Economically Weaker Sections (EWS)

Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) is a term used to refer to those citizens or households with income below a certain threshold level. The Union Cabinet has given its nod for a Constitutional amendment Bill providing 10 percent more reservation for economically weaker sections in direct recruitment (in Government jobs) and for admission in higher educational institutions.

The 10 per cent reservation for economically weaker sections in the General category is officially kicking from 1st February (Friday). As per the Central government recent notification stating that the quota, cleared by Parliament, will be applicable in central government recruitments starting from 1st February. The Ministry of Personnel and Public Grievances had written to Union ministries and central departments stating that the EWS reservation, for which Constitution has been amended, be implemented in recruitment starting from 1st February 2019.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stated, while hitting out at critics of this quota, that the 10 per cent reservation benefit for EWS category will not have an impact on the existing reservation benefits for Dalits, Tribals and OBCs.

Beginning next month, all central government posts will be filled after factoring in the recently approved 10 per cent reservation for economically weaker sections (EWS), according to an official order.

As per notification 10 per cent reservation would be provided for economically weaker sections in central government posts and services and would be effective in respect of all direct recruitment vacancies to be notified on or after 1st February 2019”.

The Constitution (124 Amendment) Bill on providing 10 per cent reservation in jobs and education to the general category poor was passed by Parliament on 9th January 2019.

“Persons who are not covered under the existing scheme of reservations for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and socially and educationally backward classes and whose family has gross annual income below Rs. 8 lakh are to be identified as EWS’s for the benefit of reservation”.

People whose family owns or possesses five acres of agricultural land and above, residential flat of 1,000 sq ft and above; residential plot of 100 sq yards and above in notified municipalities and residential plot of 200 sq yards and above in areas other than the notified municipalities “shall be excluded from being identified as EWS’s, irrespective of the family income”, it said.

The income and assets of the families would be required to be certified by an officer not below the rank of Tehasildar in States / Union territories, after carefully verifying all relevant documents following due process as prescribed by the respective State/UT, the order said. Instructions regarding reservation in admission to educational institutions will be issued by the HRD ministry, it said.

Maharashtra is among the first few states to implement the Centre’s decision. The state in November allotted 16% quota for Marathas in jobs and education, which has been challenged in the Bombay high court. The hearings on the reservation are on.

The state has asked district collectors to ensure income certificates are issued within one month of application.

Candidates will have to submit the income certificates within six months of their recruitment under the quota.

Haryana had given 10 per cent reservation to the Jats and five other castes under the Haryana Backward Classes Act, 2016, and even the economically weaker sections from the unreserved castes were given 10 per cent reservation earlier, but both were stayed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court and are now sub judice.

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