International Sign Languages Day 2020 | UPSC

International Sign Languages Day 2020 | UPSC


International Sign Languages Day 2020’ was celebrated at a virtual function organized by the Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC).

      WHY IN NEWS:


MINISTRY? :- Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment


For PRELIMS go through the significance of this event , resolution number and the initiatives of ISLRTC. Do not forget the theme .

For MAINS How is this event synonymous with Rights of person with disability Act 2016 . Let us dive in !


The preservation of sign languages and deaf culture as pre-requisites to the realisation of the human rights of deaf people.


International Sign Languages Day 2020

  • The International Day of Sign Languages is an unique opportunity to support and protect the linguistic identity and cultural diversity of all deaf people and other sign language users.

In 2020, the World Federation of the Deaf is issuing a Global Leaders Challenge

  • According to the World Federation of the Deaf, there are approximately 72 million deaf people worldwide.
  • More than 80% of them live in developing countries.
  • Collectively, they use more than 300 different sign languages.


  • Sign languages are fully fledged natural languages, structurally distinct from the spoken languages.

There is also an international sign language, which is used by deaf people in international meetings and informally when travelling and socializing.

  • It is considered a pidgin form of sign language that is not as complex as natural sign languages and has a limited lexicon.
  • The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recognizes and promotes the use of sign languages.
  • It makes clear that sign languages are equal in status to spoken languages.

International Sign Languages Day 2020 _ UPSC (2)

  • It obligates states parties to facilitate the learning of sign language and promote the linguistic identity of the deaf community.


  • Sign Language is a scientific language that is silently expressed through Signs and gestures.
  • It is so sublime and harmonious with nature which binds us together through its uniform standards and modes.

The movement concerted advocacy to raise awareness of the issues deaf people face in their everyday lives.

  • The International Week of the Deaf was first celebrated in September 1958 .
  • Since then it has evolved into a global movement of deaf unity .


  • The UN General Assembly has proclaimed 23 September as the International Day of Sign Languages.

The focus is to raise awareness of the importance of sign language in the full realization of the human rights of people who are deaf.

  • It is also critical to the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals.
  • It recognizes the importance of preserving sign languages as part of linguistic and cultural diversity.


This year the theme is – Sign Languages Are for Everyone!


  • The resolution establishing the day acknowledges that early access to sign language and services in sign language.

That is by including quality education available in sign language, is vital to the growth and development of the deaf individuals.

  • It also emphasizes the principle of “nothing about us without us” in terms of working with deaf communities.


  • The proposal for the Day came from the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD).
  • It is a federation of 135 national associations of deaf people, representing approximately 70 million deaf people’s human rights worldwide.

The resolution A/RES/72/161 was sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations.

  • It was co-sponsored by 97 United Nations Member States and adopted by consensus on 19 December 2017.
  • The choice of 23 September commemorates the date that the WFD was established in 1951.
  • The International Day of Sign Languages was first celebrated in 2018 as part of the International Week of the Deaf.


  • National and international leaders around the world show their support for sign language rights by participating in our #GlobalLeadersChallenge.
  • 2020 International Day of Sign Languages (IDSL) is held on 23 September each year, as part of the International Week of the Deaf (IWD).

This celebration arises from the Resolution A/RES/72/161 of the United Nations adopted in 2017. 

  • This resolution recognises 23 September as the International Day of Sign Languages.
  • This challenge aims to promote the use of sign languages by local, national, and global leaders in partnership with national associations of deaf people in each country.


  • Inclusiveness

Leadership, Strategic Planning And Management

  • Programming
  • Organizational Culture

      IASbhai WINDUP: 


  • Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 recognizes Sign Language as a means of communication.
  • Realising the importance of Sign language the GOI has set up the ISLRTC(Indian Sign Language Research and Training Center) in 2015.


  • ISLRTC promotes usage, teaching and research in Indian Sign language that brings people closer and unites them.
  • It uses technology coupled with sign language to improve modes of expressions.
  • Various projects, courses and awareness programmes are being carried out by ISLRTC.

The projects of ISLRTC namely ISL dictionary and DEAF-NP Project

  • 4000 words and expressions will be added to ISL dictionary having 6000 words at present.
  • Two important courses are being run by ISLRTC, namely Diploma in Indian Sign Language Interpretation (DISLI) and Diploma in Teaching Indian Sign Language (DTISL).
     SOURCES: PIB | International Sign Languages Day 2020 | UPSC

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