The Rajya Sabha passed a key bill on Monday which will provide constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) in the interim a debate on the Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill 2017. This Bill will allow the panel full powers to safeguard the rights and interests of the Other Backward Classes (OBCs). Majority of votes were gone in favour of the bill as two-thirds of those present voted and that is what required to amend the constitution. The Rajya Sabha had earlier passed the measure on 31 July 2018, as well as with an amendment and sent it to the Lower House. Lok Sabha had already passed The NCBC bill with alternate amendments furthermore some more change on August 2 by 156 votes to nil.
The Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill 2017 was passed after a heated debate throughout which several members urged the Centre to make the findings of the caste census public and implement reservation correspondingly.
According to Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot, this bill would help the backward classes people fight atrocities against them and ensure they receive quick justice. Gehlot said, "This bill would provide justice to the OBC people and this is the need of the hour".He further said once the bill is passed by Parliament, the government would immediately form the Commission.
Nevertheless, the NCBC would not encroach upon the rights of the respective state governments as they would have their own backward class commissions. The National Commission for Backward Classes, which would constitute women representation also, would recommend to the central government in relation to the inclusion of deletion of a particular caste on the list.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also lauded the passing of the NCBC bill, in a tweet he said, " A historic moment for our country! I am glad that the Parliament has passed the Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill 2017, which grants Constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes. This will contribute to the empowerment of the OBC communities across India,"
Bhupender Yadav (BJP) while took part in the debate urged political parties to stop "vote bank politics" and support these measures. He said the Bill has been pending for a long period of time and denounced that many states have not implemented 27 percent reservation to the OBCs, further adding that parties should "rise above vote bank politics and work towards social justice".
The NCBC, a statutory body formed 1993, was conferred limited powers - only to recommend to the government inclusion or exclusion of a community in the central list of OBCs. Besides, the power to listen to grievances of the OBCs and protect their interests continued to exist with the National Commission for Scheduled Castes.