On Saturday, the central government informed of the criteria to avail a seat under the 10 percent reservation quota for economically weaker members in the general category (properly known as upper caste quota). The Department of Personnel and Training under the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions released a circular dated 19 January 2019 stating the details with regard to "Reservation for Economically Weaker Sections in civil posts and services in the Government of India."
The reservation which was brought in after insertion of clauses 15(6) and 16(6) in the Constitution with the (one hundred and third amendment) Constitution Act 2019 will enable "Economically Weaker Sections (EWS)" that are not already covered under the existing reservations for Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), and the Social and Educationally Backward Classes.
It includes preferential reservation for:
- Central government civil posts and services
- Admission in educational institutions
Who can avail reservation under "upper caste" quota?
To be able to avail seat under the new 10 percent quota for economically backward, one should satisfy the following conditions:
- One should not already be covered under the existing scheme of reservations for Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), and the Social and Educationally Backward Classes.
- Family's gross annual income has to be below Rs 8 lakh per annum. A family includes the person seeking the benefit, his/her parents, spouse, children below 18 years of age and/or siblings below 18 years of age.
- Income includes revenue from all sources like agriculture, salary, business, profession, etc.
- Apart from the above conditions, if the applicant's family owns or possesses any of the following, irrespective of their income, they shall be excluded from the reservation:
- 5 acres or more agricultural land
- residential flat of 1000 sq. ft. and above
- residential plot of 100 sq. yards and above in notified municipalities
- residential plot of 200 sq. yards and above in areas outside notified municipalities
- The income and assets have to be verified by an officer not below the rank of a Tehsildar in the State or Union Territory.
- The reservation is applicable to the EWS for central government posts and services for vacancies notified on or after 1 February 2019.
State governments are yet to notify on the rules for availing reservation for EWS in state government jobs.