The National Commission for Backward Classes of India is a body of the Indian Constitution. The Indian Constitution gave it the power of examining complaints and measures of the welfare related to the matters of socially and educationally backward classes. The 102 Constitutional Amendment Act in 2018 gave a status at a constitutional level under Article 338B of the Indian Constitution to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC). It was a statutory body before becoming a constitutional body under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. It is also known as the OBC commission.
National Commission For Backward Classes
Background of NCBC
The NCBC is an outcome of two Backward Class Commissions that were appointed under Kaka Kalelkar and B.P. Mandal in the 1950s and 1970s respectively. The Supreme Court had given directions to the government to make a permanent body to identify, entertain, and recommend the inclusion and exclusion of different Backward Classes of India for the purpose of benefits and protection after the Indra Sawhney case of 1992.
Hence in the year 1993, the Act of National Commission for Backward Classes was passed by the Indian Parliament and constituted the NCBC. To safeguard the interests of backward classes more effectively in 2017, the 123rd Constitution Amendment bill was introduced in Parliament. The 1993 act became irrelevant after passing the bill because Parliament has also passed a separate bill to repeal the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993. In August 2018 the bill got the approval of the President and provided constitutional status to NCBC.
102 Constitutional Amendment introduces two new articles in the Constitution i.e. Articles 338 B and 342 A. Along with this the 102 Constitutional Amendment also brought new changes in Article 366. Article 338B gave power to NCBC to deal with the complaints and matters of welfare measures related to backward classes. Article 340 is related to understanding the conditions of their backwardness inter alia, finding them who are in socially and educationally backward classes and making recommendations to remove the difficulties they face.
Article 342A provides power to the President of India to specify socially and educationally backward classes in various states and union territories. The Indian President can do this in consultation with the Governor of the concerned State. The rules and laws made by the Indian Parliament will be required if the list of backward classes is to be amended.
Structure of NCBC
The National Commission For Backward Classes is consisting of a total of five members. These are the Chairperson of the commission, second is the Vice-Chairperson and the other three Members whose appointment is done by the President by warrant under his hand and seal. National Commission for Backward Classes chairman is the main person who is responsible for all activities of the commission. The conditions of service and tenure of office are determined by the President of all the members including the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson.
Functions of NCBC
The functions of the National Commission For Backward classes are given below:
The commission is appointed to for regulating all matters relating to the safeguards provided for backward classes under the Constitution or under any other law to evaluate the working of such safeguards.
The major function of NCBC is to participate and provide advice on the matter of social and economic development of the backward classes and to examine and investigate the progress of their development under the central government and any state of the country.
On the basis of the working of the safeguards to the President, to the President. Among the presented reports if any of the reports are related to the matter that is concerned with the State Government and a copy of that report is forwarded to the State Government.
NCBC has been given the responsibility for the measures of welfare, protection of rights, development and advancement of all the backward classes of India
Some Issues of NCBC
The following issues of NCBC are given below.
It is known that the latest version of the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) is facing major challenges as in India OBC class has low status, poverty and illiteracy.
The recommendation of the new National Commission for Backward Classes is not binding on the government.
NCBC has not been given any power to define backwardness as a result of this it cannot regulate the current challenge and matter of different castes to be included as backward Castes.
The government marked the stage for the overall scheme of special protections under the Constitution in danger by retaining the old generic name of NCBC and delinking the body from its soul (Article 340).
According to the direction of the Supreme Court, the Features of the expert body are not provided in the composition of the new NCBC.
Article 338B (5), There is silence on the compulsion of the Supreme Court on the regular revision of the backward class list in consultation with the NCBC.
A large number of acts and mere constitutional status will not provide a solution to the problem at grass root level as recent data is indicating a skewed representation of SC, ST and OBC categories.
Do You Know?
The first chairman of National Commission for Backward Classes is Kaka Kalelkar. It was also referred to as the Kaka Kalelkar Commission.
The commission is working for the various backward classes for benefit and protection. The main aim of this commission is to provide protection to the interest of the socially and educationally backward class and to give them proper rights and care. It can be considered as the greatest lead and achievement for the upliftment of the socially and educationally backward classes.