Edukemy Gazette

EWS quota panel recommendation

EWS quota panel recommendation

In News

The government appointed panel to review the EWS quota criteria has presented its recommendations.

About the News

  • Petitions were previously filed in the SC challenging the income criteria for the EWS quota in the NEET exam that determines admissions to medical colleges.
  • Government has been questioned by the Supreme Court on how it arrived at the Rs 8 lakh income limit.
  • In response the government had constituted a three-member expert committee to review the EWS quota criteria comprising of Ajay Bhushan Pandey, VK Malhotra and Sanjeev Sanyal.
  • The Central Government has decided to accept the recommendation made by an expert committee to retain the limit of Rupees 8 lakhs gross annual income for Economically Weaker Section(EWS) reservations.

What are the important features of the EWS quota?

  • EWS quota was issued through a notification issued by the Department of Personnel & Training in 2019
  • It has provisions for eligibility criteria of 10% reservations for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in government institutes and jobs.
  • There were several petitions being filed in the top court challenging the income criteria for the EWS quota in the NEET exam that determines admissions to medical colleges.

What are the major recommendations of the panel?

  • The three-member panel has suggested dropping the existing criteria on residential asset size while retaining the Rs 8 lakh annual income limit.
  • Exclusion of all candidates with agricultural land over 5 acres.
  • Recommendations be implemented only from the next admission cycle as any sudden change will cause a major disruption across educational institutes and create complications for both beneficiaries and the authorities.
  • A ‘three-year feedback loop cycle’ be used to monitor the actual outcomes of these criteria and then be used to adjust them in future.
  • Continuation of the existing process for the current admission cycle.
  • Proposal to use data exchange and information technology actively to verify income and assets and improve targeting for EWS reservations as mere 9% and 8.2% of EWS candidates were found to be in the income bracket Rs 5-8 lakh

What are the major issues?

  • Mere possession of residential house may not correctly reflect the economic condition of the candidate or his family, especially if it is used only as a dwelling unit and not for generating any income.
  • Any EWS exclusion criteria only based on owning a house may lead to unwanted exclusion of deserving candidates.
  • Removal of agricultural land over 5 acres limit may result in big landowners being included in EWS.
  • Cut-off lower than Rs 8 lakh on family income can be ‘unduly restrictive and may lead to errors of exclusion of the deserving ones.



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