Table of Contents
- The return of civil society is imperative
Facts for Prelims
- Acinetobactor baumannii
- Spear Phishing
- Senkakau Islands
The return of civil society is imperative
The state of democracy in a country is not measured by the self-congratulatory statements of power holders, but by the role civil society plays in protecting and defending democracy. All societies are politically organized into the state, but not all states possess civil societies. Civil societies flourish in nations that cherish constitutional democracy.
Importance of Civil Society:
- Civil society protects and defends democracy.
- It flourishes in nations that value constitutional democracy.
- Civil society makes a country pluralistic and promotes alternative ideas.
- It ensures democracy is a continuous process of experimentation.
Challenges Faced by Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in India:
- Shrinking resources due to the new Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA).
- Lack of clear governance structure and dominance of techno-managerial approach over volunteerism.
- Misconceptions about non-profit organizations.
- Confusion, conflict, and displacement within civil society.
Government’s Approach Towards Civil Society:
- Governments no longer listen to CSOs or movements.
- Advocacy is ineffective, and civil society’s influence on policy and public discourse has diminished.
- Clampdown on CSOs advocating for constitutional and civic freedoms.
- Targeting of activists, journalists, academics, and students.
Vilification of Civil Society:
- Civil society is seen as disruptive and anti-national.
- Threat to the system’s integrity as civil society acts as a safety valve for tensions in a polity.
- Ineffectiveness of protests, articles/papers, speeches, and petitions in bringing about change.
- Failure of progressive CSOs to blend socio-cultural values with welfare work and protect constitutional values.
- Psychological fatigue among key activists.
The Need for Realignment:
- CSOs need financial sustenance and support to positively influence public discourse and policy.
- Governments avoiding CSOs diminishes their ability to shape policy.
- Civil society’s inability to speak truth to power and address the needs of vulnerable groups.
The Way Forward for Progressive Civil Society in India:
- Young activists can join political parties to create a moral force within them.
- CSOs should collaborate with other stakeholders to find structural solutions.
- Private philanthropies and companies should support progressive CSOs.
- Emphasis on diversity and international thinking.
- Creating new institutions, reworking spirituality, and promoting pluralism.
- Rethinking childhood and providing new possibilities.
- Establishing a self-regulatory mechanism for a healthy relationship between civil society and the government.
- A robust civil society is crucial for protecting democratic institutions.
India’s civil society needs to develop alongside social and land reform, economic growth, and improved state capacity to combat tyranny.
A group of scientists recently discovered a new antibiotic that can kill a deadly superbug called Acinetobacter baumannii.
About Acinetobactor baumannii:
- Acinetobacter is a group of bacteria(germs) commonly found in the environment, like in soil and water.
- While there are many types, the most commoncause of infections is Acinetobacter baumannii, which accounts for most Acinetobacter infections in humans.
- It is a Gram-negative bacteriathat often displays multidrug resistance.
- It can cause infections in the blood, urinary tract,and lungs (pneumonia), or in wounds in other parts of the body.
- It can also “colonize” or live in a patient without causing infectionsor symptoms, especially in respiratory secretions (sputum) or open wounds.
- These germs are frequent causes of hospital-acquired infections, especially in intensive care units (ICUs).
- It is highly contagious.
Gram-Positive vs. Gram-Negative Bacteria:
- Gram-positive bacteria have cell wallsmade of a thick layer of peptidoglycan.
- The cell walls of gram-negative bacteria contain only a thin layer of peptidoglycan, but they also have an outer membranethat is absent in gram-positive bacteria.
- Gram staining is a techniquethat uses violet dye to distinguish between gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.
- If the bacteria are gram-positive, the thick, peptidoglycan layer in their cell walls will retain the dye and they will stain violet.
If the bacteria are gram-negative, the dye will leak out of the thin peptidoglycan layer, and the bacteria will stain red.
According to a recent report, as many as 53 per cent of organisations studied in India were victims of spear phishing in 2022.
About Spear Phishing:
- It is an email or electronic communicationsscam targeted towards a specific individual, organization or business.
- It is a targeted attempt to steal sensitive information such as account credentials or financial information from a specific victim, often for malicious reasons.
- This is achieved by acquiring personal details on the victimsuch as their friends, hometown, employer, locations they frequent, and what they have recently bought online.
- A spear phishing email uses social engineering techniquesto urge the victim to click on a malicious link or attachment.
- Additionally, the email will blatantly ask the recipient to respond urgently, such as transferring a specific sum of money or sending personal data such as a banking password.
- Because the emails are written in a highly familiar toneand refer to personal information about the recipient, victims mistakenly believe they know and trust the sender and respond to the request.
- Once the victim completes the intended action, the attacker can steal the credentials of a targeted legitimate user and enter a network undetected.
This is the most successful form of acquiring confidential information on the internet, accounting for 91% of attacks.
Amid the rising tensions in the Indo-Pacific region, Japan Coast Guard (JCG) source recently revealed that a China Coast Guard (CCG) vessel has been navigating in Japan’s territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands.
About Senkaku Islands:
- The Senkaku Islands are an uninhabited group of islandssituated in the East China Sea.
- It is approximately 90 nautical miles north from the Yaeyama Islands in Japan’sOkinawa Prefecture and 120 nautical miles northeast of the island of Taiwan.
- They are also known as the Diaoyu Islands in Mainland China, the Diaoyutai Islands in Taiwanand the Pinnacle Islands by other observers.
- The islands comprise Uotsuri Island, Kuba Island,Taisho Island (also called Kumeakashima Island), Kitakojima Island, Minamikojima Island, Tobise Island, Okinokitaiwa Island, and Okinominamiiwa Island.
- Dispute: The islands are the focus of a territorial dispute between Japan and Chinaand between Japan and Taiwan.
- They were never administered by any other countrybefore Japan incorporated them into its territory in 1895.
Currently, Japan administers and controls the Senkaku islands as part of the city of Ishigaki in Okinawa Prefecture.