Competitive Exams: Political Science Study Material National Commission for SCs

National Commission for SCs

The need for providing adequate safeguards for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes was recognised by the framers of the Indian Constitution. For this purpose, special provisions were made in the Constitution of India to promote social, educational, economic and service interests of these two weaker sections of the society. The Constitution of India also provided for appointment of a Special Officer under Article 338 for investigation of allmatters relating to the safeguards provided for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and to submit reports to the President, annually and at such other times, as the Commission may deem fit, about working of these safeguards.

In order to oversee the implementation of various safeguards provided for SCs & STs, a Multi-Member Commission, known as the Commission for SCs & STs, came into being in 1978. This Commission was renamed as tin; National Commission for SCs & STs in 1987 to act as a National level Advisory Body m SC and ST matters. The erstwhile field offices of Commissioner for SCs & STs were brought under the control of the Multi-Member Commission. In 1990, the provisions of Article 338 were amended, vide the Constitution (Sixty fifth) Amendment Act, 1990 and the Office of the Commissioner for SCs & STs was replaced by the National Commission for SCs & STs in 1992 with its headquarters at New Delhi. It is headed by a Chairman who is aided by a Vice-Chairman and five other Members. In 2003, the commission was bifurcated into separate SC and ST commissions

Functions and Duties of the Commission

Following are the functions, duties and powers of the commission:

  • to investigate and monitor all matters relating to the safeguards provided for the SCs under the Constitution of India or under any other land and to evaluate the working of such safeguards.
  • to enquire into specific complaints with respect to the deprivation of rights and safeguards of the SCs.
  • to participate and advise on the planning process of socio-economic development of the Scheduled Caste and to evaluate the progress of their development under the Union and any State.
  • to present to the President, annually and at such other times as the Commission may deem fit reports upon the working of those safeguards
  • to make in such reports recommendations as to the measures that should be taken by the Union or any State for the effective implementation of those safeguards and other measures for the protection, welfare and socio-economic development of the Schedule Castes as the President may by rule specify.