National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) was initially constituted as a statutory body after the Indra Sawhney judgement in 1993. However, the Constitution 102nd Amendment Act in 2018 gave constitutional status to NCBC by adding Article 338B and 342A.
Functions of NCBC
- Investigate and Monitor constitutional and legal safeguards provided for the socially and educationally backward classes (SEBCs) – Article 15(4), 16(4) etc.
- Inquire into specific complaints – deprivation of rights and safeguards of SEBCs.
- Participate and advise the government on protection, welfare and advancement the socio-economic development of SEBCs and evaluate their progress.
- Submit Annual or Other Reports to the President who shall lay the reports before both Houses of Parliament.
Benefits of Being a Constitutional Body – NCBC Can
- hear complaints from OBCs including complaints of over or under inclusion.
- examine requests for inclusion of any community in the list of backward classes.
- Article 342A mandates Parliamentary process to include/exclude OBCs in the Central List.
Despite becoming a permanent commission like the NCSC and NCST, it is difficult to gauge its immediate success regarding development of SEBCs as its role is not binding.