The National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993

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The National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993 was enacted to constitute a National Commission for Backward Classes, Commission been a Indian Statutory body established on August 14, 1993, was the outcome of the direction of the Supreme Court in Mandal Case. Mandal Commission was established in India in 1979 to redress the problem of caste discrimination in the country and determine the factors  determining the discrimination such as social, economic and education. As members of lower castes such as Other Backward Classes and Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes given government jobs compared to other category, Mandal commission recommended changes to these quotas. As the outcome of the efforts of Mandal Commission and aggression of people over caste quota in reservation category. National Commission for Backward Classes (Commission) constituted under Act, 1993 to look the problem arising to address the problem of caste discrimination.

National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993 comprised of 19 Sections in brief and explanations provided thereto and extends to whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Central Government constituted a body to perform functions and exercise the powers under the Act and it known as the National Commission for Backward Classes, commission consists of members nominated by the central government as chairperson as the head accompanied by a social scientist, two person who have knowledge in matters of backward classes, a member who is in the rank of secretary to the Government of India. As specified in Section 16 of Act Members of the National Commission for Backward Classes holds the special criteria compared to other commission, Members of commission as specified deemed as the public servants and comes within the purview of Section 21 of Indian Penal Code.

Commission has the authority to make important decisions for which commission had been constituted and meet the members of the commission at the specified time and place as chairperson head of the commission thinks fit as provided under Section 8. Commission has specified objective as it functions as provided under Section 9, commission on requests examine for inclusion of any class of citizens as a backward class in the list and hear grievances as complaints for any over-inclusion and under-inclusion. Commission shall have the authority to tender any advice to the Central Government regarding inclusion of class of citizens in backward class list and advice of the commission be binding on the Central Government as it deem fit. Apart from functions commission has some powers as specified under Section 10 of the Act, Commission while performing its functions under Section 9 (1) have all powers of civil court trying a suit and matters leading to summoning and examining the oath receiving evidence of affidavits and matters connected thereto.

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Central Government has authority to make periodic revision after the expiration of ten years from the force of the Act and every succeeding period of ten years revise the list to check the classes which excluded from lists which has to be included and inclusion of classes from lists which has to be excluded, Central Government while making any alteration while revision under Section 11(1) has to consult the commission for the changes and alterations which has to be made in the form of revision. Central Government by notification in the official gazette has wide powers to make rules and remove difficulties as provided in Section 17 and 18 of the Act, which includes the power to make rules regarding the salaries and other allowance given to members of commission as dealt in Section 4 and 5 of the Act.

As Act and Commission constituted under Act speaks about Backward Classes and request for inclusion in list of Backward Classes. There are certain factors and guidelines needs to be followed for inclusion and complaints to be made under inclusion in the Backward classes as specified in the Act. Commission constituted under the Act after studying the report framed by Mandal Commission and other materials formulated the guidelines for requests for inclusion in the list of Other Backward Classes. The main factors involved for request of inclusion list of backward classes are Social, Educational, Economic. Social factor involves the caste and community which generally considered as socially backward which has to be included in list of backward classes, term castes specified in the social backward classes categorized as Criminal Tribes under Criminal Tribes Act, 1924 and repealed by the Criminal Tribes (Repeal) Act, 1952. Educational qualification not only has its role in social and economic but also has its existence for request of inclusion in the list of backward classes, request of  castes and communities whose literary rate is at least 8% less than state or district average be included in the backward classes. Apart from social and education economic criteria social factor also pave way for the inclusion of list in backward class by nature of population.

Overall the commission constituted under National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993 deals with the matter for inclusions in and exclusions from the lists of communities notified as backward classes and it be notified by the Central Government mainly for the purpose of job reservations and tenders. As not everyone from the upper-class are rich and lower classes are poor, government while dividing people not to be interfered with political advantage, as reservation policy creates a unrest in the Indian society. Citizens been scrum bled based on the reservation policies formulated by the government as it has effect only to the jobs and tenders and not for improving the primary and secondary education, Government should take appropriate measures keeping all the necessary factors including primary education which has its higher role in social and economical development of country.

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by Priyadarshini Chandrasekar