What Is the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) Quota?

The Supreme Court has declared the 10% reserved for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in education and public employment, established by the 103rd Constitutional Amendment, to be constitutionally legitimate.
What Is the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) Quota?
What Is the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) Quota?

The Supreme Court declared the 10% reserved for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in education and public employment, established by the 103rd Constitutional Amendment, to be constitutionally legitimate on Monday. 

Four judges of the 5-bench panel consisting of the Chief Justice of India UU Lalit, Justices Dinesh Maheshwari, S Ravindra Bhat, Bela M Trivedi, and JB Pardiwala, have declared the 10% EWS quota as valid.

Justice Dinesh Maheshwari said that reservations based on economic considerations do not go against the basic structure of the Constitution. 

Justice Bhatt, in contrast, disagreed with the majority judgment and argued that it is discriminatory to exclude the poor from SCS/STS/OBCs from receiving the reservation benefit under the EWS category.

The quota is available to the beneficiaries for employment in central government positions and enrollment in central institutions.

What Is The Economically Weaker Section?

In India, the unreserved group of people, having a family income of less than 8 lakh rupees annually is known as the economically weaker section (EWS). 

People who already benefit from the reservation are included in this group even if they do not fall within the ST, SC, or OBC caste categories.

The 103rd Amendment Act of the Consitution, introduced in 2019 incorporated a 10% reservation for members of the Economically Weaker Sections of society for admission to private educational institutions (aside from minority educational institutions) and Central Government jobs.

What Is The Eligibility Criteria To Claim EWS Quota?

In order to be eligible to claim the EWS quota, one should:

  • Be a ‘general’ candidate and not covered under reservation for SC, ST, or OBC.
  • Have an annual gross income of less than Rs. 8 lakhs. This covers earnings from all sources for the fiscal year prior to your test application, such as agriculture, salaries, businesses, etc.
  • Not have agricultural land exceeding 5 acres.
  • Not have a residential apartment of more than 1000 square feet.
  • Not have a residential plot located in a designated municipality sector, more than 100 square yards.

What Is the 103rd Constitutional Amendment?

In January 2019, the bill was filed in Parliament. It was passed by the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha before receiving the President's approval. The Act introduced Articles 15(6) and 16(6), which implemented a 10% reservation for the Economically Weaker Sections for admission to both Central and private educational institutions (except for minority educational institutions). Similar provisions are also granted for employment in positions with the Central Government.

Discrimination on the basis of religion, ethnicity, caste, sex, or place of birth is forbidden under Article 15. Equal opportunity is guaranteed under Article 16 in terms of public employment.

 As it does for SCs, STs, and OBCs, the supplementary sections granted Parliament the authority to enact specific legislation for EWS.

The decision taken today by the Supreme Court of India is a historic decision, which is anticipated to uplift the economically weaker section of society. However, its effectiveness is yet to be measured. 

FAQ

Is General or EWS better?

Based on annual family income, General and General EWS differ from one another. The EWS is for members of the "General" classes whose household income is less than Rs. 8 lakhs and who are not OBC, SC, or ST members. A 10% reservation of seats is offered for General EWS.

What are the limitations of EWS?

The candidate's family's annual income must be less than Rs. 8 lakh. The amount of agricultural land owned by their family cannot exceed 5 acres. The residential apartment should not be larger than 1000 square feet.

How many types of EWS certificates are there?

there is only one type of EWS certificate. however, the provision varies from state to state.
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