Competitive Exams: Political Science Study Material National Commission for Backward Classes

National Commission for Backward Classes

Pursuant to the direction of the Supreme Court in the Mandal case judgement, the Government of India enacted the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993 for setting up a National Commission for Backward Classes at the Centre as a permanent body. Article 340 of the Constitution provides for the appointment of a Commission to investigate the conditions of and the difficulties faced by the socially and educationally backward classes and to make appropriate recommendations.

The Act came into effect on the 2nd April, 1993. The Act provides that the Commission shall consist of five Members, comprising of a Chairperson who is or has been a judge of the Supreme Court or of a High Court; a social scientist; two persons, who have special knowledge in matters relating to backward classes; and a Member-Secretary, who is or has been an officer of the Central Government in the rank of a Secretary to the Government of India.

Functions of the Commission Under the Act

The Commission shall examine requests for inclusion of any class of citizens as a backward class in the Central List of Backward Classes and hear complaints of over-inclusion or under-inclusion of any backward class in the lists and tender such advice to the Central Government as it deems appropriate. Under Section 9 (2) of the Act, The advice of the Commission shall ordinarily be binding upon the Central Government.

Under Section 11 (1) of the Act, the Central Government may at any time, and shall, at the expiration of ten years from the coming into force of this Act and every succeeding period of ten years thereafter, undertake revision of the lists with a view to excluding from such lists those classes who have ceased to be backward classes or for including in such lists new backward classes.

Guidelines for consideration of requests for inclusion and complaints of under inclusion in the Central list of OBCs

The Commission, after studying the criteria/indicators framed by the Mandal Commission and the commissions set up in the past by different state Governments and other relevant materials, formulated the following guidelines for considering requests for inclusion in the list of Other Backward Classes:

Social

  1. Castes and communities, generally considered as socially backward.

  2. It includes

    1. Castes and communities, which mainly depend on agricultural and/or other manual labour for their livelihood and are lacking any significant resource base.

    2. Castes and communities, which, for their livelihood, mainly depend on agricultural and/or other manual labour for wage and are lacking any significant base.

    3. Castes and communities, the women of which, as a general practice, are for their family's livelihood, engaged in agricultural and/or other manual labour, for wage.

    4. Castes and communities, the children of which, as a general practice, are, for family's livelihood or for supplementing family's low income, mainly engaged in agricultural and/or manual labour.

    5. Castes and communities, which in terms of caste system, are identified with traditional crafts or traditional or hereditary occupations considered to be lowly or undignified.

    6. Castes and communities, which in terms of the caste system, are identified with tradtional or hereditary occupations considered to be ‘unclean’ or stigmatized.

    7. Nomadic and semi-nomadic castes and communities.

    8. Denotified or Vimukta Jati castes and communities

  3. Castes and communities, having no representation or poor representation in the State Legislative Assembly and/or district-level Panchayati Raj institutions during the ten years preceding the date of the application

Educational

  1. Castes and communities whose literacy rate is at least 8% less than the State or district average.

  2. Castes and communities of which the proportion of matriculates is at least 20 per cent less than the State or district average.

  3. Castes and communities, of which the proportion of graduates is at least 20 percent less than the State or district average. C. Economic

    1. Castes and communities, a significant proportion of whose members reside only in Kachha houses.

    2. Castes and communities, the share of whose members in number of cases and in extent of agricultural lands surrendered under the Agricultural Land Ceiling Act of the State, is nil or significantly low.