Centre to retain ₹8 lakh criteria for determining EWS
One-liner: The Centre has told the Supreme Court that it has decided to accept the recommendation of a panel to retain the current gross annual family income limit for Economically Weaker Section (EWS) of ₹8 lakh or less.
Crux of the matter: The panel, in its report submitted on Dec 31 last year to the Centre, said the current gross annual family income limit for EWS of ₹8 lakh or less may be retained.
- It said that the definition of family and income would remain the same as those in the officer memorandum dated Jan 17, 2019
Removal of asset criteria: The panel recommended that EWS may, however exclude, irrespective of income, a person whose family has 5 acres of agricultural land and above. The residential asset criteria may altogether be removed.
Need to know: The panel said that in case of admissions to educational institutions, sudden adoption of new criteria would delay the process by several months which would have an inevitable cascading effect on all future admissions.
- It said that changing the criteria midway is also bound to result in spate of litigations in courts across the country by the people whose eligibility would change suddenly
Looking forward: The panel wanted data exchange and information technology used more actively to verify income and assets and to improve targeting for EWS reservations and also across govt schemes.
Background: The SC was hearing pleas by students challenging the Centre and Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) July 29, 2021, notices providing 27% quota for Other Backward Class (OBC) and 10% for EWS category in the NEET-PG admissions for medical courses for the current academic year.
- The top court had posted the matter for further hearing on Jan 6