Daily Current Affairs Date 20th And 21st of June 2021

Daily Current Affairs Date 20th And 21st of June 2021


  • Six sets of copper plates unearthed at Srisailam temple in a rare discovery.
  • Scientists Have a Solution to Plastic Waste: Convert it to Edible Vanilla Flavoring.
  • Zambia’s first president Kenneth Kaunda dies at age 97.
  • World’s Third Largest Diamond Unearthed.
  • UNDRR Report on Drought.
  • Government is looking to increase the number of Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras (PMBJKs).
  • Indian Navy conducts maiden joint exercise with EU Naval Force.
  • Centrum to takeover PMC Bank.


Q- Consider the following statements about Srisailam temple, recently in News

  1. Mallikarjuna Temple (also simply known as Srisailam Temple), is a Hindu temple dedicated to the deity Shiva, located at Srisailam in Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
  2. There are inscriptional evidence from the Satavahana dynasty which place the temple to be existent from the 2nd century.
  3. Most modern additions were done during the time of king Harihara I of Chalukya Empire.

Which of the following given above is/are correct

a) 1 and 2 only

b) 1, 2 and 3

c) 1 and 3 only

d) 2 and 3 only

Six sets of copper plates unearthed at Srisailam temple in a rare discovery.

  • In a major historic significance to the temple development, Srisailam authorities have unearthed 21 copper plates dating back to the 16th century or earlier, during excavations at Ghanta Matham on Sunday.
  • S. Rama Rao, the executive officer of Sri Brhamaramaba Mallikarjuna Swami Temple, said the plates were found containing Nandi Nagari script in Sanskrit and a few were also in Telugu/ Kannada languages.
  • Chenna Reddy, Dean of Archeology at Telugu University campus in Srisailam, who was also Director of Archeology and Museums, said, “Just found 6 sets of copper plates (18 leaves) during the course of renovation work in Ganṭa-maṭham at Śrīśailam, carried out by the temple authorities. Out of 6 copper plate sets, 4 sets are written in Sanskrit language and Nandi-Nāgarī script and other 2 plates are in Telugu language and script.
  • All the plates can be assigned between 14th-16th century C.E.”
  • He further said that the latest findings add to the historic significance of the Srisailam temple as it was patronised by Reddy Kings, Kakatiyas, and Vijayanagara Empire in the medieval period. Kondaveeti Reddy Rajulu were credited with building the steps to the Pathala Gang which added religious significance to bathing in the Krishna River near Srisailam.
  • Rama Rao said that the renovation activities at Ghanta Matham yielded many priceless treasures and the works were going on.
  • The latest find of 21 copper plates would add to the historic links the temple had with the Vijayanagara Empire.
  • He said the copper plates would be sent to labs to decipher the script and preserve the same for posterity.


 Q- Consider the following statements about Vanillin

  1. Vanillin is used widely in the food and cosmetics industries and is an important bulk chemical used to make pharmaceuticals, cleaning products and herbicides.
  2. Vanillin is the substance responsible for the familiar taste of vanilla, which has been used as a food additive and spice for hundreds of years.
  3. Maldives is presently the largest producer of natural vanillin.

Which of the following given above is/are correct

a)1 and 2 only

b) 1, 2 and 3

c)1 and 3 only

d) 3 only

Scientists have a Solution to Plastic Waste: Convert it to Edible Vanilla Flavoring.

  • Scientists have developed a novel way of converting plastic into something useful that actually helps reduce plastic waste.
  • Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have developed a new technique using which plastic can be converted to vanilla flavouring by genetically engineered E-coli bacteria.
  • The scientists demonstrated the technique by actually converting a plastic bottle into vanillin vanilla flavouring – by introducing E.coli to degraded plastic waste.
  • According to the scientists, the flavouring produced would be fit for being consumed by humans.
  • However, further tests are required before introducing the vanillin produced from plastic to human food, say scientists. With approximately 50 million tonnes of plastic waste, particularly Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) — the lightweight and strong plastic which is used in packaging and water bottles.
  • PET is derived from crude oil and natural gas, which themselves are non-renewable sources of energy.
  • Recycling PET produces products that continue to add to plastic waste.
  • On the other hand, the vanilla flavouring vanillin is something that is very high in demand.
  • Widely used in food industries, cosmetics, herbicides, antifoaming agents and cleaning products, the global demand for vanillin in 2018 was more than 37,000 tonnes.
  • Scientists think that the newly developed technique can be a game-changer in reducing plastic waste.
  • They see the technique as something that overhauls plastic waste as a valuable industrial chemical and has exciting implications.
  • “Our work challenges the perception of plastic being a problematic waste and instead demonstrates its use as a new carbon resource from which high value products can be obtained,” says Stephen Wallace, one of the researchers of the study, in a news release by the University of Edinburgh.
  • The study was published in Green Chemistry on June 10.
  • The new research adds another feather in the cap of Synthetic Biology, a modern field in which scientists redesign microorganisms to efficiently perform desired chemical processes, which makes it powerful in terms of solving real world problems.


