What is EWS Category?

5 minute read
What is EWS Category?

The term “Economically Weaker Sections’ or the EWS category is used to refer to the General Category’s Indian citizens whose annual family income is less than 8 lakh rupees per annum (8 LPA). As of January 2019, the central government has allowed 10% reservations in government jobs and educational institutions to people belonging to the EWS category. This category is meant for individuals or families belonging to economically weaker sections of society who earn an annual household income of less than a certain threshold amount. This was introduced to ensure that people from economically weaker sections of society have access to education and employment opportunities and to promote social and economic inclusion.

About EWS Category

The EWS is for the group of “General” classes (not OBC, SC, or ST eligible) whose combined household income is less than Rs. 8 lakhs. A 10% seat reservation is made for them. The same lower cut-off will apply to EWS candidates as it does to OBC, SC, and ST candidates.This table provides information related to the economically weaker section (EWS), its government reservation, eligibility criteria, and the process to obtain an EWS certificate.

TopicWhat is EWS Category?
Introduction to EWSThe economically weaker section (EWS) in India refers to those in the unreserved category with an annual family income below 8 lakh rupees.
About EWS CategoryThe Indian government introduced a 10% reservation for EWS in 2019, over and above the existing 50% reservation for ST/SC/OBC categories, to avoid affecting existing reservations.
Eligibility Criteria for EWSEligibility criteria include falling under the general category, having an annual family income below 8 lakh rupees, owning agricultural land less than 5 acres, and more.
How to Get EWS Certificate?The application process involves visiting government offices or using online portals, filling out forms, and submitting documents like an Aadhaar card, PAN card, and income certificate.

History of EWS Category

It was passed in order to advance the welfare of the underprivileged who were not protected by the 50% reservation policy for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC), Scheduled Tribes (STs), and Scheduled Castes (SCs). It makes reservations for the EWS of society possible for the federal government and the states.Below we have mentioned the important events that happened related to the ews category:

  • In the year 2019, the Union Government tabled the 103rd Constitutional Amendment Act in the Lower House of Parliament, the Lok Sabha.
  • This bill was passed in the Lok Sabha the same day and on 9th January 2019, it was passed in the Upper House of the Parliament, the Rajya Sabha.
  • The former President of India, Shri Ramnath Kovind, gave his assent to this EWS bill on January 12th, 2019.
  • The 103rd Constitutional Amendment Act amended two articles of the constitution; Article 15(6) and Article 16(6). 
  • With this, a 10% reservation was permitted to people who belong to the EWS category.
  • In the same month, an NGO named Youth For Equality opposed caste-based policies and challenged the government’s stand on the EWS amendment in the Supreme Court of India.
  • The NGO claimed that this amendment act breached the 50% reservation ceiling which was set by the Supreme Court itself.
  • The NGO said that they completely support the EWS reservation but wanted this to be done by converting the OBC quota, which stands at 27%, into the economic category non-caste-based quota. After this, the backward class groups also approached the apex court and opposed the EWS amendment.
  • On January 25th, 2019, the apex court refused to put a stay on the 10% EWS quota given to general Economically Weaker Sections (GEN EWS) in government jobs and educational institutions.
  • The Supreme Court, on August 6th, 2020, decided that a five-member bench would hear this case. 
  • In Janhit Abhiyan Vs Union of India Writ Petition(Civil), the Supreme Court on November 7th, 2022, by a 3:2 verdict, sustained the validity of the 103rd Constitutional Amendment and gave legal sanction to create 10% reservation for people belonging to Economically weaker sections (EWS).
Source: Mr Exams Guru

Must Read: Exim Bank Exam 2022

Provision Regarding EWS Category

The terms Economically Backward Class (EBC) and EWS are both very different. People who belong to the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category since February 1, 2019, now get 10% reservation in educational institutions and government jobs. In states like Kerala and Maharashtra, the term EWS candidates have different eligibility criteria, which are explained below:

EWS Category Provision in Kerala

  • The annual family income of the candidate should be less than 4 lakh rupees.
  • The family of the candidate must not hold more than 2.5 acres of land in the panchayat area.
  • Candidates’ families must not hold house plots with an area of more than 20 % of an average plot in a municipality area.

EWS Category Provision in Maharashtra 

In June 2021, the tripartite government in Maharashtra, Maha Vikas Agadhi (MVA) declared that the Maratha community now can enjoy the benefits under the Economically Weaker Sections.

EWS Category Eligibility Criteria

For a person or a family to categorize themselves as Economically Weaker Section, they will have to provide a number of documents to verify their low family income. The government has fixed certain standards for an individual to categorize himself/herself as an EWS citizen.

These documents include:

  • The person must not acquire more than 5 acres of agricultural land.
  • The house/flat in which the person is residing should not be more than 200 square feet.
  • And if the person is living in a house/flat that is more than 200 square feet, then this property should not come under the municipality.

EWS Category Benefits

With the implementation of the EWS Amendment by the central government, the person belonging to this category will enjoy a lot of benefits. Benefits enjoyed by the EWS category people are:

  • 10% reservation in government jobs and educational institutions.
  • Unlike any other reservations that are based on caste and class, the EWS category also includes people from the General category who are not financially strong. 


What are the documents required to register for the EWS Category?

A person who wants to acquire the EWS Category Certificate needs to provide the following documents: Aadhar Card, PAN Card, Caste Certificate, Affidavit or Self Declaration, Bank Statement, Income Details, Passport-size photograph (not older than 3 months), Below Poverty Line (BPL) Card.

What are the benefits available to the EWS category?

People belonging to the EWS category are given 10% reservations in government jobs and educational institutions.

Can EWS take general seat?

The EWS category is a reservation category in itself, and it has a certain percentage of seats or vacancies reserved for EWS candidates in addition to the seats reserved for other categories such as SC, ST, OBC, and general categories. Therefore, an individual who belongs to the EWS category cannot be considered for a general seat as they are eligible for reservation under the EWS category only.

For more similar updates, keep an eye on Leverage Edu, and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *