Centre okays new panel for backward classes

Govt expected to introduce bill in Parliament soon

Centre okays new panel for backward classes

The Centre has approved a proposal for setting up of a new commission for backward classes as a constitutional body. A bill to set up the National Commission for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (NCSBC) through a constitutional amendment was passed by the Cabinet at its meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Thursday.

The NCSBC, proposed to be set as a statutory body by insertion of Article 338B in the Constitution, will replace the existing National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC).

The amendment bill has also provided for inclusion of a new Clause (26 C) under Article 366 to define the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes. Finer details on the proposed amendments, however, were not immediately available.

The government is expected to introduce the bill in Parliament shortly. The National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) have been established as statutory bodies under Article 338 and Article 338 A of the Constitution.

The NCBC, set up in 1993 by an Act after a Supreme Court verdict, does not enjoy a constitutional status, though there have been demands for it to enable the panel hear the grievances of other backward classes (OBCs) like the NCSC and NCST does.

The move comes at a time when the Jat community, primarily from Haryana, are building pressure on the Centre for their inclusion in the list of the OBCs. The leaders of the Jat community recently gave a call for holding a massive agitation here to press for their long-pending demand. They, however, postponed their agitation after top leaders were persuaded by the government with an assurance that some steps would be taken to address their demand. Besides, several other communities, including the Gorkhas from Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Meghalaya and Uttarakhand, have also been raising demands for their inclusion in the OBCs list.

The Patel community in Gujarat last year held a massive movement across the state, demanding OBC quota.

Though the final details of the bill were not immediately available, the NCSBC was learnt to be a statutory body looking into demands for inclusion of community into the OBC list. It will also hear complaints pertaining to the infringements of the rights of the backward community.
DH News Service

The NCSBC, proposed to be set as a statutory body by insertion of Article 338B in the Constitution, will replace  the existing National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC).
 

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