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Restoration of power of states/UTs to make their own OBC lists

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    10th Aug, 2021

Context

Union Cabinet has cleared the Constitutional 127th Amendment Bill to give power to states and UTs to make their own OBC lists that will be put in Parliament.  

About

About the newly cleared bill

  • The Constitutional 127th Amendment Bill will amend Articles 342 Aand introduce clause 342 A (3) that will specifically authorize states to maintain their State List.
  • There will be an amendment in Articles 366(26C) and 338B (9).
  • States will be able to directly notify OBC and SEBCs without referring to the NCBC.

Constitutional Amendment Bill

A Constitutional Amendment Bill must be passed in each House by a majority of the total membership of that House and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of that House present and voting.

Why the bill is needed?

  • Clarity: The bill will give clarity to the 102nd constitutional amendmentthat had created confusion in a state and Central list, and this clause will clarify it.

  • The bill is expected to come to Parliament in response to the dismissal of law on the Maratha quota by the Supreme Court.

    • In the Maratha reservation judgment, SC dismissed the Maratha Quota law by citing the 102nd amendment of the Constitution that had scrapped the power of the states to identify and notify socially and educationally backward classes.

102nd Constitution Amendment Act of 2018

  • This inserted Articles 338B that deals with the structure, duties, and powers of the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC), and 342A which deals with powers of the President to notify a particular caste as SEBC, and the power of Parliament to change the list.

  • If the state list was abolished, around 671 OBC communities would be affected regarding the reservation in educational institutions and appointments.

National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC)

  • It was initially constituted by The National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993 and so far the Commission was reconstituted 7 times up to 2016.

  • The government had repealed The National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993 in 2018.

  • The present Commission, the 8th commission has been accorded Constitutional Status through “The Constitution (One Hundred and Second Amendment) Act, 2018”.

  • For this, Article 338B has been inserted to forming a Commission for the socially and educationally backward classes which is to be known as NCBC.

  • The Commission consists of a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, and three other Members in the rank & pay of Secretary to the Govt of India.

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