Constitution 127th Amendment Bill, 2021

The Constitution (127th Amendment) Bill was recently introduced in Lok Sabha, reinstating states’ authority to identify OBC categories.

Virendra Kumar, the Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, introduced the constitution 127th amendment bill.

It was tabled in Lok Sabha to clarify several aspects of the one hundred and second Constitutional Amendment Bill, which restores governments’ ability to classify backward groups.

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Why is it in the news?

The Constitution 127th Amendment Bill was enacted by parliament after it received the required consent from both houses.

The central government intends to introduce the bill in Parliament to clarify certain clauses in the 102nd amendment of the constitution Bill in restoring the states’ opportunity to shape backward classes.

  • Various OBC lists are constituted by the central government and each state government in India. Articles like 15(4), 15(5), and 16(4) specifically granted a state the authority to identify and proclaim a list of economically and academically disadvantaged groups.

Constitutional 127th Amendment Bill – Key Highlights

Background

  • The bill has been enacted by the Parliament to amend the Constitution in a way that can help State Governments more effectively identify disadvantaged and excluded communities.
  • The bill aims to clarify certain aspects of the one hundred and second Constitutional Amendment Bill in an effort to allow states and UTs the authority to create their separate list of socially and educationally underprivileged groups.
  • It was unanimously approved by the Parliament, with not a single vote against it.
  • It modifies Article 342 A (clauses 1 and 2) plus introducing a different clause – 342 A (3) – that expressly empowers states to keep their separate lists.
  • It would also change Articles 366(26c)- (which demonstrates socioeconomically or academically backward classes) and 338B (9), allowing states to inform socially and educationally backward classes- SEBC promptly rather than proceeding through the NCBC- National Commission for Backward Classes.
  • According to the Amendment Bill, the president’s authority over the “state list” would be fully removed and the state legislature will be notified.
  • As a result, the proposed bill circumvents the Supreme Court’s decision (detailed below) and restores state governments’ responsibility to preserve a unique state list of Backward classes.

Need of Constitution 127th Amendment Bill

  • The Constitutional one hundred and second Amendment Bill was affirmed by the Supreme Court in the Maratha reservation verdict.
  • The Supreme Court concluded that the President would decide which groups would be put on the separate State OBC list based on the NCBC’s suggestions.

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Key Points of 102nd Constitutional Amendment Act

  • It gave the National Commission on Backward Classes constitutional standing.
  • It gave the President the authority to put any state or UT on the socially and educationally backward classes list.

Relevance

  • The proposed Bill is historic since it will assist 671 OBC groups across the country. As a result, roughly 1/5th of all OBC communities will profit.
  • It would reinstate the states’ powers to keep a unique state list of OBCs, which were removed by a Supreme Court justice.
  • It will enable governments to respond swiftly to socioeconomic needs that are important to a particular state or region.

Conclusion

Our country, India, has a parliamentary structure, and the recently enacted Constitution 127th Amendment Bill, 2021, would strengthen that structure even further. This modification was necessary for the betterment of society as a whole.

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