The national commissions pertaining to Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and Safai Karamcharis have all been headless for some time. The NaMo administration has not been able to make any appointments to these posts which are political in nature after the terms of the serving chairpersons or the commission itself came to an end.
Until now, the serving chairpersons of these commissions were appointed by the UPA government.
The posts for the chairpersons of both the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and National Commission for Scheduled Tribes have been vacant since the second three-year term of P L Punia and Dr Rameshwar Oraon ended in October 2016. The functioning of the SC commission has come to a standstill as the posts of vice-chairperson and one of the three members are also vacant.
The posts of chairperson and vice-chairperson of the ST Commission became vacant in November and those of its three members have been vacant for over two years.
Justice V Eswaraiah, chairperson of the National Commission for Other Backward Classes, had to step down after his term ended in September 2016. The post has remained vacant since then, even as his application for an extension is pending with the union government. The term of its members may end soon.
As for the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis, the tenure of the previous commission, including chairperson M Sivanna, the vice-chairperson and three members, ended in April 2016. No fresh appointments have been made to the commission till date.