What is CAATSA?


Recently, US Democratic Representative said the US government must not impose sanctions on India under the Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) for its purchase of S-400 missile weapons system from Russia.


GS-II: International Relations (Foreign Policies affecting India’s Interests)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is the CAATSA, and could it apply to India?
  2. Why has India not faced CAATSA sanctions yet?
  3. About S-400 Triumf
  4. About India’s acquisition of S-400

What is the CAATSA, and could it apply to India?

  • CAATSA is a law that came into effect in the US in 2017, meant to punish countries having deep engagements with Russia, North Korea, and Iran using economic sanctions.
  • It said countries having a “significant transaction” with Russian intelligence and military agents will be subject to at least five kinds of sanctions.
  • Ordinary transactions will not invite sanctions, and the decision of who has sanctions imposed on them comes down to the interpretation of “significant transaction”.
  • This is one of the various waivers or exemptions mentioned, such as the transaction not affecting US strategic interests, not endangering the alliances it is a part of, etc.
  • Section 231 of the law notifies 39 Russian entities, including all the major defence companies like Rosoboronexport, Sukhoi Aviation, Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG, transactions with whom could invite sanctions.
    • Almaz-Antey Air and Space Defence Corporation JSC, who have made the S-400 system, are in this list.
  • India has purchased the S-400 Triumf missile systems, which have advanced capabilities to judge the distance from a target and launch a surface-to-air missile attack.
  •  Five such systems were bought by India in 2018 for US$ 5.5 billion and in November last year, their delivery began. They were deployed in Punjab.
  • However, the application of CAATSA is not limited to the S-400, and may include other joint ventures for manufacturing or developing weapons in the future, or any other kinds of major deals with Russia.

Why has India not faced CAATSA sanctions yet?

  • The US has never categorically stated whether CAATSA would apply to India.
  • In March 2022, it was reported that President Biden was yet to decide on the matter.
  • With the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the US hardening its stance against Russia, India has continued its neutrality and not joined any of the sanctions against Russia imposed by Western countries.
  • India has mentioned the need for the S-400 missiles for its border defence several times in the past.

About S-400 Triumf

  • S-400 Triumf is one of the world’s most advanced surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems designed by Russia.
  • The system is a large complex of radars, control systems and different types of missiles, with the capability to simultaneously track numerous incoming objects in a radius of a few hundred kilometres.
  • It can employ appropriate missile systems to launch the counter attack and to neutralise the objects with the potential of ensuring a high success rate.
  • It is the most dangerous operationally deployed modern long-range SAM (MLR SAM) in the world, considered much ahead of the US-developed Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD).

Issues with Acquisition of S-400

  • The acquisition of S-400 by countries has taken centre stage in the American diplomacy regarding Russia.
  • U.S. believes that S-400 could access sensitive U.S. military technologies in service with the potential buyers.
  • Russia has also deployed at least two S-400 systems in Syria, which is of much concern to observers who fear the system could contribute to a global conflict breaking out in Syria.
  • Among the countries under pressure from the U.S. to not buy this weapon are India and Turkey.
  • NATO countries objected strongly to reports of Russia giving its systems to Iran and Syria.

About India’s acquisition of S-400

  • Russia had offered its highly advanced Air Defence System to India, which agreed to purchase five of the S-400 Air Defence Systems.
  • Before India, Russia had only sold this system to China even though Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Belarus were eyeing it as well.
  • This is the first time that Russia is providing a different system to India, a departure from its tradition of supplying only attacking weapons.
  • India needs high end weapons for very valid reasons. It is the only country in the world that is flanked by two nuclear armed neighbours– Pakistan and China and has fought wars with both of these countries.
  • India maintains close military relations with both United States and Russia.
  • But over the years, Russia has been the largest supplier of military weapons to India.
  • In 2012-2016, Russia (68%), US (14%) and Israel (7.2%) were the major arms suppliers to India.
  • India is the second largest market for Russia’s defence industry and Russia is the chief supplier of defence equipment to India.
About U.S. Objections
  • United States has raised concerns of India purchasing S-400 system on two counts:
  • The official count is that US has a legal position where any country that is taking systems or military equipment from their adversaries, the US expects to put sanctions on that country.
  • The other count is that US is planning to put F 16 factories in India and sell drones to it.

Guidelines to Curb Unfair Advertisements


The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) recently issued guidelines to prevent false or misleading advertisements.


GS II- Government policies and Interventions

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Details
  2. What do the new advertising guidelines say?
  3. What is surrogate advertising?
  4. What are the Guidelines’ implications?
  5. About Central Consumer Protection Authority


  • The guidelines were issued  by the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA)
  • It includes a Rs 10 lakh penalty for first violation and a Rs 50 lakh penalty for subsequent violations.
  • Notified by the Consumer Affairs Ministry, the guidelines were issued days after outrage over a controversial perfume ad.

What do the new advertising guidelines say?

