20 February 2019: UPSC Exam PIB Summary & Analysis

Read the daily PIB update and stay up-to-date on current affairs for the UPSC exam

International Conference on Energy and Environment: Challenges and Opportunities

The President of India, inaugurated the International Conference and Exhibition on Energy and Environment: Challenges and Opportunities (ENCO 2019). The Conference is being organised by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.


  • Technological advancement, energy and environment are major concerns not only for developing countries but also for developed countries.
  • Global trends show that coal will remain the predominant energy source for most countries, including India, while renewable sources will also grow.
  • The President said that India is committed to provide power to all citizens at affordable cost as well as boost the national economy through an industrial revolution in tune with Industry 4.0.
  • He urged participants of the Conference to come up with actionable ideas on environmental issues related to use of fossil fuels and viable alternatives.
  • The 3 day conference aimedto deliberate and identify the R&D needs to innovate new techniques, technologies and applications for clean, safe, symbiotic sustenance of society, environment, energy and industries in post-2020 era.

India-Saudi Arabia Joint Statement during the State Visit of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia to India


At the invitation of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India and under the guidance of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia paid their first State visit to India from 19-20 February 2019.


  • India and Saudi Arabia enjoy cordial and friendly relations reflecting the centuries old economic and socio-cultural ties. Close geographical proximity, civilizational links, cultural affinity, natural synergies, vibrant people to people contacts. Common challenges and opportunities have added momentum to this robust engagement.
  • The bilateral discussions were held in the spirit of strong friendship that binds the two countries and their leaders. They expressed satisfaction at the excellent state of bilateral ties of friendship and cooperation, which are marked by trust, mutual understanding, goodwill and respect for each other’s interests. Both sides expressed satisfaction at the progress made in diverse fields including trade, energy, security and cultural spheres
  • The two sides re-affirmed their deep commitment to strengthen the ‘strategic partnership’ envisaged in the ‘Riyadh Declaration’ of February 2010.

MOUs signed during the visit:

The following MoUs were signed during the visit:-

(I) MoU on investing in the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund of India.

(II) MoU on cooperation in the field of Tourism.

 (III) MoU on cooperation in the field of Housing.

 (IV) Framework cooperation programme between Invest India and Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority (SAGIA).

(V) MoU for cooperation on Broadcasting for exchange of Audio-Visual Programmes.

(VI) Agreement for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA) launched by Indian Prime Minister.

Agricultural Science Congress:


‘Innovations for Transformation’ is the theme for 14th Agricultural Science Congress.


  • Churning of science, technology and knowledge outcomes during the Congress will be of immense value to the welfare of farmers as well as humanity.
  • The PM set two goals for India, to be achieved by 2022. One, to free India from malnutrition and the other, to double farmer’s income.

Steps taken so far to achieve the goal of doubling farmer’s income:

  • PM-KISAN for  assured income support to the farmers. The scheme is being implemented with effect from December 2018. A direct income support of Rs 6,000 per annum to the farmers will be provided. Around 12 crore farming families will be directly benefitted from this scheme.
  • ICAR in has launched a mega project called NICRA to address the issues of climate change through the KVKs.
  • Soil Health Card Scheme has been launched to improve crop productivity through judicious use of inputs without deteriorating soil health further.
  • IARI has developed ‘Pusa Soil Testing and Fertilizer Recommendation Meter’ for facilitating the reach of soil testing at the farmers’ doorstep.
  • Implementation of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sampada Yojana will result in creation of modern infrastructure with efficient supply chain management.

Way forward:

Agri-based start-ups and entrepreneurship development need to be promoted and the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) including Self-Employment and Talent Utilization (SETU) is government’s endeavour to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. Innovations will play a critical role in developing solutions and pathways for addressing the agrarian challenges.

States’ ranking on Start-up initiatives:


Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has released second edition of Startup Ranking for 2019.


