102 Constitutional Amendment Act

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 6, 2022, 5:00

The 102 Constitutional Amendment Act was brought in to confer constitutional status to the National Commission on Backward Classes (NCBC) and to bring it at par with the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes.

Historical Context and Chronology of 102 Constitutional Amendment Act

Initially, two Backward Class Commissions were established in the 1950s and 1970s; however, the Supreme court ordered the government to establish a permanent commission in 1992 with the objective of exploring and recommending the inclusion and exclusion of backward classes for reservation.

In 1993, the National Commission for Backward Classes was established by the government for the socially and educationally backward classes. Till 2016, it was reconstituted 7 times. However, the constitutional status of this commission was granted by the 102 Constitutional Amendment Act in 2018.

Important UPSC Topics
UPSC ExamUPSC Exam Date
UPSC NotificationUPSC Eligibility
UPSC Online ApplicationUPSC Exam Pattern
UPSC SyllabusUPSC Previous Year Question Papers
UPSC Cut OffUPSC Preparation Strategy
UPSC BooksUPSC Exam Analysis
UPSC Admit CardUPSC Results

Effects of the 102 Constitutional Amendment Act

The major 3 effects brought about by the 102 Constitutional Amendment Act are:

  • Changes in article 366 of the Indian Constitution

Through the changes in article 366, the National Commission for Backward Class (NCBC), which was set up in 1993, got a constitutional status.

Thereafter, the NCBC acquired all the powers given to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes and has the authority to redress the grievances of the backward classes.

  • Insertion of article 338B into the Indian Constitution

Article 338B inserted by the 102 Constitutional Amendment Act delineates the structure and powers of the NCBC. As per the article, the commission consists of Chairperson, Vice-chairperson, and three other members, who are appointed by the President.

The duties of the NCBC comprise monitoring matters concerning the safeguards provided to the socially and educationally backward classes, enquiring into complaints regarding the violation of their rights, recommending measures to implement safeguards and welfare measures, etc.

NCBC also presents the annual report to the President. The article empowers the Commission to act as a civil court while investigating the complaints regarding the deprivation of rights of the socially and educationally backward classes.

  • Insertion of Article 342A into the Indian Constitution

102 Constitutional Amendment Act incorporated article 342A that empowers the President of India to define the socially and educationally backward classes regarding a state or union territory.

Also, it makes parliamentary approval obligatory when adding or removing any community from the list of backward classes.

102 Constitutional Amendment Act - The Judicial View

While clarifying the 102 Constitutional Amendment Act, the Supreme Court ruled that the power of the states identify socially and educationally backward classes (SEBC) under their territory stays nullified.

Only the President can add a particular caste to the list of backward classes. Thereafter, if any modification or exclusion from the initial list is required, then the parliament has the authority to do that.

Thus, the President has the first authority, and next comes the parliament. The states, however, can still recommend to NCBC or the President to add or delete any caste in the list of backward classes.

Initially, the 102 Constitutional Amendment Act met with resistance and was depicted to be against the fundamentals of a democratic state. Nevertheless, after the necessary modifications by the parliament, the act was passed to attain the welfare state as outlined by the Constitution.

More Current Affairs Topics
Difference Between Democracy and RepublicAgri Udaan
Difference Between Endogenic and Exogenic ForcesAgricultural Extension Service
Agriculture Infrastructure FundAgricultural Price Policy in India
Agro-Based Industries in IndiaAgro Climatic Zones in India
Discretionary Power of GovernorAhom Kingdom

FAQs on 102 Constitutional Amendment Act

Q.1. Who was the minister who introduced the bill of the 102 Constitutional Amendment Act in the Lok Sabha?

Ans: The bill of the 102 Constitutional Amendment Act was introduced by Thawar Chand Gehlot, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment in the Lok Sabha.

Q.2. As per the 102 Constitutional Amendment Act, who can declare a community as a Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC)?

Ans: As per the 102 Constitutional Amendment Act, the President of India is empowered to declare a community as a Socially and Educationally Backward Class.

Q.3. According to the 102 Constitutional Amendment Act, who can alter the list of Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC)?

Ans: According to the 102 Constitutional Amendment Act, the Parliament is authorized to alter the list of the SEBCs.

Q.4. What was the Objective of the 102 Constitutional Amendment Act?

Ans: The Objective of the 102 Constitutional Amendment Act was to award constitutional status to the National Commission on Backward Classes (NCBC), at par with the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) and the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC).