The National Commission for Scheduled Castes has played an important role in tackling the issues faced by scheduled castes in India, but there is a need to strengthen it for the betterment of Scheduled Castes. Elaborate.

The National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) was established under Article 338 of the constitution. It earlier dealt with Scheduled Tribes too but after the 89th constitutional amendment, it has been relieved. Yet, it still looks after Anglo-Indians too.

Need for strengthening:

  1. According to People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), the present organization is a toothless body with no actual powers, as:
    • Recommendations are not binding.
    • Vacancies in the organization.
    • No security of tenure.
    • Expenditure subject to annual vote of parliament.
    • It does mainly ex-post facto work and its report to the President has become a mere formality.
  2. Even after SC/ST atrocities act of 1959, which has stringent provisions, the atrocities on the SCs have not come down as per data in the law commission report.

Way forward:

Appointment of chairman & members must not be solely dependent on executive. Need judicial members too in the selection committee. Expenditure to be changed, enhanced staff, security of tenure & certain recommendations to be made binding. DPSP enjoin state to act in interests of weaker sections, hence reforms are need of the hour.

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