10% Reservation for Economically Weak: Who’s Eligible, Who’s Not?
The Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government on Tuesday, 8 January, introduced an amendment, that will offer 10 percent reservation in government jobs and admissions to higher educational institutions to those from economically weaker sections (EWS), who are not included in any existing reservation scheme.
But, the question is, are you eligible for reservation under this category? in order to answer this, one must look at the definition of economically weak, as provided under this proposed amendment.
Is the Family’s Income Below Rs 8 lakh?
If the total income of a household – yes, that includes the income of your parents – is below Rs 8,00,000 per annum, then its members are “economically weak.” But being ‘weak’ here means that members of such a family will be eligible for 10 percent reservation in government jobs (both central and state government) and in higher educational institutions like colleges and universities.
But, if the family’s income is above Rs 8 lakhs per annum then its members will not be eligible for reservation.
So, for instance, if a higher educational institution has 100 seats, 10 will be reserved for those from the economically backward sections. Similarly, if there are 100 government jobs, 10 will be reserved for those under the EWS criteria, to be defined under this specific amendment.
Own Agricultural Land Below 5 Acres?
If a family owns an agricultural land below five acres, then its members are classified as ‘economically backward’ under this amendment and will be eligible for 10 percent reservation in government jobs and in admissions to higher educational institutions.
According to The Times of India, 86 percent of landholdings in India fall under this category.
Is Your House Smaller than 1,000 Square Foot?
According to the EWS criteria defined under this reservation criteria, an individual is entitled to 10% reservation if she or he owns a house that is smaller than 1,000 square foot.
According to the TOI, 80% of households in India have an area smaller than 500 square foot.
Have a Residential Plot?
An individual is eligible for reservation if she or he owns a residential plot measuring less than 100 yards within a municipal area or a residential plot not exceeding 200 yards in a non-notified municipal India.
Finally, the most important point to remember is that an individual shall not be entitled to 10 percent reservation in government jobs and in higher education, if she or he hails from a caste group that is already covered in existing schemes of reservation.
This means that if an individual belongs to the Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes or to any other caste grouping for which reservation has already been provided, she or he will not be eligible for reservation under this specific scheme.
This effectively means that if an individual belongs to a Scheduled Caste, she or he will only be able to apply for seats reserved in a college or university under the SC/ST Reservation Act and not under the new reservation policy.