Why 10 pc Reservations To EWSs Disappointed Many?

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Daya Sagar

 Though late, the action of the present government making the provision of reservations for economically weaker sections – EWSc (EWSs are those  who are not covered under the scheme of reservation for SCs, STs and OBCs shall get 10% reservation in direct recruitment in civil posts and services in the Government of India and in educational institutions  w.e.f 01-02-2019)by getting the 124th Constitution amendment Bill passed on 9th Jan in Rajya Sabha  was welcomed by many on day one.
Although some criteria for identifying the families of EWSs was being talked about  by some leaders /& was also quoted by media right from 7th Jan through 9th Jan  but the 103rd  Constitution Amendment Act as was passed and that became effective  from 12th  Jan 2019   did not have the minors of the parameters which had been left to the government ( centre / state as may be applicable) to notify the “economically weaker sections” of citizens on the basis of family income and other indicators of economic disadvantage. No doubt the criteria that was being quoted in the media on 9th January did not appear that realistic and practical in approach worth benefitting the real needy of the day. It was hoped that when conditions/ norms / procedures would be notified by the Government of India or State Government (where ever needed like for J&K) the needed care will be taken.
As provided in the Act. Government of India memorandum No.36039/1/2019-Estt (Res)  dated 31-001-2019 has been issued by Department of Personnel & Training,  Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions (Do P & T Ministry of PPG& P )  in continuation to office Memorandum of even number dated 19.01.2019 laying  the instructions in consultation  ‘with’ Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and Department of Legal Affairs  in respect of direct recruitment in civil posts and services in Government of India. J&K Government has yet to issue  a  memorandum / order as regards ordering  10% reservation for EWS in J&K Government services as well as government institutions run by J&K Government. Any how at least to enable the people of J&K to obtain EWs certificate for availing the reservations announced by GOI in central services / CPSUs/ central educational institutions   GAD of J&K Government has issued circular No.19 of 2019 dated 30-03-2019 in pursuance of Constitution (one hundred & third) Amendment Act laying down same conditions for any one to qualify as a EWS under the Act   as have been laid down by India Government vide memorandum No.36039/1/2019-Estt (Res)  dated 31-001-2019 Do P & T Ministry of PPG&P so that certificates could be issued to permanent residents of J&K / Indian citizens staying in J&K at least for applying  in government departs/ CPUs and government of India institutions.
But now when the notifications / memorandums  have been issued by different ministries / departments of GOI in January 2019 and some advertisements for recruitments under the framed  rules like the one issued  on 1st February Feb 2019 by Staff Selection Commission GOI inviting applications for Junior Engineer (civil, electrical, mechanical and quantity surveying & contracts) Examination, 2018, there have been surely many disappointing notes for the would be beneficiaries under the provision of 10% reservations for EWS.
GOI must recast the rules for 10% Reservations to EWSs as notified   like that on 31st January 2019.
J&K Government has yet to notify as regards reservations in J&K Government services / J&K Educational institutions and the deficiencies as left by GOI  notifications / memorandums like that of 31-01-2019 could be made good by J&K  Government in the first go  itself and GOI must immediately recast the rules/ procedures as notified vide memorandums like that of 31st January.

To quote:

  1. There is no provisions for  carrying forward the unfilled vacancies  belonging to EWS to the next recruitment year as backlog.
  2. Income and Asset Certificate issued by a Competent Authority shall be valid for one year only and  getting the same issued  year after year will be a herculean task keeping in view the instructions that have been laid for the issuing authority who has to issue it based on all sources / all family members/ all locations in country.
  3. No any relaxation in upper age limit  has been provided under the scheme for EWSs  ( where as  for schedule caste it is 5 yrs. and for OBC it is 3 yrs. )
  4. No any relaxation in number of attempts in competitive exams (nine attempts are being provided in  UPSC civil service exams to  Other Backward Castes and 6 to EWS like GC), where ever applicable, has been extended in the rules / procedures notified in detail in Memo dated 31-01-2019.
  5. There is no provision for reservations in promotions for EWS like it is there for ST/SC/OBC.
  6. One of the economic criteria  i.e like owning not more than 100 sq. yard i.e just 3 marlas  residential plot even in notified municipalities   is totally unrealistic condition kept and would make majority of the people having minimum educational qualifications in eligible. The residential plot / flat criteria must be made at least 3 times  the notified for areas other than metros and double for metro cities.

7.Even a family that has 10 acres of agri- land as only source of income cannot in general have net income of Rs.8 Lacs / annum, what to talk of Rs. 8 Lac from less than 5 acres.

8.There are 5 economic criteria and all are to be satisfied individually .Person whose family owns or possesses any of the assets here after shall be excluded from being identified as  EWS, irrespective of the family income:- i.5 acres of agricultural land and above; ii. Residential flat of 1000 sq ft. and  above; iii. Residential plot of 100 sq. yards and above in notified municipalities; iv. Residential, plot of 200 sq. yards and above in areas other than the notified municipalities.
It has not been at least like it is for OBC creamy layer ?
So unless the norms/rules/ procedures/norms like number of  attempts,  promotions in reservations, carrying forward backlogs , relaxation in upper age limit, owned plot/flat size  and the like are recast the so “loudly boasted”  benefit claims being made by the government  will be nowhere of any significant use since in addition to many not qualifying the conditions laid down , majority of the ‘so called EWS” will not be even in a position to acquire minimum educational qualifications / coaching  worth qualifying the minimum educational criteria / tests / competitiveness what to talk of getting through even if the upper limit of annual income  of Rs.8.00 Lakh is kept in view.

( * Daya Sagar is a Sr Journalist &Social activist [email protected] 9419796096).

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