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Assam govt decides to quash EWS quota on jobs

Guwahati: The BJP-led government in Assam has decided to do away with the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quota on jobs but the reservation under EWS would continue for admissions in educational institutions, officials said on Friday.

Opposition parties including Congress strongly criticised the Assam government for its decision on EWS quota on government jobs.

An official notification of the Department of Personnel said: “Governor of Assam is pleased to keep the matter of reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in direct recruitment in posts and services under Government of Assam in abeyance until further order: Provided that this shall not be applicable in those cases in which the vacancies have already been assessed and have already been advertised.”

It said: “However, the reservation for the Economically Weaker Section category as provided will continue for admissions in Educational Institutions.”

Opposition Congress, Trinamool Congress, the All India United Democratic Front and other parties have strongly condemned the Assam’s BJP government decision not to implement the EWS quota in jobs.

Leader of the Opposition (Congress), Debabrata Saikia criticised the state government’s decision, terming it a cost-cutting measure because of a financial crisis brought upon by extravagant expenditure on several projects and schemes.

AIUDF leader Aminul Islam said that the decision would be a blow to the economically weaker sections and it is against the government’s promise to provide one lakh employment to Assam’s youth.

The Supreme Court on November 7 upheld the validity of the 103rd Constitution amendment providing 10 per cent reservation to economically weaker sections (EWS) in admissions and government jobs.

The apex court pronounced its judgment on a clutch of petitions challenging the validity of the 103rd Constitution amendment which came into force on January 14, 2019.

The Act was enacted to promote the welfare of the poor not covered by the reservation policy for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC).

Although it was never mandatory in the states as it allowed the state government to decide whether or not to provide reservations to the EWS for appointment in state government jobs and admission to state government higher educational institutions.

Currently, the Central government and more than 12 states have implemented the 10 per cent reservation to EWS.

To get the EWS quota benefit, the beneficiary’s family income should be less than Rs 8 lakh a year and the source of income can include agriculture, business, and other professions.

A person under this category must have less than five acres of agricultural land his or her residential accommodation should not be 200 square metres or more.

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