20 January 2020: PIB Summary & Analysis

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

January 20th, 2020 PIB:- Download PDF Here


1. Classical Languages of India
2. Pariksha Pe Charcha 2020
3. Paperless Licensing for Petroleum Service Stations
4. Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA)
5. National Cadet Corps (NCC)
6. NIC Tech Conclave 2020
7. World Economic Forum (WEF)
8. Youth Co:Lab National Innovation Challenge

1. Classical Languages of India


Vice President stresses the need to preserve and promote classical languages.

About the classical languages of India:

  • There are six languages that have been declared ‘classical languages’ in India.
  • They are:
    • Tamil – declared in 2004
    • Sanskrit – declared in 2005
    • Kannada – declared in 2008
    • Telugu – declared in 2008
    • Malayalam – declared in 2013
    • Odia – declared in 2014
  • Four of the six classical languages are Dravidian (Sanskrit and Odia are Indo-Aryan). And, five of the six are regional languages (all except Sanskrit, which is not specific to any region).
  • The Ministry of Culture confers the classical language status. The following are the guidelines that the government follows while conferring this status:
    • High antiquity of its early texts/recorded history over a period of 1500-2000 years.
    • A body of ancient literature/texts, which is considered a valuable heritage by generations of speakers.
    • The literary tradition has to be original and not borrowed from another speech community.
    • The classical language and literature being distinct from modern, there may also be a discontinuity between the classical language and its later forms or its offshoots.
  • Upon receiving the proposal for considering a language for the status, the Ministry of Culture refers it to the Committee on Linguistic Experts through the Sahitya Akademi for recommendations. The Ministry then forwards the proposal along with the recommendations to the Prime Minister’s Office for further action.
  • Benefits of being conferred the classical language status:
    • Two major international awards for scholars who have made significant contributions to Classical Indian Languages are awarded annually.
    • A Center of Excellence for the Study of Classical Languages has been set up by the government.
    • Central Universities have also been requested to provide grants for Professional Chairs for Classical Languages.
    • The University Grants Commission (UGC) also awards research projects for promoting these languages.
    • The Central Institute of Indian Languages located in Mysore, Karnataka works for the promotion of Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam and Odia.
    • For the promotion of Tamil, the Central Institute of Classical Tamil was established in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
    • Sanskrit language promotion is done by the Government through three deemed universities – Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth (Tirupati), Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan and Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth in New Delhi.

How many people speak classical languages?

Sanskrit is spoken as a first language only by 24,821 people in the country. The percentages of population that speak the other languages are given in the following table:

Language Percentage of Population
Telugu 6.7
Tamil 5.7
Kannada 3.61
Odia 3.1
Malayalam 2.88

2. Pariksha Pe Charcha 2020


PM interacts with students, teachers and parents at “Pariksha Pe Charcha 3.0”.


To know more about Pariksha Pe Charcha 2020, check PIB dated January 1, 2020.

3. Paperless Licensing for Petroleum Service Stations


The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry has launched paperless licensing process through the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) for petroleum service stations (retail outlets storing and dispensing petrol/diesel for motor conveyances) under the Petroleum Rules, 2002.


  • This initiative for petroleum pump licensing is expected to benefit more than 70,000 petroleum pump owners and oil marketing companies.
  • An added advantage of this move is that the authenticity of the license may be verified on PESO’s official website. This automation is expected to benefit the petroleum and gas industry.
  • This move is in line with the government’s Digital India and Ease of Doing Business
  • The process will include filing the applications online, online payment of fees which will go directly to the concerned officer’s ID without any manual interface.
  • Applicants, at each stage of processing of the application, will be intimated via SMS and email, in case of discrepancy or grant of license or approval.
  • These details will also be reflected in the applicant’s profile.
  • The entire process will not require any printing and physical dispatch of license. The license will be dispatched electronically.

4. Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA)


APEDA has added 135 laboratories to the existing 51 recognized laboratories for agricultural product testing.

About APEDA:

To know more about APEDA, check PIB dated 5 Jan 2020.

5. National Cadet Corps (NCC)


Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh visits NCC Republic Day Camp 2020.

About the NCC:

To know more about the NCC, check PIB dated November 14, 2019.

6. NIC Tech Conclave 2020


The Union Minister for Law & Justice, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology to inaugurate the 2nd edition of ‘NIC Tech Conclave 2020’.

About the NIC Tech Conclave:

  • It is a 2-day event organised by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) at New Delhi.
  • The theme for this year’s event is ‘Technologies for NextGen Governance’.
  • This Conclave is expected to contribute to the capacity building of government officers across the country and help in delivering high-quality citizen-centric services.
  • The speakers in the Conclave are experts from the IT industry who will share their expertise in various areas like cyber security, hyperscale architecture, design thinking, etc.

About the National Informatics Centre (NIC):

  • The NIC provides ICT and eGovernance support to the Government.
  • It was established in 1976.
  • It has emerged as a promoter of digital opportunities for sustainable development.
  • NIC spearheaded “Informatics-Led-Development” by implementing ICT applications in social and public administration and facilitates electronic delivery of services to the government (G2G), business (G2B), citizen (G2C) and government employee (G2E).
  • NIC, through its ICT Network, “NICNET”, has institutional linkages with all the Ministries/Departments of the Central Government, 37 State Governments/ Union Territories, and about 720+ District Administrations of India.
  • Major activities of the NIC:
    • Setting up of ICT Infrastructure
    • Implementation of National and State Level e-Governance Projects/Products
    • Consultancy to the Government departments
    • Research & Development
    • Capacity Building
  • It is headed by a Director-General.
  • It is under the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology.

7. World Economic Forum (WEF)


The Union Minister of State for Shipping (Independent Charge) and Chemicals & Fertilizers is attending the 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting being held at Davos, Switzerland in January 2020.

About the WEF:

To know more about the World Economic Forum, check the linked article.

8. Youth Co:Lab National Innovation Challenge


Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) & UNDP hosts 3-day Youth Co:Lab National Innovation Challenge.

About the Youth Co:Lab:

  • Youth Co: Lab launched in collaboration by AIM and UNDP aims at fostering technology, promoting youth leadership and social entrepreneurship in India.
  • As a part of the first phase of Youth Co: Lab’s national innovation challenge, a series of innovation challenges were held in four cities namely, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Indore and Varanasi.
  • The event saw the participation of more than 60 teams from which top 15 winning teams contested in the National Innovation Challenge in Delhi. Another 15 teams had been chosen via the nomination method from the pool of start-ups incubated at the Atal Incubation Centres.
    • Atal Incubation Centres (AICs) are set up in higher educational institutions, R&D institutions, corporates, or even by individuals, etc. They are world-class incubation facilities that provide physical infrastructure in terms of capital equipment and operating facilities combined with mentoring support by experts and the industry required for start-ups.
  • Thus, 30 selected teams participated in the Youth:Co Lab Innovation Challenge.
  • Co-created in 2017 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Citi Foundation, Youth Co:Lab aims to establish a common agenda for Asia-Pacific countries to invest in and empower youth to accelerate implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through leadership, social innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • With presence in over 20 countries in Asia and the Pacific, Youth Co:Lab was launched in India in October 2019, in collaboration with the AIM.

Also read: Atal Tinkering Labs.

January 20th, 2020 PIB:- Download PDF Here

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