National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) established in 1993 is a constitutional body under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. NCBC is an important topic for the IAS Exam and is included under the GS-II. Read here to know more about the commission.
The NCBC was formed as an initiative for investigating the conditions and difficulties of the socially and educationally backward classes and to make appropriate recommendations concerning them.
Two Backward Class Commissions were established under the leadership of Kaka Kalekar and B.P. Mandal in the 1950s and the 1970s, respectively.
The Indra Sawhney case (Mandal Commission) of 1992 led to the establishment of the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC).
The Supreme Court of India examined the creation of NCBC as a statutory body in the Mandal Commission’s final decision.
National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC)
National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) was initially constituted by the Central Govt by the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, of 1993 and so far, the Commission had been reconstituted 7 times up to 2016.
- According to NCBC recommendations, OBC can be divided into three categories: extremely backward, very backward, and backward. In the central list of OBCs, there were 5013 more backward castes in 2016.
The 123rd Constitution Amendment bill of 2017 was introduced in Parliament with the aim of more effectively defending the rights of underprivileged sections. Simply put, it reinforced the NCBC to better defend the interests of the lower classes.
- In August 2018, the 123rd Amendment Act of 2017 received presidential approval, giving NCBC constitutional standing.
The present Commission (8th) has been accorded Constitutional Status and constituted through the “Constitution (One Hundred and Second Amendment) Act, 2018” Act.
- Article 338B has been inserted, forming a Commission for the socially and educationally backward classes to be known as National Commission for Backward Classes.
The Commission consists of:
- Three other Members in the rank and pay of Secretary to the Govt of India.
Their condition of service and tenure of office has been notified by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
NCBC is headquartered in Delhi.
Constitutional provisions of the National Commission for Backward Classes
- According to Article 340, it is important to recognize those “socially and educationally backward classes,” comprehend the causes of their backwardness, and offer solutions to ease their problems.
- New Articles 338B and 342A were inserted by the 102nd Constitution Amendment Act.
- Additionally, the revision modifies Article 366.
- The NCBC is empowered by Article 338B to investigate complaints and welfare programs involving socially and educationally disadvantaged populations.
- The President is given the authority to name socially and educationally backward classes in various states and union territories under Article 342A.
- In conjunction with the governor of the relevant State, he may take this action. However, if the list of disadvantaged classes is to be changed, a bill passed by Parliament will be necessary.
Powers and functions of NCBC
- To look into and keep an eye on all issues involving the socially and educationally disadvantaged classes that are connected to the appropriate operation of the safeguards offered and are covered by the Constitution or any other applicable law.
- To actively participate in and provide advice about the socioeconomic development of the socially disadvantaged classes, as well as to assess the level of that growth.
- It provides the President with reports on the operation of the safeguards on an annual basis.
- A copy of each report is sent to the State Government if it deals with any issues that the State Government is interested in.
- The protection, welfare, development, and advancement of the socially and educationally underprivileged sections fall under the purview of NCBC.
- While hearing a case, it possesses all the civil court’s authority.
- Ensuring justice for the disadvantaged social and educational groups in society.
- The commission addresses the issues that the lower classes are worried about and promotes social equality.
- It can assist the oppressed classes in battling atrocities committed against them and ensuring swift justice.
- It wouldn’t also infringe on state governments’ powers because they would establish their commissions for the underprivileged classes.
- The National Commission for Scheduled Castes and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes are now on the same footing with the NCBC.
- Better transparency is discussed in Article 342 (A), which also makes it essential to obtain the parliament’s approval before removing or including any community from the list of the underprivileged.
- A significant step toward making NCBC more effective and democratic in furthering the interests of socially and educationally backward classes is the addition of one woman and at least two individuals with an understanding of the backward class.
- The possibility that the new NCBC won’t offer a strong and reliable social justice architecture is one of the key worries.
- The government is not required by law to follow the National Commission for Backward Classes’ recommendations.
- Several states have failed to put the 27% reservation for OBCs into effect.
- It has no authority to add or delete classes from the list of groups considered to be backward or to define backwardness.
- In many boards, commissions, government committees, and other fora, OBCs are underrepresented.
- There is not much of an OBC presence on the high courts or supreme court.
- Periodic revision of the backward class list in cooperation with the backward class commission is not mentioned in the Act.
- The makeup of the new NCBC does not include features of the expert body.
The caste census results must be made public, and the reservation system must be put into place by them. The National Commission for Backward Classes’ membership must consider gender sensitivity and stakeholder representation.
By subdividing OBCs, less dominating OBCs will have better access to perks like reservations in government positions and educational institutions. To advance social justice, political parties must switch from vote-bank politics to values-based politics.
-Article written by Swathi Satish