Q- Kenneth Kaunda, who was in the news recently, was the founding President of which country?

a) Nigeria

b) Kenya

c) Zambia

d) Congo

Zambia’s first president Kenneth Kaunda dies at age 97.

  • Kenneth Kaunda, Zambia’s first president and champion of African independence Kenneth Kaunda has passed away. He was 97.
  • Zambia’s current President Edgar Lungu shared the unfortunate news on his social media page on June 17, 2021.
  • He informed that Zambia will see 21 days of mourning. Kenneth Kaunda’s political journey
  • Kenneth Kaunda was the first democratically elected President of Zambia from 1964 to 1991.
  • He initially worked as a school teacher.
  • He led the country, then a one-party state, until 1991 when he was defeated in an election following the introduction of multiparty politics.
  • Kaunda had been at the forefront of Zambia’s struggle for independence from British rule.
  • Zambia was then known as Northern Rhodesia.
  • In 1951, he became the Organising Secretary of Northern Province’s Northern Rhodesian African National Congress.
  • He later took up the post of Secretary General of the Africa National Congress (ANC), under the presidency of Harry Nkumbula.
  • They were both imprisoned in 1995 for two months with hard labour for distributing subversive literature.
  • After this experience, the two leaders drifted apart as Nkumbula became increasingly influenced by white liberals and was seen to be willing to compromise on the issue of black majority rule.
  • There was eventually a split in African National Congress (ANC). Kaunda broke from the ANC and formed the Zambian African National Congress (ZANC) in October 1958.
  • The ZANC was banned in March 1959 and Kaunda was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment in June.
  • While he was in prison, Mainza Chona and other nationalists broke away from the ANC and Chona became the first president of the United National Independence Party (UNIP), the successor to ZANC, in October 1959.
  • When Kaunda was released from prison in January 1960, he was elected as the President of UNIP.
  • In July 1961, Kaunda organised a civil disobedience campaign in Northern Province, the Cha-cha-cha campaign, which comprised largely of arson and obstructing significant roads.
  • Kaunda then ran as a UNIP candidate during the 1962 elections and this led to a UNIP–ANC Coalition Government, with Kaunda as Minister of Local Government and Social Welfare.
  • Kaunda’s party UNIP won the next major elections in January 1964 and on October 24, 1964 he became the first President of an independent Zambia, appointing Reuben Kamanga as his vice-president.
  • In 1973, Kaunda imposed a one-party state, banning all political parties except UNIP through an amendment of the constitution after the signing of the Choma Declaration.
  • This was reportedly following tribal and inter-party violence in the same year.
  • He eventually gave in to the domestic protests and international pressure and agreed to multiparty elections in 1990.
  • During the 1991 elections, he lost to Frederick Chiluba, the leader of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy.
  • Chiluba sought to ban Kaunda from running again in 1996 by bringing a constitutional amendment that barred first-generation Zambians from running for president.
  • Kaunda’s parents had been born in neighboring Malawi.
  • Chiluba also used a 1997 failed coup attempt to put Kaunda under house arrest.
  • Kaunda was briefly stripped of Zambian citizenship in 1999, but the decision was overturned in the following year.

Champion of African independence

  • During his 27-year rule, Kenneth Kaunda made Zambia a center for all anti-colonial groups that won independence for neighboring countries including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Angola, Mozambique and Namibia.
  • He allowed the guerilla organizations to maintain military bases, training camps, refugee centers and administrative offices in the country.
  • He even conducted negotiations with the South African government, which is credited with helping to bring the apartheid regime to release Nelson Mandela from the prison and to allow the ANC to operate legally.
  • Kaunda remained lifelong friends with Mandela after the anti-apartheid leader’s release from prison.
  • At the height of the Cold War, Kaunda was a leading member of the Non-Aligned Movement

Assassination attempt

  • Kenneth Kaunda was shot and wounded by the government forces during a demonstration in 1997.
  • He also escaped an assassination attempt in 1999. He also blamed Chiluba’s allies for the killing of his son and heir-apparent, Wezi in November 1999.
  • His other son, Masyzyo, passed away due to AIDS in 1986.
  • Following his retirement from politics, Kaunda spent his time campaigning against AIDS, becoming one of the few African leaders to speak up on the disease in a continent where it is considered as taboo.
  • He set up the Kenneth Kaunda Children of Africa Foundation in 2000 and took an AIDS test at the age of 78 to persuade others to do likewise in a country ravaged by the virus.


