Vide Constitution (103rd) Amendment Act, 2019, Articles 15(6) and 16(6) have been inserted for providing maximum 10% reservation to Economically Weaker Sections [EWS] of the hitherto unreserved category. This write-up makes an attempt to analyse who all are eligible for this benefit and how to determine Rs. 8 lakh limit for the purpose.
2. Office Memorandum defining ‘Economically Weaker Sections’ [EWS]
The Office Memorandum No. F.No.20013/01/2018-BC-II dated 17.1.2019 issued by Government of India, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment defining ‘Economically Weaker Sections’ [EWS] is as follows :
“1.In pursuance of insertion of clauses 15(6) and 16(6) in the Constitution vide the Constitution (One Hundred and Third Amendment) Act, 2019 and in order to enable the Economically Weaker Sections (EWSs) who are not covered under the existing scheme of reservations for the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes, to receive the benefits of reservation on a preferential basis in civil posts and services in the Government of India and admission in Educational Institutions, it has been decided by the Government to provide 10% reservation to EWSs in civil posts and services in Government of India and admission in Educational Institutions.
2.Persons who are not covered under the existing scheme of reservations for the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes and whose family has gross annual income below Rs. 8.00 lakh are to be identified as EWSs for the benefit of reservation. Family for this purpose will include the person who seeks benefit of reservation, his/her parents and siblings below the age of 18 years as also his/her spouse and children below the age of 18 years. The income shall include income from all sources i.e. salary, agriculture, business, profession etc. and it will be income for the financial year prior to the year of application. Also persons whose family owns or possesses any of the following assets shall be excluded from being identified as EWSs, irrespective of the family income: •
i. 5 acres of Agricultural Land and above;
ii. Residential flat of 1000 sq. ft. and above;
iii. Residential plot of 100 sq. yards and above in notified municipalities;
iv. Residential plot of 200 sq. yards and above in areas other than the notified municipalities.
3. The income and assets of the families as mentioned in para 2 would be required to be certified by an officer not below the rank of Tehsildar in the States/UTs. The officer who issues the certificate would do the same after carefully verifying all relevant documents following due process as prescribed by the respective State/UT.
5. Instructions regarding reservation in employment and admission to educational institutions will be issued by DOPT and Ministry of HRD respectively.”
3. 10% EWS Quota effective from 1-2-2019 in Centre
The Office Memorandum No. F. No.36039/1/2019-Estt.(Res.) dated 19-1-2019, issued by Government of India, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Department of Personnel and Training contains the following provisions :
“2. In pursuance of the above Office Memorandum, it is hereby notified that 10% reservation would be provided for Economically Weaker Sections (EWSs) in central government posts and services and would be effective in respect of all Direct Recruitment vacancies to be notified on or after 01.02.2019.
3. Detailed Instructions regarding operation of roster and procedure for implementation of EWS reservation will be issued separately.”
4. Analysis – Who all are covered
This 10% quota benefit is for Economically Weaker Sections [EWS], as defined above, being individuals of any religion, caste or creed, but, excluding SC/ST/OBCs. In short, eligible persons = EWS as defined less SC/ST/OBCs.
5. Analysis – Steps determine EWS
Whether an individual is eligible for EWS quota can be determined as follows (all conditions must be fulfilled):
|Step 1||Should not be SC/ST/OBC is Centre or State List (as applicable)|
|Step 2||Person may be of any religion, caste or creed|
|Step 3||Determine Family
Family = Self + Spouse + Parents + Minor Brother/Sister (below 18 years) + Minor Children (below 18 years)
Example : If Mr. X seeks reservation, then, family of Mr. X = Mr. X + Mr. X’s wife + Mr. X’s parents (father & mother) + Minor brothers/sisters of Mr. X + Minor Children of Mr. X
|Step 4||The family as defined above should have gross annual income of preceding financial year i.e., of 2017-18 below Rs. 8.00 lakh. The limit of Rs. 8 lakh shall include income from all sources i.e. salary, agriculture, business, profession etc.
Example 1 : Mr. P seeks reservation. His father has salary Rs. 5 lakh per annum and interest income Rs. 1 lakh per annum. His his grandfather has income Rs. 7 lakh. There is no other source of income. Here, Mr. P is eligible as family does not include grandfather. His family income is 5+1 = Rs. 6 lakh.
Example 2 : Mr. Q seeks reservation. His father is a farmer and has agricultural income exempted from income-tax of Rs. 5 lakh per annum and interest income Rs. 4 lakh per annum. There is no other source of income. Here, Mr. P is not eligible as family income is 5+4 = Rs. 9 lakh.
|Step 5||Family, as defined above, should not have :
In short, to be eligible, the family should have income below Rs. 8 lakh in preceding financial year and should have :
Example 1 : Mr. R seeks reservation. His father has annual salary of Rs. 7 lakh and no other income. His father also owns a residential flat of size 1,000 sq. ft. Here, Mr. R is not eligible.
Example 2 : Mr. S seeks reservation. His father has annual salary of Rs. 7 lakh and no other income. His grandfather owns a plot of size 250 sq. yards. Here, Mr. S is eligible as grandfather is not covered within family.
|Step 6||Obtain certificate from by officer not below the rank of Tehsildar in the States/UTs|