127th Constitutional Amendment Bill (2021) of Indian Constitution

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

127th Constitutional Amendment Bill: The Government brought the 127th Amendment of the Indian Constitution which aims to clarify some of the provisions in the 102nd constitutional amendment bill and restore the power of the states and the union territories to identify and list the socially and educationally backward classes (SEBCs). In the Lok Sabha, the 127th Constitutional Amendment Bill was introduced by Dr. Virendra Kumar, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, on August 9, 2021.

The Constitutional (127th) Amendment Bill was legislated by Parliament after it obtained permission from both houses. This article will provide complete information on the 127th Constitutional Amendment Bill, its response, significance, and effects.

What is the 127th Constitutional Amendment Bill?

A 127 Constitutional Amendment Bill provided the National Commission for Backward Classes with constitutional status. The bill gave the President of India the authority to put any union territory or state on the SEBC list.

The OBC Bill 2021 was supposed to amend the following articles and present a new clause 3. Social and educationally backward classes were described under Articles 366 (26c).

  • Article 342A (clauses 1 and 2)
  • Articles 366 (26c)
  • Article 338B (9)

Since India has a parliamentary structure, it recently passed the 127th Constitutional Amendment Bill in 2021 to strengthen the system even more. The transformation was required for society’s betterment.

Why was the 127th Constitutional Amendment Bill Necessary?

The 102nd Constitution Amendment Act passed in 2018 imparted constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) and authorized the President to identify the communities to be included in the Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC) for any state or union territory.

It took away the power of the states to prepare the list. About the Maratha reservation hearing, the Supreme Court ruled that, per the 102nd constitutional amendment act, the President, with recommendations from the NCBC, is empowered to determine the communities included in the SEBC list.

  • Until now, the states were responsible for identifying the communities included in the SEBCs.
  • The 127th Constitutional Amendment Bill was introduced by the Government to restore the power of the states.
  • The bill asserted that the President could identify the list of socially and educationally backward classes only for the central Government.
  • The 127 Constitutional Amendment Bill also enabled various states and union territories to identify the socially and educationally backward class communities in their respective territories and prepare their list.
  • This list may or may not differ from the central list.
  • For illustration, if all the state lists were nullified, around 671 OBC communities would have failed the privilege of reservations in appointments, educational institutions, and promotions.
  • Approximately 20% of OBC populations in India would have been highly affected.
  • It clearly described that the State has the power to make reservations for communities, including all matters within the limit of Articles 15 and 16. The only restriction they faced was identifying the SEBCs.

Changes Mandated By the 127th Constitutional Amendment Bill

The following changes to the Constitution took place after the 127 Amendment of the Indian Constitution came into effect:

  • It amended clauses 1 and 2 of Article 342A and introduced a new clause 3, which states that the states and the union territories can maintain their list of SEBCs as was the norm.
  • The bill also amended Article 338B of the Constitution. As per Article 338B, the central and State governments need to consult the NCBC on all policy matters concerning the socially and educationally backward classes.
  • However, the amendment in 338B brought about by the 127th Constitutional Amendment Bill exempts the states and union territories from this when preparing their list of socially and educationally backward classes.
  • The bill has also amended Article 366, which defines socially and educationally backward classes.

Significance of 127 Constitutional Amendment Bill

The 127th Constitutional Amendment Bill is important because it has removed ambiguity in the standard functioning of the SEBCs reservation. It allows state governments and union territories to add communities to the SEBC list as per their preference. Furthermore, it reinforces the position of NCBC by directing the centre, states, and union territories to consult this constitutional body in matters related to SEBCs.

Reservations were given to the oppressed by our lawmakers and were expected to remove the social divide and ensure social equality. However, even after 75 years of independence, social hierarchies have hardly changed in India. A huge gap still needs to be bridged by revisiting the strategies devised till now. The 127 Constitutional Amendment Bill is a step in this direction.

OBC Bill 2021 – Key Highlights

The new OBC Bill 2021 was passed by the Parliament to modify the Constitution to assist state governments in recognizing excluded or disadvantaged communities more effectively. The Parliament approved it without any opposition, and there was no vote against OBC Bill 2021.

  • The bill focuses on elucidating particular elements of the 102 Amendment Act of the Indian Constitution that allow States and Union Territories to make their distinct socially and educationally underprivileged groups list.
  • According to the 127th Amendment of the Indian Constitution, the president’s control over the state list would be entirely withdrawn, and the state legislature will be informed.
  • After being renumbered, the bill should be considered the 105 Constitutional Amendment Act.

Relevance of 127th Amendment of Indian Constitution

The 127th Constitutional Amendment Bill is highly significant. It aimed to help 671 OBC groups in the country. It was estimated that approximately 1/5th of the total OBC communities would get the benefits.

The bill restored the powers of the States to maintain a special list of OBCs, removed by the Supreme Court. OBC Bill 2021 is supposed to allow governments to reply fast to the needs of socioeconomic matters essential for a specific region or State.

127th Amendment of Indian Constitution – Effect on OBCs

Some members of Parliament presented the matter defining Creamy Layer during the session of Parliament. The Justice Rohini committee was responsible for sub-categorizing the OBC quota.

  • If any specific community or group is profiting more from this quota, they have to manage to remove such irregularities.

The following was the percentage of reservations granted by the Union Health Ministry in the All India Quota (AIQ) scheme for undergraduate and postgraduate dental/medical courses between 2021-22.

  • 27% reservation for the (OBCs) or Other Backward Classes.
  • 10% quota for the (EWS) or Economically Weaker Sections.

127th Constitutional Amendment Bill UPSC

India has a parliamentary structure and enacted the 127th Amendment Bill, 2021 to strengthen this structure even further and improve the overall conditions of society. 127th Constitutional Amendment Bill UPSC topic is important from the exam point of view and students must read about its key points, needs, relevance, and effects. For a better understanding of all the topics, you can check out and download free UPSC material and kickstart your preparation from today!

Question: Consider the statements: 1) A bill amending the Constitution requires a prior recommendation of the President of India, 2) When a Constitution Amendment Bill is presented to the President of India, it is obligatory for the President of India to give his/her assent, 3) A Constitution Amendment Bill must be passed by both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha by a special majority and there is no provision for joint sitting. Which of the statements are correct? (A) 1, 2 and 3, (B) 2 and 3 only, (C) 1 and 3 only, (D) 1 and 2 only
Answer: 2 and 3 only

Question: Consider the statements: An amendment to the Constitution of India can be initiated by an introduction of a bill in the Lok Sabha only. If such an amendment seeks to make changes in the federal character of the Constitution, the amendment also requires to be ratified by the legislature of all the States of India. Which of the statements is/are correct? (a) Both 1 and 2, (b) 2 only, (c) 1 only, (d) Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: Neither 1 nor 2

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