Q- Consider the following statements regarding World’s Third Largest Diamond Unearthed

  1. It weighs a little less than world’s second-largest 1,109-carat Lesedi la Rona diamond.
  2. Debswana Diamond Company have unearthed world’s third-largest diamond.
  3. It is named as Excelsior Diamond.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a) 1, 2

b) 2, 3

c) All of the above

d) None of the above

World’s Third Largest Diamond Unearthed

  • Debswana Diamond Company have unearthed world’s third-largest diamond in Jwaneng mine of Botswana in South Africa.
  • Botswana is called as largest producer of diamonds in Africa.
  • Diamond weighing 1,098 carats was presented to President Mokgweetsi Masisi after it was unearthed.
  • It weighs a little less than world’s second-largest 1,109-carat Lesedi la Rona diamond which was found in Botswana in 2015 and world’s largest 3,106-carat Cullinan diamond which was found in South Africa in 1905.
  • Estimation of stone’s final value is not yet released.
  • World’s second-largest 1,109-carat Lesedi la Rona diamond was sold for $53 million.

About third largest diamond

  • Diamond is measuring 73mm long, 52mm wide, and 27mm thick.
  • It is yet to be named.


  • Debswana company had witnessed a 29 per cent fall in production to 16.6 million carats and a 30 per cent drop in sales amid the covid-19 pandemic. Thus, unearthing of third largest diamond becomes significant.

About Debswana Diamond Company

  • It is a joint venture between global diamond giant De Beers and government.
  • 80 percent of the income earned by selling of diamonds by Debswana goes to government by means of royalties, dividends, and taxes.


Q- Consider the following statements regarding UNDRR Report on Drought.

  1. 5 billion people are directly affected by drought this century.
  2. Economic cost was roughly estimated at $124bn

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

UNDRR Report on Drought.

  • The report titled “Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction: Special Report on Drought 2021” was published on June 18, 2021 by UNDRR (United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction).
  • It will be a part of discussions at vital UN climate talks called Cop26, scheduled to take place in Glasgow in November 2021.
  • As per the report, Drought is a hidden global crisis which can become “the next pandemic” if no urgent action is taken on water & land management and tackling climate emergency.
  • About 1.5 billion people are directly affected by drought this century.
  • Economic cost was roughly estimated at $124bn. However, True cost is likely to be many times higher as these estimates do not include much impact in developing countries.
  • Most of world will be with water stress in next few years and demand will outstrip the water supply during certain periods.
  • Report highlights, drought is now widespread and by end of this century most of the countries will experience it in some form.

Scenario on Developed countries

  • Report highlights that, even the developed countries are not immune to drought.
  • US, Australia and southern Europe have experienced drought in recent past. Drought costs more than us dollar 6 billion a year in US while euro 9 billion in EU.
  • As per report, Population growth is also exposing more people to the impacts of drought in many regions.

Reasons for drought

  • Changing rainfall patterns because of climate breakdown are key driver of drought.
  • However, report identifies inefficient use of water resources, degradation of land under intensive agriculture and poor farming practices also plays crucial role.
  • Deforestation, overuse of fertilisers & pesticides, overgrazing & over-extraction of water for farming are some other factors.


Q- Consider the following statement about Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras (PMBJKs).

1- A Medicine under p m b j p is priced on the principle of a maximum 50% off average price of top 3 branded medicines.

2- The price of Jan Aushadhi Medicines is cheaper at least by 50%and in some cases by 80 to 90% of the market price of branded medicines.

3- Kendra pharmacists,popularly known as “Swasth ke Sipahi”.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a) 1, 2

b) 2, 3

c) All of the above

d) None of the above

Government is looking to increase the number of Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras (PMBJKs).

