National Commission for Backward Classes Current Affairs - 2019
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Union Cabinet has approved extension of term of Commission to examine issue of Sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in Central List for six months beyond 30th November, 2018 and till 31st May 2019. This is fourth extension granted to commission for submission of its politically crucial report on creating quotas within quotas.
Union Government with approval of President had constituted five member Commission under article 340 of Constitution in October, 2017. It is headed by former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court Justice (Retd) G. Rohini. Its report is expected to recommend earmarking sub-quotas for the extremely backward classes within the OBCs.
The commission has been formed under Article 340 of the Constitution which was also used to establish landmark Mandal Commission (set up in 1979) more than two decades ago which recommended 27% reservation for socially and educationally backward classes in higher education and government jobs. Over the years, benefits of this reservation were mostly cornered mostly by dominant OBC groups.
Even National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) had in 2015 had noted that unequals cannot be treated equally and recommended that OBCs be categorised into extremely backward classes, more backward classes and backward classes. At present, 11 states have sub-categorised OBCs for their state services. Centre based on devise a similar methodology for the central OBC list
Mandate of Sub-categorisation commission
It is tasked to examine extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among castes included in broad category of OBC in central government jobs and educational institutions especially with reference to OBCs included in Central list. It is also tasked to take up exercise of identifying respective castes, sub-castes, communities synonyms in Central List of OBCs and classify them into their respective sub-categories. It is mandated was to work out mechanism, norms, criteria and parameters, in scientific approach, for sub-categorization within such OBCs.
Tags: Cabinet Decisions • Creamy layer • G Rohini Commission • India • Mandal Commission • National • National Commission for Backward Classes • OBC sub-categorisation • Other Backward Class • Reservation • Reservation in India • Social inequality
Parliament has passed Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Third Amendment) Bill, 2017 that seeks to provide constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC). Now, the bill will be sent to President for his assent (as per 368 of Constitution). Parliament also passed separate bill to repeal National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993 as it will become irrelevant once Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill comes into force.
Key Features of Bill
The Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill provides for granting of constitutional status to NCBC on par with National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) and National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCSTs). It empowers President to specify socially and educationally backward classes in various states and union territories in consultation with Governor of concerned state.
The bill provides duties of NCBC to investigate and monitor safeguards provided to socially and educationally backward classes backward classes under Constitution and other laws being implemented and probe specific complaints regarding violation of rights. It also provides NCBC with powers of civil court while probing any complaint against notified socially and educationally backward classes.
The Constitutional Amendment Bill was first passed with over two-third majority, with all 406 members present voting in favour. It had passed bill by superseding amendments suggested by earlier by Rajya Sabha by incorporating alternate amendments as well as some more changes. The bill passed by Lok Sabha was again passed by Rajya Sabha in same format with absolute majority and over two-third majority of members present and voting (All 156 members present in the house voted in favour of the bill).
Note: Lok Sabha in April 2017 (Budget session 2017) had passed Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2017 and sent it to the Rajya Sabha. But in July 2017 (during 2017 Monsoon session), Rajya Sabha passed bill after incorporating certain amendments moved by Congress-led opposition and returned it to Lok Sabha for ratification of amendments. The amendments had increased three-member NCBC to five members so as give representation to woman and person from minority community. It also had mandated that all five members should necessarily be from OBC communities. It also had added another amendment sought to protect federal structure by giving states significant role in making recommendation to the list. Among suggested amendments, Union government had agreed to appoint one woman member from backward classes in NCBC. Other amendments were rejected.