National

BC Commission set to get constitutional status

The Union government on Wednesday introduced a new Bill in the Lok Sabha that seeks to accord constitutional status to the Backward Classes Commission, which now has only statutory powers.

This will bring the body, which looks after the interests of Other Backward Classes, on a par with that of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes Commission, and give powers to Parliament to designate castes as OBCs.

Social Justice Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot introduced the Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, a move seen as part of the ruling BJP’s aggressive outreach to politically crucial other backward castes.

Mandate

The proposed commission will have a chairperson, vice-chairperson and three other members and will hear the grievances of socially and educationally backward classes, a function discharged so far by the Scheduled Castes commission.

At present, the functions of the commission are limited to examining the requests for inclusion of any class of citizens as a backward class and hear complaints of over-inclusion or under-inclusion of any backward class in the existing quota and advise the Central government, the Constitution Amendment Bill said.

“In order to safeguard the interests of the socially and educationally backward classes more effectively, it is proposed to create a National Commission for Backward Classes with constitutional status at par with the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes,” the Bill states in its intent.

The Bill will require the support of two-thirds of the members of the House for its passage.

The Cabinet gave its nod to the formation of the new commission in a meeting headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Printable version | Aug 7, 2020 4:48:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/bc-commission-set-to-get-constitutional-status/article17834979.ece

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