Minority Issues – SC, ST, Dalits, OBC, Reservations, etc.

National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) and the Dynamics of OBC Inclusion


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: NCBC, OBC List

Mains level: NA

Why in the news?

  • The National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) has begun a comprehensive review of State OBC Lists to reassess the inclusion of communities benefiting from prolonged advantages.
  • The NCBC’s scrutiny has led to questioning the overrepresentation of Muslim communities in State OBC lists, particularly in Karnataka and West Bengal.

NCBC’s contention over Over-representation:

  • Despite repeated requests, states like West Bengal and Karnataka lack current socio-economic data on OBCs, hindering the NCBC’s assessment.
  • The absence of data complicates the task of justifying continued inclusion in OBC lists.
  • The NCBC plans to extend its review to Kerala, Odisha, Bihar, Maharashtra, and other states to ensure maximum OBC reservation within the 50% limit.

Who are the Other Backward Classes (OBCs)?

  • Other Backward Class is a collective term used to classify castes which are educationally or socially disadvantaged. 
  • It is one of several official classifications of the population of India, along with General Class, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SCs and STs).
  • The OBCs were found to comprise 55% of the country’s population by the Mandal Commission report of 1980, and were determined to be 41% in 2006.

About National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC)

Established Constitution Amendment Act, 2018 (also known as 102nd Amendment Act, 2018) under Article 338B of the Indian Constitution
Jurisdiction Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India
  • Active participation and advisory role in the socio-economic development of socially backward classes (OBCs).
  • Evaluating the progress of their development.
Statutory Backing The outcome of the Indra Sawhney & Others v. Union of India case (16.11.1992)
  • Chairperson (MoSJ), Vice-Chairperson, and three other members appointed by the President.
  • Conditions of service and tenure determined by the President.
Functions and Powers
  • Inclusions and exclusions in the lists of backward communities for job reservations.
  • Providing advice to the Central Government.
  • Investigating and monitoring safeguards for backward classes.
  • Inquiring into specific complaints related to their rights and safeguards.
  • Participating in socio-economic development and evaluating progress.
Reports and Recommendations
  • Annual reports to the President and recommendations for effective implementation of safeguards.
  • Recommendations for measures to protect, welfare, and socio-economic development of backward classes.
Other Functions Discharging functions specified by the President and subject to parliamentary laws
Constitutional Amendment 102nd Constitutional Amendment Act (2018) empowered NCBC to address grievances of Other Backward Classes



[2022] Discuss the role of the National Commission for Backward Classes in the wake of its transformation from a statutory body to a constitutional body.

[2016] Why are the tribals in India referred to as ‘the Scheduled Tribes’? Indicate the major provisions enshrined in the Constitution of India for their upliftment.

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