Defining EWS

  • IASbaba
  • December 10, 2021
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Dec 9- Defining EWS – https://youtu.be/hxuhux2zeFU 


  • GS-2 – Governance

Defining EWS

In News: The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has recently appointed a three-member committee to revisit the criteria for 10% reservation for economically weaker sections (EWS) in educational institutions and government jobs. The committee will comprise Former Finance Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey, Member Secretary ICSSR Prof VK Malhotra and Principal Economic Advisor to the Indian government Sanjeev Sanyal.


This came after Supreme Court’s observations while hearing petitions challenging the government notice issued in July which provides for 10% EWS quota in NEET admissions.

According to a memorandum issued by the union government on EWS quota –

  • Only those persons who are not covered under the scheme of reservation for SCs, STs and OBCs and whose family has gross annual income below 8.00 lakh rupees are to be identified as EWSs for benefit of reservation. This Income shall also include income from all sources i.e. salary, agriculture, business, profession, etc. 
  • Persons whose families own landholdings of a certain size such as at least five acres of agricultural land, or a residential flat of at least 1,000 sq. feet are excluded from the purview of this reservation.

The Committee

  • The committee will examine various approaches followed in the country so far for identifying the economically weaker sections. It will also send its recommendations to the Centre in the next three weeks.
  • The office memorandum issued by the ministry, signed by joint secretary RP Meena, states that the committee is being set up “in accordance with the commitment” given to the Supreme Court to “revisit the criteria for determining the economically weaker sections in terms of the provisions of the explanation to Article 15 of the Constitution”.
  • Last week, the government had submitted to the Supreme Court that it would revisit the Rs 8 lakh annual income criteria for EWS to be eligible for reservation benefits. 

Do You Know?

  • It was 103rd Constitutional Amendment Act that introduced provide 10 per cent reservation in government jobs and education (except in minority educational institutions) to economically backward section in the general category
  • The act inserted Articles 15(6) and 16(6) of the Constitution that provided for these reservations.
  • Article 46 of the Constitution (DPSP) enjoins that the State shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people.

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