EWS — Govt takes a decision after much dilly-dallying

After much persuasion and pressure from different quarters the Telangana government has decided to implement the 10% Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) reservations for people who are not covered under any existing reservation policy.

Telangana is one of the few States in the country where the policy is yet to be adopted though it was brought in 2019 through the 103rd Constitution Amendment to allow reservations for poor among upper castes. Though the Central government passed the law it left its implementation to the States since the subjects covered — Education and Employment — were in the Concurrent List.

A high-level meeting in a few days will discuss the modalities of the implementation and orders will be prepared accordingly, according to Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.

The EWS reservations primarily aim to create 10% super-numerary posts wherever it is implemented without disturbing the existing 50% reservations meant for socially backward classes. It has two components — education and employment.

Annual income

The quota is applicable to people whose parents annual income is less than ₹ 8 lakh and the beneficiaries should not own more than 5 acres of agriculture land. Similarly, they cannot own a residential flat of more than 1,000 sq ft, or residential plots of 100 yards and above in cities and 200 yards and above in towns and villages.

However, the statement from the Chief Minister’s Office says the reservations will go up to 60% with the EWS without clarifying whether the CM meant 60% in general sense or 60% within the existing seats. Officials with whom The Hindu spoke to clarified that EWS is as per the Central policy without affecting the existing 50% reservations.

Several State governments have implemented it in different ways. For example, Andhra Pradesh has adopted it in education but is yet to prepare the guidelines to implement it in employment.

Other States that adopted the EWS in toto for both education and employment include Bihar, Chattisgarh, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal.

Most States

While Andhra Pradesh and Odisha have adopted it for education so far, Maharashtra has amended the norms to ensure it applies only to the Marathas (native Maharashtrians). Other States where the policy is still under consideration includes the BJP-ruled Karnataka, Punjab and Tamil Nadu. Telangana has now decided to implement it.

Political parties, student organisations and bodies representing the Upper Castes have been questioning the delay in Telangana. The BJP had raised the issue on several platforms. Reddy Jagruthi president Pitta Srinivas Reddy said they had represented to all the ministers, MLAs and even sent letters to the Chief Minister as the delay was causing loss of seats in educational institutions to poor upper caste students.

The Chief Minister’s decision is now being claimed by these groups. However, Telangana State Council of Higher Education (TSCHE) Chairman T. Papi Reddy said it was under consideration for a long time with the Chief Minister. A draft prepared by the TSCHE with minute details was sent for deliberations a couple of months back. Professor Papi Reddy thanked Mr. Chandrasekhar Rao for considering it given its advantages where none of the existing beneficiaries in reserved categories will be affected.

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Printable version | Mar 9, 2021 2:01:40 PM |

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