- The central government has recently introduced 10% reservation quota for Economically weaker section (EWS) among General category candidates in government jobs and educational institutions.
- Persons who are not covered under OBC, SC and ST and whose family has a gross annual income below Rs. 8 Lakhs are identified as EWS.
- 124th Amendment Bill was passed to grant this reservation.
124th Amendment Bill
- The constitution (one hundred and twenty fourth Amendment) Bill, 2019 seeks to provide for the advancement of economically weaker sections of citizens.
- Article 15 – Prohibits discrimination against any citizen on the grounds of race, religion, caste, sex or place of birth.
- This bill amended article 15 to additionally permit the government to provide for the advancement of economically weaker sections.
- Article 16 – prohibits discrimination in employment in any government office.
- This bill amended article 16. The reservation of up to 10% for economically weaker sections in educational institution and public employment will be in addition to the existing reservation.
- The Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha cleared the bill on January 8 and 9 respectively and has been signed by President Ramnath Kovind.
Conditions to be eligible for EWS Reservation:
- Family income less than Rs. 8 lakh per annum.
- Agricultural land less than 5 acres.
- Residential Flat less than 1000 sq.ft.
- Residential Plot less than 100 sq. yards in notified municipalities.
- Residential Plot less than 200 sq. yards in the areas other than notified municipalities.
Candidates will get just 10% reservation and there won’t be any relaxations with respect to age-limit or number of attempts.
Determining the income of the OBC candidates includes the candidate as well as his spouse.
Income Asset Certificate
The candidate can claim the benefit of EWS reservation only by getting “Income and Asset certificate”. “Income and Asset Certificate” issued by the following Authroities:
- District Magistrate / Additional District Magistrate / Collector / Deputy Commissioner / Additional Deputy Commissioner / Additional Deputy Commissioner / First Class stipendiary Magistrate / Sub-Divisional Magistrate / Taluka Magistrate / Executive Magistrate / Extra Assistant Commissioner.
- Chief Presidency Magistrate / Additional Chief Presidency Magistrate / Presidency Magistrate.
- Revenue officer not below the rank of Tehsildar.
- Sub-Divisional Officer.
Reservation policy in Tamil Nadu
- The state enacted Tamil Nadu Backward Classes, Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Reservation of seats in educational institutions and appointments or posts in the service under the state) Act 1993 under the 9th
- Tamil Nadu has 69% reservation which is highest in the country.
- The act was amended in 2007 to give exclusive reservation for Backward Class Muslim and later in 2009 for Arunthathiyar SC community.
Reservation Break up for 69% in Tamilnadu:
|Reservation||Break up for 69%|
|Backward Caste Muslims||3.5%|
|Most Backward Castes||20%|
|Sub-community of SCs||3%|
K.M. Vijayan Challenged the reservation in medical admission, in the Supreme Court in mid – 1990s.
This case is still pending and before the admission season every year, the apex court pass an interim order directing the creation of additional medical seats in government colleges.
During the last several years, the apex court permitted the state to continue with 69% reservation by creating additional 19% seats for general category in the educational institution.
State Government’s View
The State Government told that it will implement this 10% reservation system if it does not undermine existing 69% reservation for BCs, MBCs and SC/STs. In the meeting arranged by Tamil Nadu Government on July 8, 2019, all the parties met to give opinion on 10% reservation for economically weaker section. The meeting was attended by leaders & representatives from 21 political parties. Some parties opposed the move and some parties urged the state government to ensure that the existing 69% reservation policy will not be affected.
Violation of Supreme Court’s Previous Judgements:
- In the Mandal case, Supreme Court held that held the proposal to provide 10 percent reservation to economically weaker section as constitutionally invalid.
- In the Indra Sawhney case, Supreme Court ruled that share of jobs or educational or legislative seats reserved for different communities cannot together exceed 50 percent.
- So, the present reservation order for EWS violates the previous judgements of Supreme Court.
- Helpful for poor among General category candidate.
- Helps those who are really in need.
- Supreme Court in 1992 held that reservations should not be given solely on economic basis.
- Supreme Court in a judgement, said that reservations should not exceed 50%.
- Economic status keep changing.
- Challenges in the identification of beneficiaries
- It is not a sustainable solution in long run
If this bill is challenged in the court, then there is possibility of two things to take place:
- If the Supreme Court disagrees and rejects the idea of breaking 50 percent cap, then 10% EWS can be provided only by moving into SC, ST and OBC quota Section.
- If the Supreme Court agrees the idea of breaking 50 percent cap, then all states of India can extend the quantum of reservation and it will affect upper caste people.