  • The government is looking to increase the number of Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras (PMBJKs) in the country to 10,000 by March 2024, Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers Mansukh Mandaviya said on Monday.
  • The minister stated the government’s expansion plan for the PMBJKs while virtually inaugurating an outlet at Pragpur in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh.
  • As on June 11, 2021, there were 7,836 PMBJK outlets across the country.
  • In Himachal Pradesh alone, there are already 66 Jan Aushadhi Kendras, Mandaviya noted.
  • He added that under the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP), all the districts of the country are being covered.
  • PMBJP is ensuring easy reach of affordable medicine to the people in every nook and corner of the country, he stated.
  • Mandaviya noted that even in a situation like COVID-19, the role of Jan Aushadhi Kendras has become important.
  • The 7,836 Jan Aushadhi Kendras are operating day and night tirelessly to serve the poor and the needy, he added.
  • Apart from selling affordable and quality generic medicines, many Jan Aushadhi Kendras have distributed ration kits, cooked food and free medicines to the needy people during the lockdown period, Mandaviya said.

Q- Which of the following statement best describes the SHADE initiative:

a) It is a naval exercise conducted by the Indian Navy and the European Union Naval Force in the Gulf of Aden.

b) It is an international treaty for the protection of vessels deployed under the charter of the World Food Programme (UN WFP).

c) It is a virtual information sharing exercise conducted between the Indian Navy. Indian Ocean Region and Maritime Security Centre-Horn of Africa.

d) It is an international operational counter piracy platform, convened in Bahrain

Indian Navy conducts maiden joint exercise with EU Naval Force

  • Indian Navy and European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) are conducting their first ever exercise in Gulf of Aden.
  • This two-day exercise will end on June 19, 2021 Indian Naval Ship Trikand participated in the exercise, which is currently deployed for anti-piracy operations.
  • Total of five warships from four navies participated in the exercise held on 18th & 19th
  • Other warships that participated in exercise include Italian Navy Ship ITS Carabinere, two French Navy Ship FS Tonnerre & FS Surcouf and Spanish Navy Ship ESPS Navarra.
  • A virtual “Information Sharing Exercise” is also being conducted between Indian Navy Information Fusion Centre in Indian Ocean Region and Maritime Security Centre in Horn of Africa.

About the exercise

  • The two-day exercise witnessed high tempo-naval operations at sea such as advanced air defence & anti-submarine exercises, cross deck helicopter operations, boarding operations, tactical manoeuvres, underway replenishment, search & rescue etc.
  • Ships of four navies endeavour to enhance their war-fighting skills and their ability to promote peace, security and stability in maritime domain.
  • EUNAVFOR and Indian Navy also saw eye-to-eye on multiple issues such as counter piracy operations and protection of vessels which were deployed under charter of World Food Programme (UN WFP).

Indian Navy and EUNAVFOR

  • Both the navies conduct regular interaction through SHADE (Shared Awareness and Deconfliction) meetings which is held annually at Bahrain.
  • It highlights their shared values of ensuring freedom of seas.


Which Centrum Financial Services is going to takeover of Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperatives Bank (PMC Bank)?

a) Paytm

b) Bharatpe

c) CSB Bank.

d) Pay Pal

Centrum to takeover PMC Bank.

  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cleared proposal to takeover of Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperatives Bank (PMC Bank) by a consortium of non-bank lender Centrum Financial Services & fintech startup BharatPe.


  • This decision was taken in the backdrop of collapse of Punjab & Maharashtra Cooperatives Bank.
  • This state cooperative lender was on the verge of collapse when regulator seized it on September 24, 2019.
  • Regulator seized the cash withdrawals for six months and launched an investigation into its accounting lapses.
  • Following this, Centrum Financial Services and BharatPe had submitted a joint proposal to overtake PMC Bank in February 2021.

RBI’s Approval

  • RBI has decided to grant in-principle approval to Centrum so as to set up a small finance bank. It will be set up under on-tap licensing norms. On-tap licensing means, when regulator gives out bank licences on continuous basis rather than once in several years.

Centrum Financial Services

  • It is a step-down subsidiary of listed entity Centrum Capital which provides credit to small and mid-sized companies having asset of ₹2 lakh to ₹2 crore.
  • Resilient Innovations Pvt. Ltd, operating BharatPe, will also be an equal partner in small finance bank.

Punjab & Maharashtra Co-operative Bank Limited (PMC)

  • PMC is a multi-state co-operative bank that was established in 1983.
  • It has 137 branches across India while about 100 branches are in Maharashtra.
  • It is regulated by Reserve Bank of India and is registered under Cooperative Societies Act.