What are the expectations behind the proposal to grant constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes? What could be the issues that may be faced in achieving the goals?
- Introduce with why a constitutional NCBC was created
- List expectation from new constitutional body
- Discuss issues that are to be addressed
- Conclude with how this is a good move
In order to safeguard the interests of the socially and educationally backward classes in India more effectively, a proposal was made to grant Constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC). At present, NCBC is a statutory body with limited functions. NCBC as a constitutional body will work for the welfare of backward classes on the lines of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC).
Expectations from the proposed NCBC:
- All matters regarding the welfare and development of backward classes will be addressed and their complaints will be investigated.
- Union and state governments will consult the Commission on all significant policy matters affecting the socially and educationally backward classes.
- Similar to SC and ST lists, there will be only one central BC list for each state. There will be no separate state list.
- Inclusion & exclusion in the list will be decided by the Parliament. Hence demands by any group will be subjected to greater scrutiny and only the most deserving will get included.
Issues in achieving goals:
- Criteria for defining backwardness: Proposed Constitutional amendment bill has not set for any criteria to identify a caste as backward.
- Federalism: Parliament will be the final authority on inclusion of communities in the BC list and, therefore, takes away the authority of states. The states can now only send requests to the NCBC.
- Difference in the Central & State lists: In some states, there are a few differences in the central and the state list of BCs. Their position should have been clarified so that there is no anxiety for the backward classes.
- Social unrest: Once this bill becomes a law, it will be very difficult to include Jats, Marathas, Patidars—it’s a very lengthy process. These agitations may get more aggravated.
Though some issues need to be sorted out yet, the proposed new commission for backward classes with constitutional status fulfils the long standing demand of the community. Its effectiveness will be measured by its ability to help address the developmental needs of the backward section of the society that has been the cause of much social unrest.
Subjects : Social Justice