National Commision For Schedule Castes
The social and economic position of the Scheduled Castes had been the concern of the founding fathers of the Constitution. For providing safeguards for Scheduled Castes special provisions were made to promote the social, educational, economic and service interest of this section of the society. In order to ensure that the safeguards are properly implemented the Constitution on its inception, provided for appointment of a special office under Article 338 of the Constitution to investigate all matters relating to the safeguards provided for Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes and report to the President about the working of these safeguards. In pursuance of this provision a Special Officer known as the Commissioner for Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes was appointed for the first time on 18th November, 1950.
By 1965 the Commissioner of Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes has 17 regional offices located in various States, headed by Assistant Commissioners for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes who were in July 1965, re-designated as Deputy Commissioners. This field organization of the Commissioner was recognized into 5 Zonal offices in June 1967 and placed under the control of the newly created Directorate General of Backward Classes Welfare in the department of Social Welfare. Each Zonal office was headed by a Zonal Director. Backward Classes welfare & the erstwhile regional Deputy Commissioner for SC & ST were re-designated as Deputy Directors.
Backward Classes welfare and placed under the control of Zonal Directors located at Chandigarh (Northern Zone), Bhopal (Central Zone), Patna (Eastern Zone), Baroda (Western Zone) and Madras (Southern Zone). The Eastern Zone office has two branches at Bhubaneswar and Shillong and later a branch office of the Central Zone was set up at Lucknow. Each of these branches was headed by a Deputy Director. The Western Zone office was shifted to Ahmedabad in 1969.
2. It was felt that the office of the Commissioner for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes was not enough to monitor the safeguards provided to SCs & STs. Hence, due to voice raised by Members of Parliament, a proposal was mooted for amendment of Article 338 of the Constitution (46th Amendment) by replacing the single member Special Officer by multi-member system. The first Commission for SC & ST came into being on August, 1978. With effect from 1-12-78 the field offices were transferred to the newly set up Commission for SCs & STs and the Zonal Directors, BCW and the Deputy Directors, BCW were re-christened as Directors for SCs & STs and Deputy Directors for SCs & STs respectively. Later on the Zonal set up was abolished and the Commission once again had 17 field offices. Since the field Directors were also working for the Commissioner for SCs & STs, they were re-designated as Director for SCs & STs and Ex-officio Deputy Commissioner for SCs & STs.
3. The functions of the Commission for SCs & STs and of the O/o Commissioner for SCs & STs co-existed till 11.03.1992. The erstwhile O/o Commissioner for SCs/STs during their office had submitted 30 reports.
4. The setup of the Commission of 1978 underwent change in 1987 and it was named as National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. This Commission being a National Level Advisory body played the role of adviser on major policy and developmental issues relating to SCs/STs. This Commission for SCs & STs had submitted 8 reports during its tenure.
5. The National Commission for SCs & STs came into being consequent upon the 65th Amendment Bill, 1990 notified on 8.6.1990, and rules there under were notified on 3.11.1990.
6. In the 89th Amendment of the Constitution it was decided to have a separate National Commission for Scheduled Castes & separate National Commission for Scheduled Tribes. This came into effect on 19.02.2004. The erstwhile National Commission for SCs & STs was bifurcated into two different Commissions with actual bifurcation date being 1.12.2004. After bifurcation there are at present 12 State Offices under the jurisdiction of NCSC. These are located at Agartala, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Patna, Pune & Thiruvananthapuram.
The following are the functions of the commission:
To investigate and monitor all matters relating to the safeguards provided for the Scheduled Castes under this 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 on 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 the effective implementation of those safeguards and other measures for the protection, welfare and socio-economic development of the Scheduled Castes; and
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.
Dr P.L Punia – Chairperson
Shri Raj Kumar Verka – Vice-Chairperson
Shri Raju Parmar – Member
Shri Ishwar Singh-Member
Smt. P. M. Kamalamma-Member
Nation Commission For Scheduled Castes
5th Floor, Lok Nayak Bhawan, Khan Market,
Toll Free: No.1800 1800 345 (for all State Offices of the NCSC)
Toll Free No.1800118888 (for Headquarters at New Delhi)