The National Commission for Scheduled Castes, headed by Shri Arun Haldar, Vice-Chairman, Shri Subhash Ramnath Pardhi and Dr Anju Bala, Members submitted its Annual Report 2020-21 & 2021-22 on 26.09.2023 to the President of India at Rashtrapati Bhawan.
- The reports contain various recommendations on the issues entrusted to the Commission regarding the protection of Constitutional Safeguards of the Scheduled Castes as enshrined in the Constitution of India.
- Article 338 of the Constitution states that the National Commission for Scheduled Castes is responsible for submitting reports to the President regarding Constitutional Safeguards for Scheduled Castes.
- The Commission may submit these reports annually or as deemed necessary. The reports may also contain recommendations on actions required by the Union and States to effectively implement these safeguards and other measures, ensuring Scheduled Castes' welfare, protection, and socio-economic development.
About National Commission for Scheduled Caste
The National Commission for Scheduled Castes is a constitutional body in India that aims to prevent the exploitation of Scheduled Castes and Anglo-Indian communities. It offers safeguards and support to promote their social, educational, economic, and cultural interests.
- The Constitution has special provisions, and Article 338 specifically covers the National Commission for Scheduled Castes.
- The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) was established by amending Article 338 of the Indian Constitution, which inserted a new Article 338A in the Constitution through the Constitution (89th Amendment) Act, 2003. This replaced the previous National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, creating two separate commissions: the NCSC and the NCST. The change went into effect on February 19, 2004.
- The Commission's chairperson position is currently vacant. The first National Commission for Scheduled Castes was established in 2004 with Suraj Bhan as its first chairman.
The Commission has a range of responsibilities. These include investigating and monitoring the safeguards for Scheduled Castes under the Constitution, laws in force, and government orders.
- They also investigate complaints about the deprivation of Scheduled Castes' rights and safeguards.
- Additionally, the Commission advises and participates in planning socio-economic development for Scheduled Castes, evaluating their progress under the Union and any State.
- The Commission presents annual reports to the President on implementing safeguards and recommends further measures to protect, support, and develop Scheduled Castes.
- Finally, the Commission fulfils any other functions relating to the protection, welfare, and advancement of Scheduled Castes specified by the President, subject to parliamentary law.
Tenure of Chairman
The Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, and National Commission for Scheduled Castes members serve a three-year term from the date they assume their position. The Chairperson is ranked as Union Cabinet Minister; the Vice-Chairperson is ranked as a Minister of State; and other members are ranked Secretary to the Government of India.