Reservation

Andhra Pradesh extends 10 per cent reservation for Economically Weaker Sections to government jobs

Published : July 16, 2021 09:35 IST

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy. Photo: The Hindu Archives

In a move that could have wide ramifications, the Andhra Pradesh government has issued an order on July 14 extending the implementation of 10 per cent reservation for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), presently available in educational institutions, to posts and services in the State government as well.

In a move that could have wide ramifications, the Andhra Pradesh government has issued an order on July 14 extending the implementation of 10 per cent reservation for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), presently available in educational institutions, to posts and services in the State government as well.

The State government said the move was in accordance with the Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act, 2019, which introduced a 10 per cent reservation for EWS for admission to Central government-run educational institutions and private educational institutions (except minority educational institutions) and for employment in Central government jobs. The decision will benefit the powerful Kapu community who have neither benefitted under the Backward Classes quota nor under the EWS quota, and other Open Competition (O.C.) sections who are deprived of the full benefits of reservation due to non-implementation of the EWS quota. Besides the Kapu community, the government’s decision will also benefit the Kamma, Reddy, Vaishya and other non-Brahmin social groups across the State.

As per the Government Order (G.O.) issued by the Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary, the 10 per cent reservation in employment will benefit “persons who are not covered under existing scheme of reservations for the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes and whose gross annual family income is below Rs 8 lakh are to be identified as EWS for the benefit of reservation”. Stating that the G.O. was issued following the Central legislation and interim orders issued by the High Court providing 10 per cent reservation for EWS for admissions to educational institutions for the year 2019-20, the State government said the EWS reservation has been extended for the current and subsequent academic years in educational institutions, with revised guidelines on the eligibility criteria.

The eligibility criteria for EWS reservation as prescribed by the Central government stipulates, among other conditions, that a family should not be in possession of more than five acres of agricultural land and should not own an apartment exceeding 1,000 square feet or, in the case of housing, not own a housing area in excess of 100 yards in cities and more than 200 yards in the rural areas. But the Andhra Pradesh government has set aside all these provisions and included just one criterion: the family’s annual income should not exceed Rs.8 lakh. While the Rs.8 lakh eligibility criterion includes income from salary, agriculture, business, profession and any other means prior to the year of application, the term family includes “the person who seeks benefit of reservation, his parents and siblings below the age of 18 years as also his spouse and children below the age of 18 years”.

Crucially, one-third of all initial appointments in posts and services under the State government earmarked for accommodating EWS category candidates will be allocated to women.

Ministers in the Jagan Mohan Reddy Cabinet claimed that the Chief Minister’s decision will mean a simplification of norms, both in employment and education, without any sub-categorisation. Explained a senior Minister: “Economically poor people from the upper castes who have been left out of the reservations pie had benefited from the EWS reservation in educational institutions soon after Jagan Mohan Reddy formed the government. This section of society will now benefit from reservations in government recruitments too.”

In a related move, the government’s Backward Classes Welfare Department has passed orders instructing officials issuing Other Backward Classes (OBC) certificates that the income limit for the issuance of OBC certificate has been enhanced from Rs.6 lakh to Rs.8 lakh per annum.

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