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  • 20-09-2021

Former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee passes away (GS Paper 2 Polity & Governance)

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Context

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Eminent jurist and former Attorney General of India Soli Sorabjee passed away on Friday due to COVID-19 complications.

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Background

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Mr. Sorabjee was born on March 9, 1930, in erstwhile Bombay to a Parsi family. 

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He was a product of St. Xavier’s and the Government Law College. 

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He was admitted to the Bar in 1953.

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Historic works 

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He appeared in several historic cases, including the Kesavananda Bharati case or the Basic Structure Doctrine case. 

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He received the Padma Vibhushan for championing free speech and human rights. 

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Even recently, he raised his voice against students of Jawaharlal Nehru University being charged with sedition for expressing their dissent.

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He worked for the Sikh community pro bono after the 1984 riots. 

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He was appointed an Honorary Member of the Order of Australia. 

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He was twice appointed Attorney General of India.

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Amended Delhi Act does not alter responsibilities of elected government: MHA (GS Paper 2 Indian Constitution)

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Context

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The Union Home Ministry has said that the Government of National Capital Territory (GNCTD) Amendment Act, 2021 in no way alters the constitutional and legal responsibilities of the elected government to take necessary action in areas of health and education.

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Background

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The Act passed by Parliament on March 24 gives more teeth to the office of the Lieutenant Governor (L-G) of Delhi.

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History of Delhi administration

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Delhi is a Union Territory with a legislature and it came into being in 1991 under Article 239AA of the Constitution inserted by ‘the Constitution (Sixty-ninth Amendment) Act, 1991.

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As per the parent Act, the legislative assembly of Delhi has power to make laws in all matters except public order, police and land.

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Objectives of the Amendment Act 

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To make it more relevant to the needs of the capital.

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Further define the responsibilities of the elected government and the Lt. Governor (LG).

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Create a harmonious relationship between the Legislature and the Executive.

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Key Provisions

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The Act says that government in the national capital territory of Delhi means the Lieutenant-Governor of Delhi.

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It gives discretionary powers to the L-G even in matters where the Legislative Assembly of Delhi is empowered to make laws.

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The Act also seeks to ensure that the L-G is “necessarily granted an opportunity” to give an opinion before any decision taken by the Council of Ministers (or the Delhi Cabinet) is implemented.

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What is the concern now?

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The Act gives the Lieutenant-Governor more teeth compared to the CM in administering the city.

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It has inherent potential to trigger a confrontation between elected representatives rendered powerless in one stroke and an unelected appointee chosen by the Centre.

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Karen rebels (GS Paper 2 International Relations)

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Context

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Myanmar’s military has launched air strikes on a village and outpost near the Thai border, after ethnic minority Karen insurgents attacked a Myanmar army post in some of the worst clashes since a Feb. 1 coup.

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The Karen National Union (KNU), Myanmar’s oldest rebel group, has also said its fighters had taken the army camp on the west bank of the Salween river.

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Who are the KNU?

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The KNU is the dominant political organisation representing ethnic minority Karen communities in Karen, or Kayin, State, bordering Thailand.

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Its aim is self-determination for the Karen people in a region of about 1.6 million people, roughly the size of Belgium, where they are the ethnic majority in the state.

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In the over seventy-year-long conflict there have been many different combatants, the most influential of which are the Karen National Union and their Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), and the Tatmadaw, the armed forces of Myanmar.

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Karen Conflict

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Marginalized in then Burma’s post-independence political process, the KNU started a rebellion in 1949, which it waged for nearly 70 years. 

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The Karen conflict is an armed conflict in Kayin State, Myanmar (formerly known as Karen State, Burma). 

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The conflict has been described as one of the world\'s \"longest running civil wars\".

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Demand

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Karen nationalists have been fighting for an independent state known as Kawthoolei since 1949.

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