The President of India Ram Nath Kovind on August 18, 2021, granted assent to the Constitution (105th Amendment) Act, 2021, which empowers states to identify and specify the Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC).
The Constitution (105th) Bill 2021 was passed by the Parliament on August 11, 2021.
The Gazette of India, issued by the Ministry of Law and Justice, the Act would amend article 338B of the Constitution, in clause (9), and would insert a provision of: “Provided that nothing in this clause shall apply for the purposes of clause (3) of article 342A.”
In article 342A of the Constitution, for the words “the socially and educationally backward classes which shall for the purposes of this Constitution”, the words “the socially and educationally backward classes in the Central List which shall for the purposes of the Central Government” will be substituted, and the expression “Central List” meaning the list of socially and educationally backward classes prepared and maintained by and for the Central Government should be inserted.
As per the Act, every State or Union territory may, by law, prepare and maintain, for its own purposes, a list of socially and educationally backward classes, entries in which may be different from the Central List.
“In article 366 of the Constitution, for clause (26C), the following clause shall be substituted, namely:– ‘(26C) “socially and educationally backward classes” means such backward classes as are so deemed under Article 342A for the purposes of the Central Government or the State or Union territory, as the case may be,” the Gazette read.
Earlier, the Supreme Court in the Maratha quota case struck down the reservation in government jobs and educational institutions for the Maratha community brought in by the Maharashtra government in 2018, saying it exceeded the 50 per cent cap imposed earlier.