House okays backwards class panel bill

The bill was passed after the House repealed the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993. PTI file photo

A bill to grant constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes(NCBC) secured Parliament's nod on Monday with the Rajya Sabha approving it.

With the passing of The Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill 2017, which was approved by Lok Sabha last week, the NCBC will get full powers to safeguard the rights and interests of the Other Backward Classes(OBCs).

The bill was passed after the House repealed the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993.

The NCBC, a statutory body created in 1993, was given limited powers – only to recommend to the government inclusion or exclusion of a community in the central list of OBCs. Also, the power to hear complaints of the OBCs and protect their interests.

There was a demand to grant constitutional status to the OBC Commission since 1980. Though the matter was discussed several times in Parliament, the demand did not materialise.

The NDA government decided to bring the bill to grant the constitutional status on par with the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and National Commission for Schedule Tribes.

The Rajya Sabha earlier passed the measure on July 31 last year, along with an amendment and sent it to the Lower House. The Lok Sabha passed the bill last week with alternate amendments as well as some more changes unanimously with over two-thirds majority and sent it back to Upper House for approval.

The Upper House on Monday adopted the legislation along with the amendments made by the Lok Sabha, by 156 votes to nil.

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House okays backwards class panel bill

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