OTHER BACKWARD CLASSES (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Polity)

News-CRUX-10     23rd May 2024        
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Context: Recently, the Calcutta High Court invalidated all new OBC categorizations in Bengal post-2010, citing authorities' implementation of "protective discrimination" in deviation from constitutional norms.

Constitutional provisions for OBCs

  • Article 15(4): The State has the authority to create specialised measures to advance the development of socially and educationally disadvantaged groups, which also encompass the OBC.
  • Art. 16(4): This clause allows the state to reserve vacancies in public service for any backward classes of the state that are not adequately represented in the public services.
  • Article 340: It gave the President the power to appoint a Commission to investigate the conditions of the backward classes.

National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC)

  • About: The 102nd Constitution Amendment Act, 2018 grants constitutional status to the NCBC.
  • This constitutional status empowers the NCBC to review and address complaints and welfare measures pertaining to socially and educationally backward classes.
  • Article 342-A: Empowers the President to specify the Central List of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) for each State or Union Territory.

o The Parliament holds the authority to make modifications to the Central List of OBCs, as specified in Article 342-A of the Constitution of India.

  • Rohini Commission: It was set up by the President under Article 340 of the Indian Constitution on October 2, 2017.

o Objective: To study the extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among the castes listed in the broad category of OBC with reference to such classes included in the Central list.

Other Backward Classes (OBCs)

  • About: It is is a collective term employed to categorize castes that experience educational or social disadvantages.
  • This classification is one of the official categorizations of the Indian population, along with General Class, Scheduled Castes, and Scheduled Tribes (SCs and STs).