NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet on Thursday gave the nod for setting up a National Commission for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes with constitutional status, acceding to the demand from OBCs for an entity for them which is on par with the panels for SCs and STs.
“The Cabinet has approved creation of a National Commisison for Socially and Educationally backward classes under the new article 338B, besides inserting a new provision through an article 342A to provide for Parliament’s approval for every inclusion into and exclusion from the Central List of OBCs.
The Cabinet has also approved insertion of a new clause (26C) under Article 366 to define socially and educationally backward classes,” said a senior official. The Cabinet also cleared a proposal for dissolving the National Commission for Backward classes and repealing the law under which it was established.
The duties of NCBC included receiving representations from the persons belonging to backward classes on various issues like discrimination faced by them, non-implementation of reservation rules by authorities etc.
It was, however, not empowered to look into the grievances of people of Other Backward Classes. Under Article 338(5) read with Article 338(10) of the Constitution, National Commission for Scheduled Castes is the competent authority to look into all the grievances, rights and safeguards relating to Backward Classes.
The Bill to provide constitutional status to the body will be introduced in Parliament.
The government said that it would move a legislative proposal in the Parliament soon to constitute the commission of five members, including the chairperson and his deputy, besides three other members. The Cabinet’s decision followed demands for constitutional status for the National Commission for Backward Classes in order to allow it to hear the grievances of OBCs in the manner in which the National Commission for SCs and National Commission for STs do.