On April 10, 2017, Lok Sabha passed 123rd Constitution Amendment Bill, 2017 with 360 members voting in favour and two members voting against it. This amendment bill seeks to grant constitutional status to National Commission for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes.
- The amendment bill was introduced in Lok Sabha by Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister, Thaawarchand Gehlot on April 5, 2017.
Key Provisions of 123rd Constitution Amendment Bill, 2017:
The amendment bill seeks to insert Article 338B in the Indian Constitution. This article will list out the structure and functions of the proposed National Commission for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes.
- The commission will have a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and three other members. To hear the grievances of socially and educationally backward classes will be the main task of this commission.
- The amendment bill also seeks to insert a new article 342A which empowers the President to specify the socially and educationally backward classes by public notification.
- Another bill to repeal the existing National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) by revoking the 1993 Act governing it was also passed by the Lok Sabha.
- This constitutional amendment bill will become a law after it is passed by the Rajya Sabha with two-thirds majority and thereafter is ratified by at least 50% state governments.
There have been repeated demands for granting constitutional status to the existing National Commission for Backward Classes and to bring it at par with National Commission for Scheduled Castes (constituted under Article 338) and National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (constituted under Article 338A).
- Earlier, in March 2017, Union cabinet had approved the setting up of National Commission for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes which has a much wider range of functions as compared to National Commission for Backward Classes.
Quick facts about National Commission of Backward Class:
- Formation Year: 1993
- Structure: Chairperson and 4 other members
- Function: To examine recommendations for inclusion and complaints pertaining to over/under inclusion in the list of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and advising the Central Govt. on the same.