geography is also a part of the UPSC Syllabus, most of the questions based on it overlap with the places that were seen in the news.

Hence, here we try to compile all such places that are mentioned in the news in a course of one year ahead of the UPSC Prelims examination.

Places in News UPSC Notes PDF –Download PDF Here

For UPSC Prelims, there are various BYJU’S free of cost initiatives that can boost your IAS preparation. Check them from the links given below:

  1. Topic-wise UPSC Prelims Questions Compilations PDF [2013-2021]
  2. UPSC MCQ on International Relations
  3. CSAT Questions for Practise
  4. Best of PIB
  5. Static GK

National Places in the News in 2022

The table below provides the list of important places in India that have been mentioned in the current affairs of 2021-22:

Places Reasons to be in the news
Nadabet Inaugural of an India-Pakistan border viewing point at Nadabet in Gujarat.
Erra Matti Dibbalu The Erra Matti Dibbalu, situated between the Visakhapatnam and Bheemunipatnam, are uncommon red sand dunes that serve as a reminder of millions of years of geological activity.
Mekedatu The state government of Karnataka  originally commissioned the Mekedatu project in 2017. It is a contentious project between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Orang National Park The state government of Assam has issued an initial notice for the addition of 200.32 square kilometres to the 78.82 square kilometres Orang National Park, which is the state’s oldest reserve, and which is located around 110 kilometres northeast of Guwahati.  On September 21, 2021 the government removed the ‘Rajiv Gandhi’ prefix from Orang, which had been provided by the government in 1992.
Chisumle- Demchok Road India inaugurated the world’s highest motorable road in Umling La Pass, located in eastern Ladakh.
Atal Tunnel The World Book of Records has recently certified Atal Tunnel as the World’s Longest Highway Tunnel over 10,000 feet. It connects Manali to the Lahaul-Spiti Valley in all weather conditions.
Zojila Tunnel The Zojila tunnel, which would be India’s longest road tunnel, and Asia’s longest bidirectional tunnel, is being proposed. When completed, the Zojila tunnel would allow year-round travel across Srinagar and Ladakh.
Pangong Tso The continued border tension between India and China around Pangong-Tso lake in Ladakh.
River Lukha One of Meghalaya’s major rivers is the Lukha. The river has been rendered dead by unchecked mining activity and effluents released by cement factories.
River Bhogdoi The death knells for the River Bhogdoi in Assam have been sounded by uncontrolled coal mining activities in Nagaland, along with effluent discharges from tea farms and encroachment.

International Places in the News in 2022

Places Reasons to be in the news
Black Sea The sinking of the huge Russian warship Moskva.
Solomon Islands The Solomon Islands and China have agreed to a security agreement that might allow China to increase its military involvement in the South Pacific island country.
Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya and Mount Ruwenzori According to a recent research by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), climate change may cause three African mountain glaciers (Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya, and Mount Ruwenzori) to vanish by 2040.
Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano Eruption of the marine underwater volcano located south-east of Fiji.
Japan Eruption of Japan’s largest volcano Mount Aso Volcano.
Indonesia Shifting of its capital from Jakarta to East Kalimantan.
Turkmenistan The Darvaza gas crater, popularly called as the Gateway to Hell or the Doors of Hell, is a cavern formed by a burning natural gas field near Darvaza, in Turkmenistan.
Queensland, Australia Carmichael Mine has begun shipping coal through an Indian multinational. It’s in the North Galilee Basin of Queensland, Australia.
Africa The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) concluded in a research that Africa’s Great Green Wall (GGW) programme to mitigate desertification in the Sahel region is an essential contribution to tackling climate change.
Zaporizhzhia After seizing control of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power facility, Russia halted Ukraine’s supply of electricity.

Kindly refer to the below video for video description and in-detailed analysis of the places and the reason they were in news:

National Places in the News in 2021

The table below provides the list of important places in India that have been mentioned in the current affairs of 2020-21:

