National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC)

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Overview:

The National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) recently recommended the imposition of President's rule in West Bengal.

About National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC)

  • It is an Indian constitutional body established under the jurisdiction of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India.
  • Article 338 of the Indian Constitution deals with NCSC.
  • It was established with a view to provide safeguards against the exploitation of Scheduled Castes and Anglo-Indian communities to promote and protect their social, educational, economic, and cultural interests, special provisions were made in the Constitution. 
  • History:
    • The first Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes was set up in August 1978.
    • Consequent upon the Constitution (Eighty-Ninth Amendment) Act, 2003, the erstwhile National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes has been replaced by
    • National Commission for Scheduled Castes and
    • National Commission for Scheduled Tribes.
  • Duties and Functions of the Commission:
    • To investigate and monitor all matters relating to the safeguards provided for the Scheduled Castes under the Constitution or under any other law for the time being in force or under any order of the government, and to evaluate the working of such safeguards.
    • To inquire into specific complaints with respect to the deprivation of rights and safeguards of the Scheduled Castes.
    • To participate and advise in the planning process of socio-economic development of the Scheduled Castes and to evaluate the progress of their development under the Union and any state.
    • To present to the President, annually and at such other times as the Commission may deem fit, reports upon the working of those safeguards.
    • To make in such reports, recommendations as to the measures that should be taken by the Union or any state for effective implementation of those safeguards and other measures for the protection, welfare, and socio-economic development of the Scheduled Castes.
    • To discharge such other functions in relation to the protection, welfare and development and advancement of the Scheduled Castes as the President may, subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament, by rule specify.
  • The President shall cause all such reports to be laid before each House of Parliament along with a memorandum explaining the action taken or proposed to be taken on the recommendations relating to the Union and the reasons for the non-acceptance, if any, of any of such recommendations.
  • Powers of the Commission:
    • The Commission shall, while investigating any matter referred to it, have the powers of a civil court trying a suit.
    • The Commission shall have the power to regulate its own procedure.
    • The Union and every State Government shall consult the Commission on all major policy matters affecting Scheduled Castes.
  • Structure:
    • The Commission shall consist of a Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson, and three other Members.
    • The Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, and other Members of the Commission shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal.
    • The conditions of service and tenure of office of the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and other Members so appointed shall be such as the President may, by rule, determine.

Q1) What is a constitutional body?

Constitutional bodies refer to those institutions that are created by the Constitution itself. They are different from statutory bodies which are created by a law or statute. In other words there are Explicit constitutional Provisions creating these bodies. The UPSC, Election Commission, CAG are the examples of constitutional bodies whereas the National Human Rights Commission, CVC are the examples of statutory bodies.

Source: Sandeshkhali violence: Scheduled Caste panel recommends President's rule in Bengal