  • The Startup Ranking framework aims to rank the States/UTs for establishing a robust ecosystem for supporting Startups.
  • The framework also encourages States and UTs to identify, learn and replicate good practices from each other.
  • The Ranking Framework 2019 comprises of 7 pillars and 30 action points.
  • The pillars will assess States’/UTs efforts acrossinstitutional support, simplifying regulations, easing public procurement, incubation support, seed funding support, venture funding support and awareness and outreach related activities.
  • The ranking exercise aims to evaluate measures taken by States/UTs during the assessment period
  • DPIIT also proposes to recognise States and UTs for their exemplaryperformance in seven pillars of the ranking framework.
  • As part of the Ranking 2019 exercise, DPIIT will recognize innovative Startup programs and initiatives from State/UT Governments.

Benefits of Start-up ranking:

  • The launch of the ranking framework in 2018 galvanized the States/UTs into action, thereby giving impetus to the Startup movement across the country.
  • Till date, 25 States and UTs have launched their dedicated Startup policies to incentivize Startups in their jurisdiction.
  • The Startup Ranking 2019 is expected to take forward the Startup ecosystem in the country and give impetus to the vision of India becoming a Startup Nation.

VIVID 2019


  • VIVID-Vision Insight and Voices as India goes Digital”- the District Informatics Officer (DIO) meet, is being organised by National Informatics Centre (NIC) on 21st and 22nd February, 2019.
  • VIVID started in 2017, as an annual event, with the objective to empower NIC officials in the field of technology.
  • The National meet will cover a wide range of relevant topics in various technical sessions sessions including Emerging Technologies (Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning & Big Data Analytics), Cyber Threats & Counter Measures (Changing Digitisation Paradigm & its impact on Security), Enterprise Level Applications, and many other relevant topics.

NIC TechGov Awards:

NIC TechGov is a competitive platform that presents a unique opportunity to the NIC officers posted in states and districts offices across the nation to accelerate their knowledge and learn emerging technologies.

Digital India Compendium:

 ‘Digital Bharat, Saksham Bharat – A Compendium on Digital India’ covers the entire gamut of the Digital India programme from policy to implementation perspective, highlighting the transformation led by Digital India, a story of Digital Empowerment and Digital Inclusion. The compendium is brought out with an objective to disseminate and propagate the success of Digital India among masses.

Digidhan Mitra Chatbot

Designed and developed by NIC, the AI based Digidhan Mitra enables a text & voice based conversation with the user, mining the Digidhan Portal, to give customized information in graphical, tabular and textual format. It provides bank wise transactions details as well as growth pattern of various modes of transactions like BHIM, IMPS, Cards etc. in tabular as well as graphical form.

Technology Incubation and Development of Entrepreneurs (TIDE 2.0) Scheme:

The Scheme has been devised to promote the momentum into the tech entrepreneurship landscape. The Scheme provides financial and technical support to incubators engaged in supporting ICT startups using emerging technologies such as IoT, AI, Block-chain, Robotics etc. in seven pre-identified areas of societal relevance.

1st Mega Food Park of Tripura


Union Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti today inaugurated Sikaria Mega Food Park Pvt Ltd at Village Tulakona in Agartala. This is the first Mega Food Park in the state of Tripura.


  • The Mega Food Park will leverage an additional investment of about Rs. 250 crores in 25-30 food processing units in the park and generate a turnover of about Rs. 450-500 Crore annually.
  • The Park will also provide direct and indirect employment to 5000 people and benefit about 25000 farmers.

Mega Food Park Scheme:

  • To give a major boost to the food processing sector by adding value and reducing food wastage at each stage of the supply chain with particular focus on perishables, Ministry of Food Processing Industries is implementing Mega Food Park Scheme in the country.
  • Mega Food Parks create modern infrastructure facilities for food processing along the value chain from farm to market with strong forward and backward linkages through a cluster based approach.
  • Common facilities and enabling infrastructure is created at Central Processing Centre and facilities for primary processing and storage is created near the farm in the form of Primary Processing Centers (PPCs) and Collection Centers (CCs).
  • Under the Scheme, Government of India provides financial assistance upto Rs. 50.00 Crore per Mega Food Park project.

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