Why in News?
The Union government plans to reintroduce the 123rd Constitution Amendment bill in the winter session of the Parliament, which seeks to accord Constitutional Status to the National Commission on Backward Classes.
FACTS FOR PRELIMS
The Government enacted the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) Act in 1993 –
i)The Jurisdiction of this act extends to the whole of India except Jammu and Kashmir.
ii)The Act provides that the commission shall consist of 5 members-
-A Chairperson, who has been a judge of the Supreme Court or High Court.
-A Social Scientist
-Two persons who have special knowledge in matters related to backward classes
-A Member Secretary who is, or has been an officer of the Central Government in the rank of Secretary to Government of India.
iii) Every member shall hold office for a term of 3 years.
Functions of the Commission –
a) It shall “examine requests for inclusion of any class of citizen as a backward class in such lists and hear complaints of over-inclusion or under-inclusion of any backward class in such lists and tender such advice to the Central Government as it deems appropriate”.
b) The advice of the Commission shall ordinarily be binding on the central government.
Currently, under the Constitution, the National Commission for Schedule Castes (Article 338 A) has the power to look into complaints and welfare measures with regard to Scheduled Castes, backward classes, and Anglo-Indians. The Bill seeks to remove the power of the NCSC to examine matters related to backward classes.