Centre to re-introduce bill granting constitutional status to NCBC

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The central government is likely to reintroduce a Bill to grant constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) during the winter session, sources said.

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The Bill, when enacted, will not only make the NCBC a Constitutional body but will also empower the NCBC to hear complaints of OBCs, protect their interests and safeguard their rights.

The Bill's focus is to address social inequality and protect the rights of OBCs. It was approved by the Union Cabinet and passed by the Lok Sabha in the last monsoon session.

The proposal to introduce the said Bill was stalled during the last Monsoon Session. It was introduced in response to a long felt demand from all categories of Other Backward Classes (OBC) to grant Constitutional status to the NCBC and bring it at par with the National Commissions for Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribes.

The Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2017 was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Thaawarchand Gehlot, on April 5, 2017.

A constitutional amendment requires two-thirds approval of both houses of Parliament and subsequent ratification by 50% of the state assemblies.

During the last Monsoon Session, West Bengal, Odisha, and Karnataka raised red flags over the Bill stating that it would snatch away rights of the states. However, states like the CPI(M)-ruled Tripura had supported the Bill. A Parliamentary panel was asked to submit a report on the Bill in the Monsoon Session.

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment had, however, asserted that the provisions in the proposed Bill do not interfere with the powers of the state government to notify socially and educationally backward classes or undermine the federal structure or the role of states.

OneIndia News (with agency inputs)

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