  • The Guidelines for Prevention of Misleading Advertisements and Endorsements for Misleading Advertisements, 2022, have been released to “protect the consumers” and “to ensure that consumers are not being fooled with unsubstantiated claims, exaggerated promises, misinformation and false claims”.
  • These guidelines focus on misleading ads and ads shown during programming for children.
  • Surrogate ads, meanwhile, have been banned completely.
    • Misleading ads have not been defined, instead characteristics of non-misleading ads have been mentioned such as those which “contain truthful and honest representation” and do not exaggerate benefits.
  • On advertisements aimed at children, detailed criteria has been spelt out to disqualify certain ads, such as: ads that encourage practices detrimental to children’s physical health or mental well-being, imply children are “likely to be ridiculed or become less popular” if they do not purchase the goods, and ads that use qualifiers such as ‘just’ or ‘only’ to make the price of goods seem less expensive even when additional charges are present.
  • The guidelines have also introduced the need to have “disclaimers in advertisements” to clarify a claim made in such advertisement or make qualifications or resolve ambiguities therein in order to explain such claim in further detail.
  • Moreover, the advertiser must not “attempt to hide material information with respect to any claim made in such advertisement, the omission or absence of which is likely to make the advertisement deceptive or conceal its commercial intent”.
  • The guidelines also impose duties on the manufacturers, service providers and advertising agency to not claim and make comparisons in an advertisement which relate to matters of objectively ascertainable fact.

What is surrogate advertising?

  • Surrogate advertising is the strategy of advertising a product that cannot be advertised openly.
  • Advertisers instead create ads that help in building a brand, and often involve popular celebrities – all without naming the actual product that is being indirectly advertised.
  • In India, tobacco products and alcohol cannot be advertised openly under laws like the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003, which bans all kinds of direct and indirect advertisements of tobacco products.
  • To circumvent them, surrogate advertising is done.
    • A few years ago, the Delhi government pulled up actor Pierce Brosnan for endorsing an Indian pan masala brand. Brosnan claimed he was “cheated” by the brand and unaware of the fact that the “breath freshener” ad was a surrogate ad used to disguise the actual product – areca nut or supari, which the Delhi government argued was a cancer-causing agent.

What are the Guidelines implications?

  • The rules are groundbreaking since they expressly state the obligations of advertisers while addressing key gaps in consumer protection. The recommendations make an effort to counteract the promotion of child-targeted irrational consumption.
  • For far too long, the issue of deceptive, bait, surrogate, and child-targeted advertising has festered without relief.
  • The recommendations play a crucial role in aligning India’s regulatory structure with global norms and standards.
  • The guidelines are momentous in empowering customers against mischievous advertisers.
  • The guidelines mention the conditions for defining a “non-misleading and valid” advertisement instead of defining what constitutes a misleading or invalid advertisement. This reduces the scope for exploitation of loopholes.
  • The challenges in the enforcement of existing advertisement regulations have also been addressed by the guidelines through the imposition of stringent penalties.

About Central Consumer Protection Authority

  • CCPA is a regulatory body established in 2020 based on the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.
  • CCPA works under the administrative control of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs.
  • To promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers as a class.
  • To conduct investigations into violation of consumer rights and institute complaints/prosecution.
  • To order the recall of unsafe goods and services, discontinuation of unfair trade practices and misleading advertisements.
  • To impose penalties on manufacturers/endorsers/publishers of misleading advertisements.

Who Are the Pasmanda?


In a political conclave in Hyderabad, PM made a special mention for the Pasmanda muslim community and their social upliftment.


GS I-  Salient features of Indian Society

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Who are the Pasmanda Muslims?
  2. Why political parties are focusing on them?
  3. What is the history of the Pasmanda movement?

Who are the Pasmanda Muslims?

  • A Persian word, ‘Pasmanda’, means the ‘ones left behind’, and is used to describe depressed classes among the Muslims, while underlining their deliberate or conscious exclusion.
  •  Pasmanda has become an umbrella identity used by backward, Dalit, and tribal Muslims to push back against caste-based discrimination against them within the community.
  • This community has its stronghold in Uttar Pradesh where the Pasmandas account for around 75% of the total Muslim population.
  • In fact, 85% of the total population of Muslims in the country is known as Pasmanda.
  • It is believed that the so-called untouchable Hindu converts are categorised as Pasmanda.
A caste system in minorities
  • Asian Muslims are subject to the caste system in the same manner that Indian society is.
  • Of the Muslims from South Asia, including those who reside in India, 15% are Ashraf, or members of an elite caste.
  • Arzal and Ajlaf, the remaining 85 percent of Muslims, are regarded as Dalits and backward. Arzal implies degraded.

Why political parties are focusing on them?

  • If reports are to be believed then the creamy section of the Muslim society looks down upon them.
  • They are backward and oppressed economically, socially and educationally. This oppressed section among Muslims is called Pasmanda in India.

What is the history of the Pasmanda movement?

