National Commission for Backward Classes

  • It was constituted pursuant to the provisions of the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993 as per direction of Supreme Court in the Mandal Case Judgement (1992).
  • The commission was the outcome of Indra Sawhney & Ors. Vs. Union of India.
  • The Supreme Court held that the Constitution recognised only social and educational – and not economic – backwardness.
  • A constitutional body (123rd constitutional amendment bill 2017 and 102nd amendment 2018 in constitution to make it constitutional body) (Article 338B of the Indian Constitution) under India’s Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment established on 14 August 1993.
  • Consists of a chairperson, a vice-chairperson and three other members. National Commission for Backward Classes
  • appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal
  • conditions of service and tenure of office are also determined by the President
  • Initially National Commission for Backward Classes was not empowered to look into the grievances of persons of Other Backward Classes (under Article 338(5) read with Article 338(10) of the Constitution, National Commission for Scheduled Castes was the competent authority to look into all the grievances, rights and safeguards relating to Backward Classes).
  • Consequent to the 102nd Constitutional Amendment Act and the insertion of Article 338B, these powers are now vested in NCBC.
  • NCBC also recommended sub-division of OBCs into ‘backward’, ‘more backward’ and ‘extremely backward’ blocs and divide 27% quota amongst them in proportion to their population, to ensure that stronger OBCs don’t corner the quota benefits.
  • Presents an annual report to the President which will be placed before Parliament

Functions of National Commission for Backward Classes

  1. to investigate and monitor all matters relating to the safeguards provided for the socially and educationally backward classes under this Constitution or under any other law for the time being in force or under any order of the Government and to evaluate the working of such safeguards;
  2. to inquire into specific complaints with respect to the deprivation of rights and safeguards of the socially and educationally backward classes;
  3. to participate and advise 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;
  4. to present to the President, annually and at such other times as the Commission may deem fit, reports upon the working of those safeguards;
  5. to make in such reports the recommendations as to the measures that should be taken by the Union or any State for the effective implementation of those safeguards and other measures for the protection, welfare and socio-economic development of the socially and educationally backward classes; and
  6. to 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.

Powers of the National Commission for Backward Classes

  • The Commission, while investigating any matter or inquiring into any complaint, has all the powers of a civil court trying a suit and in particular in respect of the following matters:
    • summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person from any part of India and examining him on oath;
    • requiring the discovery and production of any document;
    • receiving evidence on affidavits;
    • requisitioning any public record from any court or office issuing summons for the examination of witnesses and documents; and
    • Any other matter which the President may determine.
  • central government and the state governments are required to consult on all major policy matters

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