127th Constitution Amendment Bill

Why is the 127th Constitution Amendment Bill needed?

Issues in Discussion 

  • The amendment was necessitated after  Supreme Court  rule on  Maratha reservation May upheld the 102nd Constitutional Amendment Act (CCA) but said the Prez, based on the recommendations of the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC), would determine which communities would be included on the state OBC list.


  • In the task of identification of SEBCs, the Prez shall be guided by the Commission set up under Article 338B; its advice shall also be sought by the state in regard to policies that might be framed by it.

  • If the commission prepares a report concerning matters of identification, such a report has to be shared with the state government, which is bound to deal with it, in accordance with provisions of Article 338B. 


  • The final determination culminates in the exercise undertaken by the Prez , the Central Government, under Article 342A (1), by reason of Article 367 read with Section 3 (8) (b) General Clauses Act the judgment read.

  • "The states” power to make reservations, in faver of particular communities or castes, the quantum of reservations, the nature of benefits and the kind of reservations, and all other matters falling within the ambit of Articles 15 and 16 except with respect to identification of SEBCs.


  • The 102nd Constitution Amendment Act of 2018 had inserted Articles 338B and Article 342A (with two clauses) after Article 342. Articles 338B deals with the structure, duties and powers of the National Commission for Backward Classes. Article 342A says that the president, in consultation with the governor, would specify the socially and educationally backward classes.


  • The amendment is necessary to restore the powers of the state governments to maintain a state list of OBCs which was taken away by a Supreme Court interpretation. If the state list gets abolished, nearly 671 OBC communities would lose access to reservations in educational institutions and in appointments. This would adversely impact nearly one-fifth of the total OBC communities.



What will the 127th Constitution Amendment Bill ?

 Key Point 

  • The 127th Constitution Amendment Bill will amend clauses 1 and 2 of Article 342A and also introduce a new clause 3. The Bill will also amend Articles 366 (26c) and 338B (9).


  • The 127th Amendment Bill is designed to clarify that the states can maintain the "state list" of OBCs as was the system prior to the Supreme Court judgment. Articles 366 (26c) defines socially and educationally backward classes.


  • The "state list" will be completely taken out of the ambit of the president and will be notified by the state Assembly as per the proposed Bill.

Source: Firstport, PIB & PRS 

Topic GS-2: Indian Constitution-Amendments, Laws, Institutions and Bodies constituted for the Protection and Betterment of these Vulnerable Sections.