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Audio : NCSEB

Friday, 6 October 2017 2:55 PM

Hamdardvir Singh Boparai

National Commission for Socially & Educationally Backward Classes (NCSEBC)

Lok Sabha passed 123rd constitutional amendment which renames NCBC as National
Commission for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes and gives it Constitutional
Backing

Features of Bill

- Constitutional status: Constitution of a Commission under Article 338B for socially and
educationally backward classes.

- One list instead of two: It stipulates only one central list for OBC, same as that for SC
and ST. There would be no parallel existence of central and state OBC lists.

- Parliament to decide on inclusion/exclusion- Under Article 342A the President may


specify the socially and educationally backward classes in the various states and union
territories. He may do this in consultation with the Governor of the concerned state.
However, a law of Parliament will be required if the list of backward classes is to be
amended.

- Development & Welfare needs: The bill has recognised the developmental & welfare
needs in addition to reservations. It will hear the grievances of socially and
educationally backward classes, a function which has been discharged so far by the
National Commission for Scheduled Castes

- Structure : The Commission, which will have

- Chairperson
- Vice-chairperson and
- 3 members

Benefits of Amendment

- Transparency: It is difficult to get an arbitrary decision passed in the Parliament than


through an executive order.

- Stopping Political opportunism: Exposure of state and central governments to


pressures of non-backward communities to force their way into the list would reduce as
opposition cannot easily blame the government and garner brownie points during
elections.

- Constitutional authority: Giving it a constitutional authority will ensure it has more


power in terms of hearing complaints from OBC members like SC/ST commissions

Issues

- Composition: In accordance with SC judgement on Mandal case to have NCBC as an


expert body, NCBC act 1993 provided that

Chairman should be a former judge

- One member should be a social scientist


- Two persons with special knowledge of the socially backward classes.
This feature of expert body is not provided for in the composition of the NCBC Bill.

- Federal structure: Bill makes Parliament the final authority on inclusion of


communities in the OBC list and, therefore, takes away the authority of states which
can now send requests to the NCBC which, however, may or may not forward them
to the union government.

- Recommendations of new NCBC still not binding.

- On a similar footing as SC/STs: The amendment has brought both BCs and SC/STs in
the same league in terms of discrimination, exclusion and violence which lacks logic and
historical justification.