Q. With reference to “Other Backward Classes (OBC)” in India, consider the following statements:
1. The Constitution of India does not define the term “Other Backward Classes”.
2. The Constitution of India provides reservation benefits for OBCs in the Lok Sabha in proportion to their total population.
3. The 105th Constitutional Amendment Act (CAA) denied State Governments the authority to identify Backward Classes (BCs) for the purpose of reserving State government jobs.
How many of the above-given statements are correct?

[A] Only one

[B] Only two

[C] All three

[D] None

Answer: A
Notes:

Exp) Option a is the correct answer.

Other Backward classes (OBCs) means such backward classes of citizens, other than the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, as may be specified by the Central Government in the lists. Backward Class (BC) category contains communities that are classified as economically and educationally backward by a particular state.

Statement 1 is correct: It is true that the Constitution of India does not define Other Backward classes (OBCs). Article 366 of the constitution of India which defines various terms mentioned in the constitution, does not define what constitutes Backward classes in India.

Statement 2 is incorrect: While the Constitution of India provides reservation benefits for Scheduled castes and Scheduled Tribes in the Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies in proportion to their total population in the country, it does not provide the same benefits to backward classes in Parliament (Rajya Sabha & Lok Sabha) nor State legislatures.

Statement 3 is incorrect: The 102nd Constitutional Amendment Act (CAA) added Article 342A to the constitution of India, empowers the President to declare specific group as Backward Classes in States/Union Territories, after in consultation with the Governor. The Supreme court with respect to Article 342A held that State government has no power to identify Backward classes. This was amended by the 105th CAA which restored the State Government’s power to include Backward classes in state list for the purpose of providing reservation benefits in the State Government jobs.

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