EWS criteria review panel formed

Asia's Tech News Daily

ews, supreme court, prof vk malhotra, obcs, indian council of social science research, department of personnel, sanjeev sanyal, economically weaker sections, Ajay Bhushan Pandey

The Centre has constituted a three-member committee to review the criteria for 10% reservation for economically weaker sections (EWS) in educational institutions and government jobs. The committee has been asked to submit its report in three weeks.

The three-member committee includes economic experts – former finance secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey, Indian Council of Social Science Research member secretary Prof VK Malhotra and principal economic advisor Sanjeev Sanyal. ET was first to report, in its November 27 edition, that the government would appoint an expert committee to revisit the EWS reservation criteria this week.

The terms of reference of the committee include revisiting the criteria for determining EWS category, to examine various approaches followed for identifying EWS and recommend criteria that may be adopted for identifying the category in future. The panel has been constituted following the Supreme Court’s query on what rationale the Centre followed in fixing quota eligibility at ₹8 lakh. SC is hearing petitions challenging the 10% EWS quota in Neet admissions. The income limit for OBCs to avail reservation is also ₹8 lakh per annum.”

As reported by ET, apart from the income criteria, the committee will also examine other criterions included in the constitutional amendment and office memorandum of the Department of Personnel And Training, dated January 17, 2019.

This OM had laid down that a person whose family owns or possesses five acres or above of agricultural land, residential area of 1,000 square feet and above, residential plot of 100 square feet and above in notified municipalities and residential plot of 200 square yards and above in areas other than the notified municipalities will not be eligible for 10% EWS quota.

The terms of reference of the committee says, “to revisit the criterion given in OM dated 17.01.2019 in determining EWS category keeping in view the observations of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in their order dated 21.10.2021.”

A senior government official told ET, “This is an undertaking that we have given to the SC that we will complete this exercise in four weeks.”

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