The Andhra Pradesh government has issued an order to extend the implementation of 10% Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) reservation for admissions in educational institutions and initial appointments in posts and services under the state government. "The persons who are not covered under existing scheme of reservations for the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes ... are to be identified as EWS for the benefit of reservation," said chief secretary Aditya Nath Das in orders shared late night on Wednesday, July 14. The EWS reservation has been extended for the current and subsequent academic years in educational institutions.
According to the order, the gross annual family income should be below Rs 8 lakh for candidates to be eligible for EWS reservation, including from all sources of income such as salary, agriculture, business, profession and others prior to the year of application. "The term family for this will include 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," the order said.
Simultaneously, orders were passed by the Backward Classes Welfare Department instructing officials issuing OBC Certificates to non-creamy layer persons among the Other Backward Classes (OBCs), that the income limit has been enhanced from Rs 6 lakh to Rs 8 lakh per annum.
Kapus will also be included under the EWS quota, the orders noted. In 2017, the previous TDP government had enacted a Bill seeking to include Kapus into the list of BCs, by creating a separate category called BC-F (among the sub categories created for BC). This Bill is still awaiting assent from the President. Later in 2019, the Chandrababu Naidu-led government had also passed a legislation to bifurcate the 10% EWS quota into two parts, to provide 5% reservation to Kapus treating them as OC. These two measures contradict each other, the order noted, adding that providing 5% reservation to Kapus after including them under BC-F would exceed the 50% overall cap on reservation. On the other hand, the Acts passed to bifurcate the EWS quota to create a sub-category for Kapus have been challenged before the Andhra Pradesh High Court and are still pending. Because of this situation, Kapus are neither categorised as BCs, nor are able to avail the reservations under EWS category, the order noted. Therefore, the state government had decided to replicate the existing guidelines for EWS quota implementation in educational institutions and in the sphere of employment as well, to benefit Kapus as well as other OC sections eligible for EWS reservation, the order said.
One-third or 33% of seats enhanced for the purpose of accommodating EWS category candidates will be earmarked for women candidates among them. This 33% reservation earmarked for women is horizontal. People interested in availing this reservation must obtain EWS reservation certificate from their respective tahsildar. "This order is issued subject to the outcome of writ petitions and public interest litigations (PILs) filed in this regard before the Honâ€™ble Courts," the Chief Secretary added.
With IANS inputs