The ruling BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) came together with opposition parties in the Lok Sabha on Thursday to unanimously pass the 123rd Constitutional Amendment bill, 2018 that provides constitutional status to the commission for other backward classes (OBCs).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi were present in the Lower House when the bill was passed with 406 votes in its favour and none against.
Features of the Bill :-
♣) The bill seeks to grant constitutional status to the National Commission on Backward Classes (NCBC) on a par with the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST).
♣) It states that the President may specify the socially and educationally backward classes in the various states and union territories. He may do this in consultation with the Governor of the concerned state.
♣) The duties of the NCBC include investigating and monitoring how safeguards provided to the backward classes under the Constitution and other laws are being implemented and probe specific complaints regarding violation of rights.
♣) Under this measure, the NCBC will have the powers of a civil court while probing any complaint.
♣) The Bill as passed by the Lower House inserts Article 338 B in the Constitution, which provides for a Commission for the socially and educationally backward classes with a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and three other members, all of whom shall be appointed by the President of India.