European Union Current Affairs

India, EU ink cooperation agreement to share earth observation data from each other’s satellite

India’s Department of Space (DoS) and European Union (EU) have signed cooperation agreement related to sharing of earth observation satellite data. The agreement aims to strengthen and stimulate cooperation on earth observation and mutual access to data from EU’s Sentinel series of satellites and from Indian earth observation satellites. The data sharing will provide mutual benefits, in particular in pursuit of United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Key Facts

Under this arrangement, EU will provide India with free, full and open access to data from Copernicus Sentinel family of satellites using high bandwidth connections from data hub to data hub. Reciprocally, India will provide Copernicus programme and its participating states with free, full and open access to data from ISRO’s earth observation satellites including historical data sets. This comprises data from land, ocean and atmospheric series of ISRO’s civilian satellites (Oceansat-2, Scatsat-1, Megha-Tropiques, SARAL, INSAT-3D, INSAT-3DR) with exception of commercial high-resolution satellites data. The agreement also envisages technical assistance for establishment of high bandwidth connections with ISRO sites, in particular through setting up of mirror servers, data storage and archival facilities.

Copernicus programme

It is the world’s largest single earth observation programme directed by European Commission in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA). It aims at achieving global, continuous, autonomous, high quality, wide range Earth observation capacity.

It provides wide range of applications like climate change, ocean, land and atmosphere monitoring as well as support in forecasting, management and mitigation of natural disasters. Its full, free and open data policy has proven its merits and allowed development of thriving user base in Europe and beyond.


India imposes anti-dumping duty on some stainless steel imports

The Union Finance Ministry (Department of Revenue) has imposed anti-dumping duty on some cold-rolled flat products of stainless steel from China, United States, South Korea and European Union to curb the influx of cheaper imports and help local producers. The duty will be in effect till December 2020 and exempts certain grades of stainless steel. However, government has allowed import of product as long as end use of the import is in same form.

Earlier in October 2017, Government had imposed anti-dumping duty on import of some flat steel products from China and EU for five years. In September 2017, Government had imposed additional 18.95% countervailing duty on some hot-rolled and cold-rolled stainless steel flat products, a first such levy on a steel product.

Anti-dumping Duty

Anti-dumping measures are taken by Government to ensure fair trade and provide level-playing field to domestic industry. They are not measure to restrict imports or cause unjustified increase in cost of products. Countries initiate anti-dumping probes to determine if domestic industry has been hurt by surge in below-cost imports. As a counter-measure, they impose antidumping duties under multilateral WTO regime. In India, it is recommended by Commerce Ministry’s Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD) and imposed by Finance Ministry.