Current Affairs 2017 (August)

Sports Ministry approves constitution of Empowered Steering Committee

The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has approved constitution of 13-member Empowered Steering Committee (ESC).It will shape and influence India’s preparation for multi-disciplinary events, including 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

The decision to form ESC was taken on basis of recommendations made by Olympic Task Force headed by Abinav Bindra in its interim report.

The ESC will have chairperson appointed by the Government. It will have the mandate to work till December 31, 2020 with clearly defined terms and references.

Terms and references of ESC

Review of core probable list of each High Priority and Priority disciplines for Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and Olympic Games. Recommend specific plans or packages for beneficiaries of Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS).

Review annual calendar for Training and Competitions (ACTCs) approved by Government in consultation with the National Sports Federation (NSF) concerned. Make specific recommendations with respect to any additional or supplementary requirements.

Recommend names of national and international training institutions for their empanelment for providing training, coaching and other support to athletes. Recommend names of companies for carrying out athlete monitoring and data analytics work.

Make specific recommendations for strengthening sport sciences within Sports Authority of India (SAI) as well as outsourcing sports science support in short to medium term for providing sports science support. Assist Government in mobilizing CSR funds to meet additional funding requirements for training and preparation of national team in various sports disciplines.


Earlier, the Sports Ministry had constituted Task Force in September 2016 head by Abhinav Bindra for preparation of comprehensive action plan, including short-term and medium to long-term measures for effective participation of Indian sportspersons in next three Olympic Games to be held in 2020 (Tokyo), 2024 (Paris) and 2028 (Los Angeles). The 8-member Task Force had submitted its interim report to Government in May 2017 with focus on preparations in the short-term for 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.


Volcanic carbon dioxide drove ancient global warming: Study

According to study conducted by researchers from University of Southampton, UK, extreme global warming event 56 million years ago was driven by massive carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from volcanoes, during formation of North Atlantic Ocean.

They had used combination of new geochemical measurements and novel global climate modelling to show that Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) was associated with rapid doubling of atmospheric CO2 in less than 25 thousand years because of CO2 emissions from volcanoes.

Key Facts

The PETM was most rapid and extreme natural global warming event of last 66 million years. It had lasted for around 150 thousand years and increased global temperatures by at least 5 degrees Celsius. Its period coincided with the formation of massive ‘flood basalts’ — large stretches of ocean floor coated in lava, resulting from of a series of huge eruptions.

Earlier it was suggested that PETM event was caused by injection of CO2 into ocean and atmosphere, but ultimate trigger source of CO2 was not known. Now researchers believe that, the CO2 was released during land drifts, separating Greenland from north-western Europe, thereby creating North Atlantic Ocean.

During this time, more than 10,000 petagrammes of CO2 was released predominantly from volcanic source. This is a vast amount of CO2, 30 times larger than all fossil fuels burned to date and equivalent to all current conventional and unconventional fossil fuel reserves.