Two months extension to the Committee for Sub-categorization within Other Backward Classes in the Central List
Polity– Constitutional Bodies
Recently the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister has accorded ex-post facto approval for the extension of the term of the Commission to examine the issue of Sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes, by two more months i.e. upto 31st July 2019.
The Commission was constituted under article 340 of the Constitution with the approval of President on 2nd October, 2017. The Commission, headed by Justice (Retd.) Smt. G. Rohini commenced functioning in October, 2017 and has since interacted with all the Stats/UTs which have subcategorized OBCs, and the State Backward Classes Commissions. The Commission has come to the view that it would be appropriate to have a detailed consultation with the States/UTs in the light of the response received with respect to for the Consultation Papers issued by the “Commission” earlier. This is essential to ensure that no community is put in a grossly undeserving position and this process is likely to take a couple of months.
In view of this fact, the Commission has sought extension of its term by two more months
The extension of the tenure of the commission would enable it to evaluate the issue of Sub-categorization of OBC’s in the Central list based on wider consultations with various stakeholders. It will enable the commission to submit a comprehensive report on the issue.he
About the National Commission for Backward classes
- The National Commission for Backward Classes is a constitutional body (123rd constitutional amendment bill 2018 and 102nd amendment in constitution to make it constitutional body-Article 338B).
- It was constituted under India’s Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment established on 14 August 1993. It was constituted pursuant to the provisions of the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993.
- The Commission shall consist of one chairman and five Members: a Chairperson who is or has been a judge of the Supreme Court or of a High Court; a social scientist; two persons who have special knowledge in matters relating to backward classes; and a Member-Secretary, who is or has been an officer of the Central Government in the rank of a Secretary to the Government of India. Their term is of Three years
- Article 340 of the Indian constitution deals with the need, inter alia, to define those “socially and educationally backward classes,” to understand the circumstances of their backwardness, and to recommend that the problems they encounter be removed.
- New article 338B and 342 A were inserted through the 102nd Constitution Amendment Act, the amendment also brings about changes in the article 366.
- Article 338B of the constitution provides authority to NCBC to examine complaints and welfare measures regarding socially and educationally backward classes.
- Article 342 A of the constitution empowers the President to specify socially and educationally backward classes in various states and union territories. He can do this in consultation with the Governor of concerned State. However, law enacted by Parliament will be required if the list of backward classes is to be amended.
Powers and functions of NCBC
- It investigates and monitors all matters relating to the safeguards provided for the socially and educationally backward classes under the Constitution or under any other law to evaluate the working of such safeguards.
- The commission participates and advises on the socio-economic development of the socially and educationally backward classes and to evaluate the progress of their development under the Union and any State.
- NCBC presents to the President, annually and at such other times as the Commission may deem fit, reports upon the working of those safeguards. The President laid such reports before each House of Parliament. (if any such report or any part thereof, relates to any matter with which any State Government is concerned, a copy of such report shall be forwarded to the State Government)
- The commission shall discharge such other functions in relation to the protection, welfare and development and advancement of the socially and educationally backward classes as the President may, subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament, by rule specify.
- The commission has all the powers of a civil court while trying a suit.