The Economic Weaker Section (EWS) quota was introduced in 2019 under 103rd Constitutional Amendment Act by amending article 15 & article 16 of the Indian Constitution. It was enacted to promote economic weaker section of the society those who are not covered in 50% reservation policy for Schedule Castes, Schedule Tribes & Socially & Economically Backward Classes. It is economic reservation for promoting in jobs & educational institutes for Economic Weaker Section (EWS). EWS quota provided at both central & state level for promoting Economic Weaker Section.
Recently Supreme Court ask for government committee report on income as a feasible criteria for defining the family belongs to Economic Weaker Section in the Society. The 103rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 2019 defines criteria in order to categories a family that belongs to Economic Weaker Section in the society. The family must not own or possess five acres of agricultural land, family annual income does exceed to 8 lakhs, a residential flat of 1000 sq. ft. and above or residential plot of 100/200 sq. yd. & above in notified/non-notified municipalities.
The government committee report said annual income criteria for 8 lakhs is a fine balance between inclusion & non-inclusion in order to find reasonable threshold to determine EWS in admission and jobs. The current effective tax exemption limit is around 8 lakhs for individuals and the gross annual income limit of 8 lakhs for entire family would be reasonable to determine inclusion in EWS. The committee rejected the notion that centre adopted a mechanical approach to determine EWS through annual income criteria of 8 lakhs as a number.
The desirability of a uniform income based threshold has been upheld by Supreme Court, and it is adopted across the country as a matter of economic & social policy.