Parliament Passes Constitution 127th Amendment Bill: Basics Explained

The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday passed the Constitution (One hundredth and twenty-seventh amendment) Bill 2021 to restore the power of State Governments to identify and specify Socially and Economically Backward Classes(SEBCs)

In the Maratha quota case, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court had held by 3:2 majority that States lacked the power to identify and specify SEBCs after the 102nd Constitutional Amendment, and that such power was with the President of India.

The amendment also proposes to add clause (3) to Article 342A, which clarifies that states and union territories will have the power to identify and specify SEBCs for their own purposes and that such list may differ from the Central list.

There will be a consequential amendment in Articles 366(26c) and 338B (9). The states will thus be able to directly notify SEBCs without having to refer to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC).


Articles 15(4) and 16(4) enable vertical reservation based on slotting the population in terms of SC, ST, OBC and General Category.

Article 15 (3) and (4)

(3)The Article also states that the article cannot be used as an argument to make special provisions for women, children or any other backward classes.

(4)“Nothing in this article or in clause ( 2 ) of Article 29 shall prevent the State from making any special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes,” the article states.

Article 340 of the Indian Constitution lays down conditions for the appointment of a Commission to investigate the conditions of backward classes.

      The President may by order appoint a Commission comprising of such persons that he thinks fit to investigate the conditions and background of socially and educationally backward classes that lie within the territory of India.

ART 338B

          The 102nd Constitution Amendment Act of 2018 inserted Articles 338B, which deals with the structure, duties and powers of the Commission for the socially and educationally backward classes (NCBC),


  • 102nd Constitution Amendment Act, 2018 provides constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC).
  • It has the authority to examine complaints and welfare measures regarding socially and educationally backward classes.
  • Previously NCBC was a statutory body under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

        342A which deals with power of the President to notify a particular caste as socially and educationally backward classes SEBC and power of Parliament to change the list.

Supreme Court in Indira Sawhney & Ors. v. Union of India

  1. Upheld Implementation of separate reservations for other backward classes in central government jobs.
  2. Ordered to exclude Creamy layer of other backward classes from enjoying reservation facilities.
  3. Ordered to restrict reservations within the 50% limit.

First Backward Commission under Art 340 was Kalekar Commission. The second Backward Commission under Art 340 was Mandal Commission



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