105 Amendment of Indian Constitution – Latest Amendment Act, 2021

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

The 105 Amendment of Indian Constitution restored state governments’ power to prepare the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) list. As per the Supreme Court, the 102 Constitutional Amendment Act implied that the state governments did not have the authority to identify the SEBC.

105 Constitutional Amendment Act also stated that the National Commission for Backward Classes’ powers and responsibilities (consulted on all policy issues and honor) did not apply to the independent State lists. It indicated that States do not require to consult the National Commission. To restore this power, the 105 Amendment of Indian Constitution Act was passed.

What is 105 Constitutional Amendment Act?

The 105 Amendment of Indian Constitution, 2021, also known as the Constitution (One Hundred and Fifth Amendments) Act, revived the power of the State governments to identify SEBCs or socially and educationally backward classes. SEBCs include the community classes such as OBCs or Other Backward Classes for which the Indian state may provide specific provisions or affirmative steps. The 105th Amendment of Indian Constitution was signed into law by the President of India on 18th August 2021.

105 Amendment of Indian Constitution UPSC Notes

In May 2021, the Supreme Court stated that the 102nd Constitutional Amendment of 2018 had drawn the power of the State Government to identify SEBCs. The States had this authority for many years, and almost every national and regional party summoned an amendment to restore control. Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha House presented and authorized the bill in three days in August 2021.
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Need for 105 Constitutional Amendment Act

Following are the reasons why there was a need for the 105 Constitutional Amendment Act. The Constitution has given the Union and States the authority to mark the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes.

However, when the 102 Constitutional Amendment Act giving constitutional status to the National Commission for the Backward Class (NCBC) was passed, it was interpreted by the Supreme Court that the 102nd Amendment had taken away the States’ right to identify the SEBCs.

Key Highlights of 105 Amendment of Indian Constitution

This fact came to light when a month after the passing of the 102nd Amendment, the Maharashtra government’s law granting the Marathas a Socially and Economically Backward Classes status was challenged in the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court, for the first time, held that 102nd Amendment had taken away States’ powers to recognize SEBCs.

  • The reason given by Justice S Ravindra Bhat is that the Parliament had added Article 342 A;
  • With the combination of Article 366 and Article 338B, the States were now obliged to consult the NCBC and could not declare SEBCs independently;
  • If the 102nd Amendment had only inserted Article 338B, the power of identification of the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes would have remained with the States;
  • Hence, there was a requirement for modification in the 105 Constitutional Amendment Act.

Role of Maratha Quota Case in Bringing 105 Constitutional Amendment Act

The Supreme Court articulated its decision in Chief Minister, Maharashtra, v Jaishri Laxmanrao Patil on May 2021. The state legislature of Maharashtra enacted a statute to identify Marathas as SEBC in November 2018 and offer them reservations in higher education and employment.

  • This law was questioned because the State didn’t have the authority to recognize SEBCs after the 102 Constitutional Amendment.
  • The Court approved and knocked the law with a 3:2 majority.
  • As per the majority, the precise understanding of the revised Constitution was that the Union government held the authority, and there was no purpose in dismissing the States’ power.
  • Multiple national and State parties hoped the States’ powers would be reformed.
  • The Court was instantly asked to reconsider its judgment by the Union government, as it was assumed this would lead to communities losing their status of SEBC.
  • The Court legislated an order to set aside the review appeal.
  • Post this, the Union Government presented the 127 Amendment Bill in August, that later became the 105 Constitutional Amendment Act.

Significance of 105 Amendment of Indian Constitution

The Bill aims to restore the power of State governments to recognize OBCs that are socially and educationally backward. The Union government has argued that the purpose of the 105 Constitutional Amendment Act is to create a Central List that would be applied only to the Central Government and its institutions.

  • It had nothing to do with the State Lists of backward classes or the State governments’ powers to declare a community backward.
  • The Bill will benefit around 671 OBC communities because if the state list got canceled, these OBC classes would have lost access to reservations in employment and academic institutions.
  • This Bill promotes social empowerment.
  • It also mirrors our Government’s commitment to assuring pride, opportunity, and righteousness of the marginalized sections.

The Corrective Course of 105th Amendment of Indian Constitution

The Union government tried to sort the matters out. It argued that the 102nd amendment act intended to enable the Union government to identify SEBCs and would only apply to the Central government and its institutions.

  • It did nothing to remove the State governments’ power to label the SEBCs.
  • All political parties favored restoring the States’ power as early as possible.
  • There was unanimous demand to repeal the Supreme Court’s verdict.
  • Hence, the 105 Constitutional Amendment Act was introduced in Parliament and passed unanimously in both houses.
  • Not a single member voted against it in the Lok Sabha.
  • Thus, the Parliament restored the provisions providing States with the authority to identify SEBCs.

Impact of 105 Amendment of Indian Constitution

The 105 Constitutional Amendment Act resolved the issue by amending clauses 1 and 2 of Article 342A and introducing a new clause to it, clause 3. It also modified Articles 366 and 338B. The act restored the State governments’ power to notify the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes.

  • Arguments have been going on for and against the provision of constitutional reservation for years.
  • Even after many years of independence, we, as a society, are still trying to ensure equal rights for our people and remove prejudices and discrimination through reservation.
  • The 105th Constitutional Amendment Act is one more attempt to create an equal society through federal equality.
  • It has ensured that States get back their right to create a list of Socially and Educationally Backward groups without consulting the NCBC.

105 Amendment of Indian Constitution UPSC

105 Amendment of Indian Constitution is a crucial topic under Current Affairs. The act is the latest amendment to the Constitution that occurred in 2021. 105th Amendment of Indian Constitution can be studied through basic NCERT books for UPSC and standard study material.

105 Constitutional Amendment Act holds significance for both UPSC Prelims and Mains exam. The topic needs to be memorized well, and students must practice last year’s question papers to analyze what types of questions are asked related to the 105 Amendment.

105th Constitutional Amendment Act UPSC Questions

Question: The Constitution 105th amendment act, 2021, related to the socially and educationally backward classes, amends how many articles of the Indian Constitution? A) Five, B) Four, C) Three, D) Two

Answer: (Option C) Three.

Question: What is the latest amendment in Indian Constitution? A) 102nd Amendment, B) 101 Constitutional Amendment Act, C) 105th Constitutional Amendment Act, D) 123rd Constitutional Amendment

Answer: 105th Constitutional Amendment Act

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