Q.)The Central Government has recently introduced a 10% reservation quota for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) among General Category candidates in government jobs and educational institutions.  Critically analyze how it can be beneficial for society.

Why this question:

Important topic for Polity

Key demand of the question:

Importance of affirmative action.


Critically analyze- The key to tackling this question is providing ample evidence to support the claims. Ensure that the analysis is balanced by shedding light on, and presenting a critique of, and alternative perspectives. Present extensive evidence taken from a varying range of sources.


Briefly introduce the EWS scheme.


In the first part, highlight the impact of EWS on society.

In the next part, explain how shortcomings of the policy can be addressed.


Conclude with a way forward.

Model Answer

The government has laid down certain eligibility conditions for candidates to be able to claim reservations under this new category. EWS full form is ‘Economically Weaker Section’.

To be eligible for the EWS certificate, you will have to satisfy all the conditions mentioned below:

  1. You should be a ‘general’ candidate (not covered under reservation for SC, ST or OBC).
  2. Your family’s gross annual income should be below Rs. 8 lakhs. This includes income from all sources such as agriculture, salary, business, etc. for the financial year before you apply for the exam.
  3. Your family should not own agricultural land of size 5 acres or more.
  4. Your family should not own a residential flat of area 1000 square feet or more.
  5. Your family should not own a residential plot (in notified municipalities) of an area 100 square yards or more.
  6. Your family should not own a residential plot (other than in notified municipalities) of area 200 square yards or more.

The OBC reservations are for the non-creamy layer section of the Other Backward Classes section. For them, a 27% reservation is given. The EWS is for that section of the ‘General’ classes (not covered under OBC, SC or ST) whose family income is below Rs. 8 lakhs. For them, a 10% reservation in seats is provided. There will be a separate (lower) cut-off for the EWS candidates, in the same manner for OBC, SC and ST candidates. However, there is no other relaxation concerning the number of attempts and the upper age limit for applying.

Another difference between EWS and OBC reservations is that in determining the family income for reservations, in the case of OBC candidates, the income of the spouse is not included. In contrast, it is included in the case of EWS reservation.