ews: the EWS quota panel suggests removing the existing criteria on the size of residential assets

A special committee set up to review the eligibility criteria of 10% bookings for economically weaker sections (EWS) in government institutes and jobs suggested dropping the existing criteria on the size of residential assets while still retaining the annual income limit of Rs 8 lakh.

In a report submitted to the Supreme Court on Saturday, the panel suggested that the recommendations should only be implemented from the next intake cycle and not the current cycle, as any sudden change will result in a major disruption in institutions. education and will create complications for both beneficiaries and authorities.

He recommended that the existing process – in effect since 2019 – be continued for the current admissions cycle, ET learned.

The panel further suggested that “a three-year feedback loop cycle can be used to monitor the actual results of these criteria and then be used to adjust them in the future.”

He also proposed that data exchange and information technology be actively used to verify revenue and assets and improve the targeting of SAP reservations.

ET understands that the government will likely follow the panel’s recommendations and revise its EWS quota guidelines accordingly, should they succeed in making it to the Supreme Court.

Petitions have been filed with the highest court to challenge the income criteria for the EWS quota in the NEET exam that determines admissions to medical schools.

The Supreme Court having questioned the Center on how it had arrived at the income limit of Rs 8 lakh, the latter had proposed a committee of experts to examine the quota criteria of the SAP.

The three-member panel includes Ajay Bhushan Pandey, former finance secretary; VK Malhotra, Secretary-Member of the Indian Social Science Research Council, and Sanjeev Sanyal, Senior Government Economic Advisor.

According to the 2019 EWS quota notification issued by the Personnel and Training Department, individuals whose families own or own 5 acres of farmland or 1,000 square foot residential land or 100 square meter residential land in notified municipalities or land of 200 square meters and more in areas other than notified municipalities, will be excluded from identification as SAP, regardless of family income.

The panel recommended that the criteria for residential assets be removed altogether, arguing that mere possession of a residential home may not properly reflect the economic situation of the candidate or their family, especially if it is used only as a unit. housing and not to generate income.

Any exclusion criteria from the SAP based solely on home ownership can lead to the unwanted exclusion of deserving applicants, the committee observed in its report, noting the representations of the Kerala government in this regard.

He did, however, support the exclusion of all applicants with farmland greater than 5 acres, saying removing this limit could result in the inclusion of large landowners in the SAP as there is currently no tax. on farm income, which could escape inclusion in the gross annual amount. Income.

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