1) Mohan Kumar appointed new defence secretary:
--> G Mohan Kumar, a 1979 batch Odisha cadre IAS officer, has been appointed the next defence secretary with a fixed two-year tenure.
--> He will replace RK Mathur who retires on May 24.
--> The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet also appointed Ashok Kumar Gupta, a 1981 batch Tamil Nadu cadre officer, as the new secretary (defence production) to succeed Mohan Kumar.
2) PM Modi inaugurated golden jubilee of Ramdhari Singh Dinkar's works:
--> The golden jubilee of Ramdhari Singh Dinkar’s works 'Sanskriti ke Chaar Adhyaye' and 'Parshuram ki Pratiksha' was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Vigyan Bhawan on 22 May 2015.
--> Ramdhari Singh ‘Dinkar’ (1908-1974) is considered as one of the most important poets of the modern Hindi era.
--> He won the prestigious Bharatiya Jnanpith award in 972 and the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1959.
--> He was hailed as Rashtrakavi (national poet) due to patriotic nature of his innumerable works.
3) Gujarat government signs pact with ZTEsoft for smartcity projects:
--> Gujarat government and Chinese software firm ZTEsoft have entered into an agreement for smartcity projects in the state.
--> The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed in Shenzhen during visit Gujarat Chief Minister Anandi Ben Patel with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to China, ZTEsoft said.
4) SBI ties up with Snapdeal, PayPal:
--> State Bank of India on 21 May 2015 tied-up with two of the biggest online retail and payment solution companies, Snapdeal and PayPal respectively.
--> The partnership with PayPal will not only help in international trade but also facilitate overseas funding for the government ‘Clean Ganga’ and ‘Swachh Bharat’ programmes.
--> The agreement with Snapdeal will allow State Bank of India (SBI) to roll out a capital assistance programme for sellers using the online retailer’s platform.
5) India ranked 24th in the first Environmental Democracy Index:
--> India has ranked 24th out of 70 countries in the first Environmental Democracy Index that is topped by Lithuania.
--> Index evaluates nations' progress in enacting laws to promote transparency, accountability and citizen engagement in environmental decision making.
--> Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, the US, South Africa, the UK, Hungary, Bulgaria, Panama and Colombia are the top 10 nations in the list launched by Washington-based World Resources Institute (WRI) and Access Initiative.
6) International Day for Biological Diversity observed:
--> International Day for Biological Diversity was observed on 22 May 2015.
--> The United Nations has proclaimed May 22 The International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues.
--> On May 22, 1992, the text of the Convention on Biological Diversity was adopted by the of the United Nations at a conference in Nairobi, Kenya.
--> "Biodiversity for Sustainable Development" was the theme for International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) 2015.
7) Union Cabinet approved PSLV Continuation Programme:
--> Union Cabinet has approved continuation of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) programme for another fifteen operational flights of PSLV-C36 to PSLV-C50.
--> The decision in this regard was taken at a Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
--> All the fifteen operational flights under this programme will be completed during the period 2017-2020.
8) Virat Kohli named sixth most marketable athlete in the world:
--> British Sports business magazine 'SportsPro' has named Indian Test cricket captain Virat Kohli as the sixth most marketable athlete of this year ahead of the likes of sprint king Usain Bolt and football superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
--> The monthly magazine, which reports on the business and financial aspects of sports across the world, has placed 26-year-old Kohli just a rung below British Formula One reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton while Brazilian football superstar Neymar was named second most marketable sportsperson.