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National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC)

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Last updated date: 13th Jul 2024
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What is National Commission for Backward Classes?

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

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.


Constitutional Provisions

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.


Conclusion

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.

FAQs on National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC)

1. What do you know about National Commission for Backward Classes(NCBC)?

The new act has identified that backward castes of India also need development in addition to reservations. There are some powers are given in the act for the upliftment of Backward Classes and the new NCBC’s role in the development process. The new NCBC is constituted with some new additional functions such as grievance redress of backward classes. Article 342(A) is very important as this provides clarity as it made it mandatory to take the permission of Parliament for the addition or deletion of any community in the backward list. Apart from listing a few things such as inclusion and reservation, the commission requires comprehensive and holistic development and modernisation of each community towards equality in all parameters of development and welfare.

2. What are the suggestions for the improvement of the functioning NCBC? 

The composition of the National Commission For Backward Classes should reflect the feature of an expert body as mandated by the Supreme Court of India. The government must share information in the public domain related to the findings of the caste census and recommendations of the commission. The composition of the commission should representation of stakeholders and balance the gender sensitivity. The Vote bank politics that is present in Indian politics should be a method to value-based politics so that only truly backward sections of society will get the benefit of reservation.

3. What are the constitutional provisions related to NCBC?’

The following provisions are there which deals with the NCBS:

  • Article 342: Appointment of a Commission to investigate the conditions of backward classes

  • Article 338B: There shall be a Commission for the socially and educationally backward classes to be known as the National Commission for Backward Classes. ( this article was added by 102 Constitutional Amendment Act )