Places Reasons to be in the news
Daman Cyclone Nisarga
Lonar Lake Haloarchaea Microbes turned its water pink
Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim Border Area Development Programme
Mumbai Megacity Flood Warning System
Odisha, Andhra Pradesh Vamsadhara River Water Dispute
Periyar Tiger Reserve/Cardamom Hills/Pandalam Hills Drive to eradicate aquatic catfish to protect local fish species
Naku La Pass India-China Face-off
Kodumanal/Tamil Nadu Megalithic Burials, etc. Excavation
Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve Proposed Human Dam
Andhra Pradesh First Online Waste Exchange Platform
Sukhna Lake/Chandigarh Sukhna Lake Management Plan – WWF and India
Kamakhya Temple/Assam Ambubachi Mela
Madhya Pradesh Second-Largest Wheat Producer in the country
Vadhavan Port To be India’s 13th Major Port; Part of Sagarmala Initiative
Narcondam Island Important Bird Area by Birdlife International
Tillari Forest Gets conservation reserve tag
Dahanu/Maharashtra Vadhavan Port Initiative
Lipulekh, Kalapani, Limpiyadhura Nepal’s Revised Political Map
Gairsain Summer Capital of Uttarakhand
Gir National Park Increase in Asiatic Lion Population
Mahakali River India-Nepal Political Map Issue
Maguri-Motapung Wetland Assam’s Baghjan Oil Well Gas Leak
Kushinagar/Uttar Pradesh Kushinagar International Airport
Galwan Valley Line of Actual Control (LAC) Tensions
Ladakh India’s first green Hydrogen Mobility project
  • Sultanpur National Park, Gurugram – Recently declared as Ramsar site
  • Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary, Jhajjar – Recently declared as Ramsar site
  • India’s first ‘Grain ATM’ launched in Gurugram – automatic machine – 70 kg grain in 7 minutes.
Tamil Nadu India’s first wetland conservation centre to be set up in Chennai
  • Thol Lake Wildlife Sanctuary –  Recently declared as Ramsar site
  • Wadhvana Wetland –  Recently declared as Ramsar site
  • Dholavira – Inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list; 40th World Heritage Site of India.
  • NTPC to set up India’s single largest solar park [capacity –  4.75 gigawatt (GW)] in Rann of Kutch.
New Delhi First Bio-Bank of the world in Ayurveda at All India Institute of Ayurveda
  • Indian Railway’s first-ever movable freshwater tunnel aquarium at Bengaluru station
  • 1st state in the country to officially implement National Education Policy 2020
  • The first state in India to provide reservations for transgender in all government services
  • Puri – First city in the country to implement the Drink from Tap Project
  • Bhitarkanika National Park – a threat to mangrove vegetation and crocodiles due to massive diversion of freshwater from the Brahmani river basin.
Telangana Rudreswara Temple (Ramappa Temple) – Inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list; 39th World Heritage Site of India.
Bihar The first state to have its own ethanol policy for biofuel.
Uttarakhand First State To Launch Earthquake Alert App
Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Kerala, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu Cyclone Tauktae – Very severe cyclonic storm (VSCS) – Developed as a depression in the Arabian Sea
  • Wins India Biodiversity Award 2021
  • India’s First Digital University
Rajasthan The first state to provide health insurance for all its residents
Madhya Pradesh Fossils of ‘Dickinsonia’ – the earliest known living animal is found at Bhimbetka rock shelters by the Geological Survey of India
Chandigarh India’s first amputee clinic

International Places in the News in 2021

Places Reason to be in the news
Ambarnaya River/Arctic Region Oil Spill in Russia’s Arctic Region Power Plant
Senkaku Islands China-Japan dispute
Tokara Islands A small archipelago in Japan/Mysterious Volcanoes
Litani River Tonnes of dead fish wash up on the shore of polluted Lebanese lake
Pashupatinath Temple/Nepal India’s assistance in the construction of sanitation facility
Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) North Korea-South Korea Tensions
Amami Islands Archipelago, part of Japan
Bandar Abbas Port/Hormuz Strait Operation Samudra Setu
South China Sea Leaders of G7 raised concerns about the situation in and around the South China Sea
Baltic Sea The navies of India and Russia concluded the 12th edition of the biennial Exercise Indra Navy at Volgograd, Russia in the Baltic Sea.
French Guiana World’s first commercial fully re-programmable satellite lifted from here.
  • The first batch of ‘space rice’.
  • World’s first country to ban synthetic cannabinoids.
  • World’s first carbon-neutral cement plant to be built.
  • Joins International Solar Alliance (ISA).
El Salvador
  • World’s First Country To Make Bitcoin Legal Tender
  • Certified as malaria-free by WHO
Malta Financial Action Task Force, or FATF, added this country to the ‘grey list’.
Liverpool UNESCO World Heritage Status has been stripped off
Brisbane, Australia Announced as host of the 2032 Olympics
Portugal World’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge
Antarctica World’s largest iceberg breaks off
Mount Nyiragongo It is located inside Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo, which erupted recently.
New Zealand World’s 1st Climate Change Law For Financial Firms

Note: Places in the news will be updated periodically. Candidates are advised to visit this article on a regular basis for daily current affairs topics.

Also, refer to the video given below to know about the places in the news. This is important from the UPSC prelims perspective.

How to remember places in the news for UPSC?

There are a few tips that a candidate could follow to remember important places in the news:

  1. Ensure a separate space to jot down the name and location of these places as and when you come across them either through the newspaper or current affairs magazine.
  2. Keep an atlas with you and, for international places, mark them on the map.
  3. While reading the physical geography of India and the world, mark important rivers, mountains, straits on the map.

The questions based on places in the news are rewarding. If a candidate has been consistent with current events, it is easier for him/her to remember them during the examination. Too much time should not be spent on studying this portion.

Get the list of species in news for UPSC in the linked article.

Candidates can refer to the links below for more IAS preparation articles:

UPSC Preparation:

UPSC Mains GS 1 Strategy, Structure and Syllabus UPSC Mains GS 2 Strategy, Structure and Syllabus
UPSC Mains GS 3 Strategy, Structure and Syllabus UPSC Mains GS 4 Strategy, Structure and Syllabus
Books, Notes and Strategy to Study International Relations Difference Between Articles
IAS Questions & Answers for UPSC 2023 UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice 2023


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