The World since 1991
Key Concepts and Issues since 1991: Globalisation
Key Concepts and Issues since 1991: Humanitarian Issues
Contemporary India: Challenges to Peace, Stability and National Integration
Contemporary India: Good Governance
India and the World
Special Institutional Mechanisms:
The benefits of good governance must be available to all sections of the society. The constitution provides for socio-economic and political safeguards to certain disadvantaged sections of the society. Besides the safeguards provided for them, the government has created several commissions to safeguard the rights of different sections of society. These include the following:
1. National Commission for Scheduled Castes:
Deals with matters related to the safeguards provided under the constitution and inquire into specific complaints relating to deprivation of rights of the Schedule Caste community.
Duties and Functions of the Commission:
The Constitution of India under Article 338 has assigned the following duties and functions to the Commission.
- To investigate and monitor all matters relating to the safeguards provided for the Scheduled Castes under the 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;
2. National Commission for Scheduled Tribes:
Deals with matters related to the safeguards provided under the constitution and inquire into specific complaints relating to deprivation of rights of the Schedule Tribe community.
The framers of the Constitution took note of the fact that certain communities in the country were suffering from extreme social, educational, and economic backwardness arising out of the age-old practice of untouchability and certain others on account of this primitive agricultural practices, lack of infrastructure facilities and geographical isolation, and who need special consideration for safeguarding their interests and for their accelerated socio-economic development. These communities were notified as Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes as per provisions contained in Clause 1 of Articles 341 and 342 of the Constitution respectively.
For the Socioeconomic and overall development of the Tribal people, special provisions and safeguards have been provided in the Constitution of India and some initiatives have also been taken by the Government of India, including the Tribal Sub Plan (TSP) strategy. The Tribal Sub Plan (TSP) strategy was aimed at the rapid socio-economic development of tribal people. The funds provided under the Tribal Sub Plan of the State have to be at least equal in proportion to the ST population of each State or UTs. Similarly, Central Ministries/Departments are also required to earmark funds out of their budget for the Tribal Sub-Plan. As per guidelines issued by the Planning Commission, the Tribal Sub Plan funds are to be non-divertible and non-lapsable. The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes is vested with the duty to participate and advise in the planning process of socio-economic development of STs, and to evaluate the progress of their development under the Union and any State.
3. National Human Rights Commission:
It deals with the protection of rights relating to life, liberty, equality, and dignity guaranteed by the constitution.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India was established on 12 October 1993. The statute under which it is established is the Protection of Human Rights Act (PHRA), 1993 as amended by the Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Act, 2006. It is in conformity with the Paris Principles, adopted at the first international workshop on national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights held in Paris in October 1991, and endorsed by the General Assembly of the United Nations by its Regulations 48/134 of 20 December 1993. The NHRC is an embodiment of India’s concern for the promotion and protection of human rights. Section 2(1)(d) of the PHRA defines Human Rights as the rights relating to life, liberty, equality, and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the Constitution or embodied in the International Covenants and enforceable by courts in India.
4. National Commission for Women:
This was created to facilitate the redressal of grievances and accelerate the socio-economic development of women.
Section - 3
National Commission for Women Act, 1990
Act No. 20 of 1990 of Govt. of India)
The Central Government shall constitute a body to be known as the National Commission for Women to exercise the powers conferred on and to perform the functions assigned to, it under this Act.
The Commission shall consist of:
- A Chairperson, committed to the cause of women, to be nominated by the Central Government.
- five Members to be nominated by the Central Government from amongst persons of ability, integrity, and standing who have had experience in law or legislation, trade unionism, management of an industry potential of women, women's voluntary organisations ( including women activist ), administration, economic development, health, education or social welfare; Provided that at least one Member each shall be from amongst persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes respectively;
- a Member-Secretary to be nominated by the Central Government who shall be an expert in the field of management, organisational structure or sociological movement, or an officer who is a member of a civil service of the Union or of an all-India service or holds a civil post under the Union with appropriate experience
5. National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights:
It seeks to protect, promote, and defend child rights in the country. The Commission defines a child as a person in the 0 to 18 years of age group.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) was set up in March 2007 under the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights (CPCR) Act, 2005, an Act of Parliament (December 2005). National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) is a statutory body under the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights (CPCR) Act, 2005 under the administrative control of the Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India. The Commission's Mandate is to ensure that all Laws, Policies, Programmes, and Administrative Mechanisms are in consonance with the Child Rights perspective as enshrined in the Constitution of India and also the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Child is defined as a person in the 0 to 18 years age group.
The Commission visualizes a rights-based perspective flowing into National Policies and Programmes, along with nuanced responses at the State, District and Block levels, taking care of specificity and strengths of each region. In order to touch every child, it seeks a deeper penetration to communities and households and expects that the ground experiences gathered at the field are taken into consideration by all the authorities at a higher level. Thus the Commission sees an indispensable role for the State, sound institution-building processes, respect for decentralization at the local bodies and community level, and larger societal concern for children and their well-being.
6. National Commission for Backward Classes:
The focus is on the welfare of socially and economically backward classes.
1.National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) was initially constituted by the Central Govt by The National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993 (27 of 1993) dated 2.4.1993 and so far the Commission had been reconstituted 7 times up to 2016. The Central Govt has repealed The National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993 (27 of 1993) w.e.f 15.8.2018.
2. The present Commission (8th) has been accorded Constitutional Status and constituted through “The Constitution (One Hundred and Second Amendment)
Act, 2018” Act dated 11.8.2018, whereby Article 338B has been inserted, forming a Commission for the socially and educationally backward classes to be known as NCBC. The Commission consists of a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, and three other Members in the rank & pay of Secretary to the Govt of India and their condition of service and tenure of office has been notified vide MSJE Notification dated 23.08.2018.
7. National Commission for Minorities:
It monitors the working of the safeguards for minorities provided in the Constitution and by-laws enacted by the Parliament and the State Legislatures.
The Union Government set up the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) under the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992. Initially five religious communities, viz., Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Zoroastrians (Parsis) were notified as minority communities by the Union Government. Further, vide notification dated 27th January 2014, Jains were also notified as another minority community.
Union Government constituted National Commission for Minorities, New Delhi and State Government constituted State Minorities Commissions in their respective State Capitals. These organizations are set-up to safeguard and protect the interests of minorities as provided in the Constitution of India and laws enacted by the Parliament and the State Legislatures.
Aggrieved persons belonging to the minority communities may approach the concerned State Minorities Commissions for redressal of their grievances. Moreover, they may also send their representations to the National Commission for Minorities, after exhausting all other official mechanisms of remedies available to them.
8. National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission:
This provides for a consumer disputes redressal mechanism.
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), India is a quasi-judicial commission in India that was set up in 1988 under the Consumer Protection Act of 1986. Its head office is in New Delhi. The commission is headed by a sitting or retired judge of the Supreme Court of India. The commission is presently headed by Justice R K Agrawal, a former judge of the Supreme Court of India. Section 21 of Consumer Protection Act, 1986 posits that the National Consumer shall have jurisdiction:- to entertain a complaint valued more than one crore and also have Appellate and Revisional jurisdiction from the orders of State Commissions or the District fora as the case may be. Section 23 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, provides that any person aggrieved by an order of NCDRC may prefer an Appeal against such order to the Supreme Court of India within a period of 30 days.
The Indian constitution has laid down the framework of good governance through the Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy. Based on these the government has tried to develop an institutional framework for good governance. The core of good governance is a citizen-centric approach to administration. It creates an environment wherein all classes of people can develop to their full potential. A responsive, accountable, sustainable, and efficient administration for the country is what India seeks to achieve.