January 30, 2023
Swathi v prabhu

Economically weaker sections-eligibility, advantages and proof

  In India, there exist certain categories of individuals who do not have the financial or social stability expected of a normal working-class individual. The economically weaker section of society belongs to the unreserved category and who have an annual income of less than 8 lakh rupees. However, these categories of individuals are not the same as SC/SC/OBC who already enjoy the benefits of reservation.

The 103rd amendment of the constitution, introduced in 2019, incorporated a 10% reservation for economically weaker sections of the society for admission into private educational institutions and central government jobs.

Let us understand a bit more about economically weaker sections of society.

Eligibility quota to claim EWS quota

For an individual to be eligible to claim EWS quota, the following criteria should be fulfilled:-

1. Be of the “general” category and do not be covered under SC/ST/OBC

2. Have a gross annual income of fewer than 8 lakhs. This income should cover earnings from all sources for the fiscal year before your test application, such as agriculture, businesses, salaries, etc.

3. You should not own agricultural land exceeding 5 acres

4. Not having a residential apartment of more than 1000 sq. ft.

5. Not have a residential plot located in a designated municipal sector, more than 100 square yards.

It is important to fulfill the required eligibility quota to claim benefits under the EWS quota.

Proof of EWS

For a person to prove that he belongs to EWS of the society, he needs to have an 'Income and Asset Certificate' to claim reservation. Notably, the certificate needs to be issued only by gazetted officers of the rank of Tehsildar or above. This income certificate will be valid for a year. EWS beneficiaries have to renew their certificates every year.

Characteristics of EWS quota

After the 103rd amendment of the constitution, introduced in 2019, the EWS quota gained momentum, some of its defining characteristics are as follows:-

1. In addition to the existing 49.5% 50% quota set aside for SC, ST, and OBCs, the bill aims to alter Articles 15 and 16 of the constitution to include a 10% reservation for economically weaker sections (EWS) within the general/unreserved category.

2. It aims to add the following clause to article 16 after clause (5): Nothing in this article shall prohibit the State from providing, in addition to the existing reservation, and subject to a maximum of 10% of the posts in each category, for the reservation of appointments or seats in favor of any economically underprivileged sections of citizens other than the classes mentioned in clause (4)

3. 10% of seats in higher education institutions and private institutions (with or without governmental assistance), except minority educational institutions under Article 30, would be reserved for members of the economically disadvantaged parts of society.

4. Additionally, it offers reservations in positions for new hires in state-funded services.

What are the advantages of an economically weaker section quota?

Some advantages of economically weaker sections that make quota popular are as follows:-

1. Due to their financial inability, the economically lower parts of society are still prohibited from enrolling in higher education institutions and working for the government. As a result, the 10% quota is progressive and may help India's problems with income and educational disparity.

2. Since many people and classes outside the backward classes are suffering from hunger and poverty, the reserve criteria should be economical.

3. The envisaged reservation would grant constitutional status to the lower caste poor through a constitutional amendment.

4. EWS certificate can be used to avail the 10% reservation for the GEN-Economically Weaker Section in higher education all over India and government jobs.


Is General or EWS better? 

Based On Annual Family Income, General And General EWS Differ From One Another. The EWS Is For Members Of The "General" Classes Whose Household Income Is Less Than Rs. 8 Lakhs And Who Are Not OBC, SC, Or ST Members. A 10% Reservation Of Seats Is Offered For General EWS.

What are the limitations of EWS?

The Candidate's Family's Annual Income Must Be Less Than Rs. 8 Lakh. The Amount Of Agricultural Land Owned By Their Family Cannot Exceed 5 Acres. The Residential Apartment Should Not Be Larger Than 1000 Square Feet.

How many types of EWS certificates are there?

There Is Only One Type Of EWS Certificate. However, The Provision Varies From State To State.


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