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Threshold Income for EWS Admissions in Schools


Why is it in the news?

  • The Delhi High Court ordered the Delhi government to increase the threshold income for availing EWS reservation in private schools to ₹5 lakh from the current ₹1 lakh per annum.
  • According to the Court, the minimum wage for an unskilled labourer in the city is ₹17,494 per month. The existing threshold income of ₹1 lakh does not accurately reflect contemporary economic hardships.
  • Also, Comparative analysis indicates that Delhi’s ₹1 lakh criterion is the lowest, with most states having ₹8 lakh per annum.

 

About EWS Reservation

  • Enabled by the Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act, 2019, allowing the State to provide reservation to Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in education and government jobs.
  • 103rd Amendment Act introduced Article 15(6) and Article 16(6) for EWS reservation.
  • Article 15(6): Allows up to 10% reservation for EWS in educational institutions.
  • Article 16(6): Permits up to 10% reservation for EWS in government posts.

 

EWS Judgment (Janhit Abhiyan v Union of India case, 2023)

·       Supreme Court upheld the 103rd Constitutional Amendment for EWS reservation.

·       Excluded the “poorest of the poor” among Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Classes from the 10% quota.

·       No breach of the 50% ceiling limit; the court stated it was not inflexible or inviolable for all times.

·       Affirmed that further reservations by the State do not damage the Basic Structure of the Constitution.

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