VIJAYAWADA: The State government on Wednesday night issued orders providing 10 per cent reservations to the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) among upper castes in educational institutions and for initial appointment in posts and services under the State government. In doing so, it has liberalised norms stipulated by the Central government for reservations to EWS among upper castes under the 103rd Constitutional Amendment Act.
Recalling that Go No 60 was issued following the Central legislation and interim orders issued by the high court providing 10 per cent quota for EWS for admissions into educational institutions for the year 2019-20, the State government in an order said it was extending operation of the GO for the current and subsequent academic years with revised guidelines on eligibility criteria.
As per the revised norms, the EWS reservation will be applicable to families whose gross annual income is below Rs 8 lakh. Gross income includes salary, agricultural income, or income from business or profession for the financial year prior to the application for reservation. And, one-third of the seats enhanced for accommodating the EWS category students will be reserved exclusively for women. Candidates who want to avail of the reservation can obtain EWS certificate from the tahsildar.
The same rules apply for initial appointments in posts and services under the State government. It was decided that the principles/guidelines issued in G.O.Ms.No.60, for the purpose of education, should be replicated in the sphere of employment also for implementation of 10% reservation to the EWS for appointments in initial posts and services under the government in order to benefit Kapus, who are neither benefited under BC quota nor EWS quota and other OC sections who have been deprived of the benefits of reservations thus far due to non-implementation of EWS quota as it’s caught up in legal tangles.
The income limit for securing OBC certificates has also been increased to Rs 8 lakh a year.Explaining the rationale for revising the guidelines, the government in its orders recalled that in 2017, the then State government had passed a bill in the Assembly providing five per cent quota for Telaga, Ontari and Balija communities including Kapus in BC-F category. However, the same is awaiting presidential assent.
Against this backdrop, the Central government brought in the 103rd Constitutional amendment providing 10 per cent quota for EWS in 2019. The same year, the Andhra Pradesh government enacted legislations, bifurcating the 10 per cent quota equally between Kapus and other EWS among upper castes for admissions into educational institutions and government jobs. The same was challenged in the courts and several petitions are pending but only in one case, the high court issued interim orders permitting admissions into educational institutions under the EWS quota, the government order said, adding that as per the court orders, a GO was issued in 2019.
Noting that several States like Kerala, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat have implemented EWS quota and some states have drawn up their own guidelines, it pointed out that Kapus, who were included in the BC category in 2017 by the then TDP government, are unable to avail of the reservation. It said as per the Supreme Court orders, overall reservations cannot exceed 50 per cent which makes the inclusion of Kapus in BC category untenable. In these circumstances, Kapus have been included in the EWS category.
Relief for OBCs too
Income limit for issuing OBC certificates to non-creamy layer/sections will be Rs 8 lakh per annum not Rs 6 lakh. This is done to exclude creamy layer from OBCs, a govt memo said.