Criteria for Identification of Economically Weaker Section to be revised

EWS Law Insider

Shivani Gadhavi

Published On: January 02, 2022 at 19:03 IST

The Central Government in an affidavit filed on December 31, 2021 in the Supreme Court of India stated that the criteria for identification of Economically Weaker Section (EWS) for reservation for admission in medical courses, will be revised and be implemented from next academic year.

Solicitor General for India Tushar Mehta stated that it is not viable to change the existing criteria for the reservation of the Economically Weaker Section into medical courses, as the admission and allocation procedure under the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) has already begun.

The revised criteria for the reservation continues to put the income level of INR 8 lakhs as the annual income ceiling but now does not include families that have agricultural lands of five acres or more, regardless of their income.

The aforementioned affidavit was filed to respond to the question raised by the Supreme Court which asked that why the annual income of less than INR 8 lakhs was settled for the identification of the EWS when the same income level is kept for the determination of the ‘creamy layer’ for the Other Backward Classes OBCs.

In the previous hearing of the matter, the Central Government had stated that the criteria of annual income of INR 8 Lakhs was set up in accordance with Articles 14, 15 and 16 of the Indian Constitution.

But the Supreme Court Bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud pointed out that “You must have some demographic or socio-economic data. You can’t just pluck the 8 million figure out of thin air.” Due to this the Central Government again revised the criteria and made changes to it.

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