Commission to examine the issue of Sub-categorization
Part of: GS Prelims and GS -I – Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.
In news Cabinet approves Extension of term of the commission constituted under Article 340 of the constitution to examine the issue of Sub-categorization within other Backward Classes in the Central List.
What is the background?
- National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) proposed the sub-categorisation of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) back in 2015.
- In October 2017, President Ram Nath Kovind, in exercise of the powers conferred by Article 340 of the Constitution, appointed a commission to examine the issue of sub-categorisation of OBCs, chaired by retired Justice G. Rohini, to ensure social justice in an efficient manner by prioritising the Extremely Backward Classes (EBCs).
What is Article 340?
- It lays down conditions for the appointment of a Commission to investigate the conditions of the backward classes.
- The President may by order appoint a Commission consisting of such persons as he thinks fit to investigate the conditions of socially and educationally backward classes within the territory of India.
What is National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC)?
- Two Backward Class Commissions were appointed under Kaka Kalelkar in 1953 and under B.P. Mandal in 1979.
- In Indra Sawhney case of 1992, Supreme Court had directed the government to create a permanent body to entertain, examine and recommend the inclusion and exclusion of various Backward Classes for the purpose of benefits and protection.
- In pursuant to these directions parliament passed NCBC Act in 1993 and constituted the NCBC (statutory body under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment)
- 102nd Constitution Amendment Act, 2018 provided constitutional status to NCBC. The amendment act also inserted new Articles 338 B and 342 A.
- Article 338B provides authority to NCBC to examine complaints and welfare measures regarding socially and educationally backward classes.
- Article 342A empowers President to specify socially and educationally backward classes in various states and union territories. He can do this in consultation with Governor of concerned State. However, law enacted by Parliament will be required if list of backward classes is to be amended.
What is the Need for sub- categorization?
- Sub categorization of the OBCs will ensure that the more backward among the OBC communities can also access the benefits of reservation for educational institutions and government jobs.
- At present, there is no sub-categorisation and 27% reservation is a monolithic entity.
News Source: PIB