The Supreme Court has directed the Centre to ensure that the vacancy in the National Commission for Scheduled Castes is filled on an expeditious basis.
The National Commission for Scheduled Castes is an Indian constitutional body.
Article 338 of the Constitution of India lays down the provision for the establishment of the National Commission for the Scheduled Castes.
Objective: It is established to provide safeguards against the exploitation of Scheduled Castes and Anglo-Indian communities to promote and protect their social, educational, economic and cultural interests.
Appointment: The President by warrant under his hand and seal appoints, and determines the tenure, and service conditions of the Chairperson, Vice-Chairman, and the members of the Commission.
Composition: NCSC consists of a chairperson, a vice chairperson and three other members. Its headquarter is situated in New Delhi and it has 12 state branches.
National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST)
The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) was established by amending Article 338 and inserting a new Article 338A in the Constitution through the Constitution (89th Amendment) Act, 2003.
Who are the Scheduled Castes?
The 2011 Census places the number of scheduled castes in India at 16.6 per cent of the total population of approximately 166,635,700 people.
Scheduled castes are sub-communities within the framework of the Hindu caste system who have historically faced deprivation, oppression, and extreme social isolation in India on account of their perceived ‘low status’.
Only marginalised Hindu communities can be deemed Scheduled Castes in India, according to The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950.
What are the essential laws for SCs?
Article 15 of the Constitution says the State shall not discriminate on the basis of caste, religion, race, or place of birth.
Article 16 assures equal opportunity to all citizens for employment in any office under the State, including in promotions, without any discrimination based on caste.
Article 46 states that the State shall promote the educational and economic interests of weaker sections, namely “Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.”
Article 243D provides for reservations for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in Panchayats
Article 243T promises the same proportionate reservation of seats in Municipalities.
Article 330 promises reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the Lok Sabha.
Article 338 establishes the National Commission for the Scheduled Castes.
Article 340 gives the President the power to appoint a commission to investigate the conditions of backward classes, and the difficulties they face, and make recommendations on steps to be taken to improve their condition. This was the article under which the Mandal Commission was formed.