EWS Reservation: Know Everything About it

6 Sep 2022  Read 654 Views

The central government amended the Constitution of India to provide 10% reservation in education and government jobs in India for a section of the general category candidates. This article briefly mentions what is the EWS reservation, its eligibility criteria, how you can get an EWS certificate, and the supreme court’s view on EWS reservations.

What is EWS Reservation?

EWS (Economically Weaker Section) in India is a set of individuals who belong to the unreserved category the annual family income is less than Rs. 8 lakhs. These individuals are separate from the SC/ST/OBC category. The government of India has introduced a 10% reservation for this economically backward section of society other than OBC, SC, and ST, except for PH and Ex-servicemen criteria. 

What are the Eligibility criteria for EWS reservation?

Six factors are to be considered while qualifying EWS criteria

  1. You should belong to the ‘general’ category (not covered under reservation for SC, ST, or OBC).

  2. Your family’s total annual income should be below Rs. 8 lakhs. This includes income from all sources, such as agriculture, salary, business, etc., for the financial year before you apply for the exam.

  3. Your family should not possess agricultural land of size 5 acres or more.

  4. Your family should not possess a residential flat of 1000 square feet or more.

  5. Your family should not possess a residential plot (in notified municipalities) of 100 square yards or more.

  6. Your family should not possess a residential plot (other than in notified municipalities) of an area of 200 square yards or more.

*The above criteria are provided by the Central Government. The states in India can set their income cut-off to resolve who belongs to EWS and even exceed the income criteria set by the Centre.

*Family above means the individual who seeks the benefit of reservation, his/her parents and siblings below the age of 18 years, as well his/her spouse and children below the age of 18 years.

The property held by a “Family” in different locations or places/cities would be joined while applying the land or property holding test to determine EWS status.

  • EWS certificate 

After fulfilling the above- mentioned eligibility criteria, the concerned government issues an EWS certificate. The certificate is also known as the “Income and Assets Certificate”. The authorities who can issue the certificates are mentioned below:

  • District Magistrate/Additional District Magistrate/Collector/Deputy Commissioner/Additional Deputy Commissioner/1st Class Stipendary Magistrate/ Sub-Divisional Magistrate/Taluka Magistrate/Executive Magistrate/Extra Assistant Commissioner

  • Chief Presidency Magistrate/Additional Chief Presidency Magistrate/ Presidency Magistrate

  • Revenue Officer not below the rank of Tehsildar and

  • Sub-Divisional Officer of the area where the candidate and his family normally reside.

Supreme Court’s view on EWS Reservation

The 5-judge bench comprising Chief Justice of India UU Lalit, Justices Dinesh Maheshwari, S Ravindra Bhat, Bela M Trivedi, and JB Pardiwala is hearing the matter currently. 

The amendment passed by the Parliament in January 2019 suggested providing for economic reservation in jobs and education by inserting clause (6) in Articles 15 and 16. Except for minority educational institutions covered by Article 30 and private schools, whether aided or unaided, the newly added Article 15 (6) allows the state to make specific measures for the advancement of any economically weaker sector of citizens (1). Additionally, it adds that the maximum reservation will be 10% in addition to the current reservations. Following the president's notification of the modification, several petitions contesting the constitutionality of economic reservation were submitted to the SC. The Particular matter has been heard, and the following arguments have been made. 

  • Reservations cannot be based merely on economic criteria, given the Supreme Court’s judgment in Indra Sawhney v. Union of India (1992).

  • SCs/STs and OBCs cannot be excluded from economic reservations, as this would violate the fundamental right to equality.

  • The 103rd Amendment introduces reservations that exceed the 50% ceiling limit on reservations, well-known by the Indra Sawhney case.

  • Imposing reservations on educational institutions that do not receive State aid violates the fundamental right to equality under Article 14 of the Constitution of India.


The government of India is granting another opportunity to a particular section of the society named EWS to grow and excel in various sectors, such as education, by claiming to be one of the individuals belonging to EWS. The government also stated a few requirements to qualify as a person belonging to EWS. As a result, the government has granted 10% reservation to EWS category people who do not include SC/ ST/ OBC and whose family income is below Rs. 8 lakhs. Reservations are important to provide better opportunities and growth to disadvantaged groups.

About the Author: Gurpreet Kaur Dutta | 16 Post(s)

A legal content writer who pursued BBA-LL.B.(H) from Amity University Chhattisgarh. She has a keen interest in corporate and IPR sectors. 

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