Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 17 May 2022 3.42 PM IST

Central committee to recommend that income limit for EWS should be fixed at Rs 8 lakh


NEW DELHI: It is learned that a three-member committee appointed by the Centre has recommended that the annual household income limit for 10 percent reservation for economically weaker sections (EWS) should be fixed at Rs 8 lakh like that of OBCs.

The recommendation was made by a committee chaired by Ajay Pandya, former secretary in the finance ministry. The committee also comprises Prof. VK Malhotra, Member Secretary, Indian Council of Science Research and Sanjeev Sanyal, Chief Economic Adviser to the central government. The central government will submit the 90-page report of the committee to the Supreme Court along with the new affidavit.

Although the Supreme Court had earlier questioned the rationale for raising the income limit for OBCs and EWS to Rs 8 lakh, it is learned that the committee has recommended not to change it.

Committee's arguments

  • In 2020, families of 91 percent of students who got admission for NEET under the EWS quota had an annual income of less than Rs 5 lakh.
  • The committee also examined the SR Sinho committee report which stated that BPL people from the forward communities should be included in the EWS.

Conspiracy to slash backward reservation

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It is alleged that the recommendation to raise the annual household income limit for EWS to Rs 8 lakh like that of OBCs is aimed at slashing backward reservation. If the recommendation to fix the same criteria for backward and forward communities by mixing the social backwardness of the backward communities and the economic backwardness of the forward classes is approved, the dignity of the backward reservation envisaged by the Constitution will get destroyed. This will result in several deserving people from backward communities losing reservation while a large number of candidates from the forward communities get selected to educational institutions and government jobs.

The poverty line is well below the eight-point mark. The apex court, which expressed concern over the central government's stand, will give the verdict on January 6 after examining the Centre's new affidavit on the basis of the committee report. This year's NEET All India Medical, Dental PG admissions have been suspended until then. The Centre had earlier assured the apex court and the Parliament that it would reconsider the income limit. It has to be seen what stand will the Centre take in the affidavit.

The Centre's decision to fix the income limit as Rs 8 lakh for 27 percent OBC reservation and 10 percent economic reservation was questioned by the Supreme Court in October.

A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Vikram Nath, and BV Nagarathna asked the Centre to specify what was the basis and parameters for fixing the limit and whether any deliberation has taken place on the issue or simply the figure of Rs eight lakh income was picked up from the limit of determining the creamy layer in the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category. The court also asked for a fresh affidavit within four weeks. Following this, the Centre appointed a three-member committee to examine the matter.

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