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Updated: Feb 20, 2022

Written by: Boddu Harshith Sai


The National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) is a constitutional body, which was established under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. This NCBC Act was established for the purpose of investigating the conditions and the difficulties of the socially and educationally backward sections and providing them appropriate recommendations. The NCBC Act was recognized as a constitutional body by the 123rd Amendment bill, 2017[1], and the 102nd Constitutional Amendment Act, 2018[2], which incorporated Article 338(b) into the Constitution of India.[3] The NCBC Act was passed by the two-third majority as the 102nd Constitutional Amendment Act, 2018.

What is NCBC?

In India, the first backward class commission was formed in the year1953, which was known as the Kaka Kalelkar Commission.[4]But the Government of India at that period was not satisfied with this commission for the identification of the backward classes. The President of India in 1979 had appointed another commission for backward classes which was known as Mandal Commission.[5] In the year 1987, the executive body was instituted for the national commission for SCs and STs and later in the year 1990 the 65th amendment was added to the constitution of India which led to the inclusion of Article 338 in the constitution of India and the national commission for SCs and STs had been formed.

Structure and Legal Provisions of NCBC

The National Commission for Backward Classes consists of five regulatory members they are Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson, and three other members with a tenure of three years. The present Chairperson of NCBC is Bhagwan Lal Sahni, Vice-Chairperson is Lokesh Kumar Prajapati, and the three members with a tenure of three years are Sudha Yadav, Kaushalendra Singh Patel, and Thalloju Achary.

The legal provisions that were included for the NCBC are Article 340 of the Indian constitution that deals with the identification of socially and economically backward classes in the society and help them giving recommendations in solving the issues.[6] The 102nd Constitutional Amendment has brought articles 338(b) and 342 into the Constitution of India, which deals with the structure of NCBC and defined the term Scheduled tribes.[7] In this 102nd amendment, the changes were also made to article 366 of the Constitution of India, that the scheduled tribes are the tribes or tribal communities within such tribes are deemed under article 342 for the purpose of the Constitution of India.

Functions and Powers of NCBC

1. The National backward commission monitors and investigates matters related to the safeguards that are provided for the socially and economically backward sections of the society under the Constitution of India.

2. The commission by providing the recommendations to these classes of the society it also helps in the evaluating of the progress of the development of those groups. And this Commission usually submits its report annually to the president regarding the evaluation of the development, if the report by the commission is related to the matters of the state, then it will be directed to the state for the evaluation of the safeguard by the commission.

3. The NCBC is responsible for the protection of rights of backward classes, and it works for the welfare of the backward classes. And it also helps in the advancement and the development of the economically and socially backward sections in the country.

4. Section 9(1) of the NCBC Act states that the function of the commission is to examine the request that is made for the inclusion of any other category as of backward classes and to investigate the problems faced by this class under the inclusion of the category and advice the Central Government accordingly.[8]

5. In Section 10 of the NCBC Act it is mentioned that the powers that are provided while performing the duties under section 9(1) as the commission has the power to act as a civil court and has all the power that a civil court will have while it summons a person.[9]

Important Judgements

1. In the case of Indra Sawhney vs. Union of India,[10] 1993 which was famously known as Mandal commission case there are some important observations were made, they are as follows:

· The reservation in the country should not exceed more than 50% of the total. And declared that Article 16(4) of the constitution of India is exhaustive which is used in providing jobs and employments to the people. And in this case, it was made clear that the definition of backward classes in article 16(4) is not the same as the definition that was given in Article 15(4).

· In this judgment, it was declared that the state must comply with the provisions made in article 16(4) of the constitution of India for the benefit of the Backward classes. The Court has also given its assent that is favor to the government that there should be the removal of creamy layer among the OBCs so that the weaker sections in the OBC group will get the benefits. Finally, the Court has asked the government to keep certain points to distinguish between the weaker sections of OBCs and declared the creamy layer.

2. In the Judgement of NALSA vs. Union of India,[11] 2014 the court has directed that the Central Government to treat all transgender people as socially and educationally backward people. And provide them education facilities and job facilities equally as of the OBCs.


The main purpose of the NCBC Act is to lay down the remedies to the socially and economically backward classes in the Country and provide equal opportunities to all the citizens of the nation irrespective of their class and creed. Some people of the backward classes may not know their rights and the benefits they can avail themselves by the Government, by this act all the people in these sections can know their benefits. So, I would finally conclude that there will be a positive effect by giving the constitutional status to the backward classes but also there should be census taken on the socially backward classes so that it will help them to get benefits and it will become easier on the part of the government that how much percentage of people are in this category. And it will help the backward classes to get educated and will entail social justice.

[1]The Constitution of India, 1949 (123rd Amendment bill, 2017) [2] The Constitution of India, 1949 (102nd Constitutional Amendment Act, 2018) [3]Article 338(b) of Constitution of India, 1949 [4] The Kaka Kalelkar Commission Report, 1953 [5] The Mandal Commission report, 1973 [6]Article 340 of Constitution of India, 1949 [7] Article 342 of Constitution of India, 1949 [8]The National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993 (Act No.27 of 1993), S.9(1) [9] The National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993 (Act No.27 of 1993), S.10 [10]Indra Sawhney v. Union of India (AIR 1993, SC 477) [11] NALSA v. Union of India(2014) 5 SCC 438

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