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Current Affairs


Date : Nov 26, 2021

Description :



Topic à Government Policies and Interventions


  • Why is it in the news:


  • The Central Government has informed the Supreme Court that it is willing to reconsider the Rs 8 lakh per year income threshold for the EWS Quota.
  • The Supreme Court (SC) recently questioned the government's methodology for identifying the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) and allocating a 10% quota in public services and educational institutions by setting an annual income ceiling of Rs. 8 lakh.


  • The EWS Quota is as follows:


  • The 10% EWS quota was implemented by modifying Articles 15 and 16 of the 103rd Constitution (Amendment) Act, 2019.
  • It added Articles 15 (6) and 16 to the Constitution (6).
  • It is for Economically Weaker Sections' economic reservation in jobs and admissions to educational institutes (EWS).
  • It was passed to help the underprivileged who were left out of the 50 percent quota scheme for Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), and Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC).
  • It permits the Centre and the states to grant reservation to those who fall into the lowest socioeconomic bracket.


  • Significance:


  • Inequality is addressed:


  • The 10% quota is progressive and could solve issues of educational and income inequality in India, as the economically disadvantaged sectors of the population have been denied access to higher education and public employment due to their financial inability.
  • Recognize the Economic Backwards: There are many persons and classes outside of the backward classes who are suffering from hunger and poverty.
  • The proposed reservation, which would be implemented through a constitutional change, would provide the poor of the higher castes official recognition.


  • Reduced Caste-Based Discrimination:
  • It would also progressively erase the stigma associated with reservations, as reservations have historically been linked to caste, and upper castes frequently look down on people who enter through reservations.


  • Concerns:


  • Data isn't available:


  • The Economically Weaker Sections of Citizens have primarily been prevented from attending higher educational institutions and public employment because of their financial inability to compete with those who are economically more privileged, according to the EWS bill's Statement of Object and Reason.
  • Because the government has not provided any facts to support this claim, it is at best a wild guess or a hypothesis.
  • In the Indira Sawhney case in 1992, a nine-judge Constitution panel set a 50 percent reservation threshold.
  • Without even taking this concern into account, the EWS allotment exceeds this limit.


  • Criteria that are not predetermined:


  • The government's standards for determining eligibility for this reservation are ambiguous and unsupported by evidence or research.
  • Even the Supreme Court questioned whether the government considered the GDP per capita of each state when determining the monetary ceiling for EWS reservations.
  • According to statistics, state per capita income varies greatly: Goa has the greatest per capita income of over Rs. 4 lakh, while Bihar has the lowest at Rs. 40,000.


  • Way Forward:


  • Reservation has a negative impact on all categories except the EWS because it reduces the competitive pool available to them. It does not appear to be justified empirically, given applicants from the EWS are already strongly represented in higher education institutions.
  • It is past time for the Indian political class to overcome its habit of perpetually increasing the scope of reservation in order to gain electoral advantage, and recognise that it is not a cure for all issues.
  • Rather than making reservations based on various factors, the government should concentrate on education quality and other effective social upliftment measures. It should instil an entrepreneurial spirit in them and turn them into job-givers rather than job-seekers.


  • Source à The Hindu à 26/11/21 à Page 1


Tags : 103rd Constitution (Amendment) Act, Economically Weaker Sections

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