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Rajasthan Govt changes EWS norms, Sets Rs 8 lakh family income as only criteria

Rajasthan Govt changes EWS norms, Sets Rs 8 lakh family income as only criteria

Tag:GS-2 || Governance & Social Justice || Vulnerable Sections || Unorganized Sector Workers

Why in News?

  • According to reports, gross family income up to Rs 8 lakh will be the only requirement to benefit from quotas in economically weaker sections (EWS) in Rajasthan’s state government employment and educational institutions.
  • The Chief Minister took the decision and the laws will be amended accordingly.

What is EWS?

  • Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) is a term used to refer to those citizens or households with income below a certain threshold level.
  • Income is the dominant criterion.
  • EWS is a subcategory of people belonging to the General Category having an annual family income less than ₹8 lakhs and who do not belong to any reserved category such as SC/ST/OBC.

 When was the EWS reservation started?

  • The Government of India tabled the Constitution (124thAmendment) Bill in January 2019 which provided a 10% additional quota for the EWS students.
  • The Amendment received the President’s assent on January 12.
  • This amended two fundamental rights:
    • Article 15, which prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, religion, caste, sex or place of birth.
      • However, as an exception to Art 15, the government may make special provisions for the advancement of socially and educationally backward classes, or for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
      • The 124thCAA amended Article 15 to additionally permit the government to provide for the advancement of “economically weaker sections”.
    • Article 16, which prohibits discrimination in employment in the government office.
      • The Act also amended Article 16 to permit the government to reserve up to 10% of all posts for the “economically weaker sections” of citizens.

 Eligibility criteria for EWS quota

  • Candidate’s annual family income must be less than Rs 8 lakhs per annum.
  • His/her family must not own more than 5 acres of agriculture land.
  • The residential flat area should be below 1000 sq ft.
  • The residential plot’s area should be below 100 square yards if in a notified municipality sector.
  • The residential plot’s area should be below 200 square yards if in a non-notified municipality sector
  • Those who are already benefiting from education and job reservations under the social backwardness criteria are NOT eligible.

 The Income limit –How was it fixed?

  • The government obtained the guidance for fixing the 8 LPA limit from the same criteria as fixed for OBC families by different governments since 1993.
    • 1993 – 1 lakh
    • 2004 – 2.5 lakh
    • 2008 – 4.5 lakh
    • 2013 – 6 lakh
    • The total increase in the limit =  700 percent
    • Increase in CPI during this period = 413 percent.
  • In 2017, the government further increased the limit to Rs 8 lakh per annum -Increase of 33 percent.
  • CPI increase during the same period of 21 percent.

Issues with EWS certificate

  • Complex procedures for obtaining an EWS certificate.
  • Income and asset certificate
  • To apply for the income and asset certificate, students require documents like property, income and caste certificates, along with identity proof, their parents’ bank statements for the previous six months and income tax returns filed in the last three years.
  • No clarity among govt departments.

Provisions applied?

  • These assets related provisions will be abolished for seeking EWS reservations in the state services and the state educational institutions.
  • The provisions for people of the state seeking EWS reservation in central government jobs and educational institutions of the centre will remain unchanged.