  • While the movement to ensure social justice for Pasmandas, and the recurrent use of the term, gathered pace in the post-Mandal era, its best known flag-bearers in the period before Independence were Abdul Qayyum Ansari and Maulana Ali Hussain Asim Bihari, both of whom belonged to the julaha (weaver) community.
  • Both these leaders opposed the communal politics being propagated at the time by the Muslim League, and challenged the League’s claim to represent all Muslims.
  • The first-wave leaders of the Pasmanda movement were leading an anti-colonial, anti-Ashraf, and anti-Mulim League fight.
  • About when the movement actually began,  “India has a history of caste associations across communities. Among Pasmanda Muslims, such caste associations started emerging from 1910 onwards.
  • There were caste collectives of weavers (julahas), butchers (qureshis), cotton carders (mansooris), saifis, rayeens, etc.
  • These were reformist in nature, but also acted like pressure groups led by upwardly mobile lower caste communities.
    • These outfits manifested the new kinds of demands from within the Muslim community.
  • In the 1980s, the All India Muslim OBC Organisation (AIMOBCO) from Maharashtra started spearheading the fight for the rights of Pasmandas, and went on to enlist the unwavering support of Bollywood thespian Dilip Kumar, a Pathan.
  • The 1990s saw the rise of two outfits: the All-India Backward Muslim Morcha (AIBMM) set up by Dr Ejaz Ali, and the Pasmanda Muslim Mahaz founded by Ali Anwar.
    • This marked the phase of getting small caste-based outfits among Muslims to close ranks. Several other outfits started to work for the uplift of Pasmanda Muslims across states.



At least eight people have died after a cloudburst occurred at the Amarnath Cave Shrine near Pahalgam in south Kashmir.


GS-I: Geography (Physical Geography, Climatology, Important Geophysical phenomena), GS-III: Environment and Ecology (Climate Change and its effects), GS-III: Disaster Management

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is a Cloudburst?
  2. Why do cloudbursts happen only in the mountains and hilly areas?
  3. Why does cloudburst cause so many deaths?

What is a Cloudburst?

  • Cloudbursts are sudden and extreme rainfall events over a limited area in a short span of time. There is no universal definition of a cloudburst.
  • The India Meteorological Department (IMD) defines a cloudburst as any event where 100 millimetres of rainfall have fallen in a span of an hour over a region that is 20-30 square kilometres in area. By this definition, 5 cm of rainfall in half an hour would also be classified as a cloudburst.

How do Cloudbursts occur?

  • A cloudburst occurs when moisture-carrying air moves up a hilly terrain, forming a vertical column of clouds known as ‘cumulonimbus’ clouds.
  • Such clouds usually cause rain, thunder and lightning. This upward motion of the clouds is known as an ‘orographic lift’.
  • These unstable clouds cause an intense rainstorm over a small area after becoming heavy enough and locked in the ridges and valleys between the hills.
  • The energy necessary for the cloudburst comes from the upward motion of air. Cloudbursts mostly occur at elevations between 1,000-2,500 metres above sea level.
  • The moisture is usually provided by a low-pressure system (usually associated with cyclonic storms in the ocean) over the Gangetic plains associated with low level winds flowing in from the east.
  • Sometimes winds flowing in from the north west also aid the occurrence of cloudbursts. The many factors that have to come together to make a cloudburst event happen make them highly unlikely.

Why do cloudbursts happen only in the mountains and hilly areas?

  • Cloudbursts do happen in plains as well, but there is a greater probability of them occurring in mountainous zones; it has to do with the terrain.
  • Cloudbursts happen when saturated clouds are unable to produce rain because of the upward movement of very warm current of air.
  • Raindrops, instead of dropping down, are carried upwards by the air current.
  • New drops are formed and existing raindrops gain in size. After a point, the raindrops become too heavy for the cloud to hold on to, and they drop down together in a quick flash.
  • Hilly terrains aid in heated air currents rising vertically upwards, thereby, increasing the probability of a cloudburst situation.
  • In addition, as pointed out earlier, cloudbursts get counted only when they result in largescale destruction of life and property, which happens mainly in mountainous regions.

Why does cloudburst cause so many deaths?

  • The rainfall itself does not result in the death of people, though sometimes, the raindrops are big enough to hurt people in a sustained downpour.
  • It is the consequences of such heavy rain, especially in the hilly terrain, that causes death and destruction.
  • Landslides, flash floods, houses and establishments getting swept away and cave-ins lead to the deaths.

Is the frequency of cloudbursts increasing?

  • There is a paucity of past data on cloudbursts; in addition, since only some of them get counted – only those that result in death and destruction – there is a problem of accuracy as well.
  • But what is very clear is that events of extreme precipitation have been on the rise in the last few decades due to global warming; it is expected, keeping in mind that trend, that cloudburst events might be on the increase as well.
  • Extreme weather events are indeed increasing in the Himalayan region.


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