India: 10% EWS reservation by 2020 in two phases

  • The Centre proposes to implement the 10% quota for the economically-weaker sections (EWS) across all institutes in two academic sessions, or by 2020, and ensure a more self-disclosure based quota regime for private institutes, as it readies an ambitious new bill to bring higher education private institutes under the reservation rulebook.
  • The plan is to ensure that private educational institutes also mandatorily implement the existing 49.5% combined OBC, SC and ST quota starting 2019 –– provided the government’s proposed new legislation passes muster in Parliament.
  • The government is trying to pilot the new legislation in the Budget session of Parliament to bring in private higher educational institutes under the quota regime.
  • It plans to effect both the SC, ST and OBC reservations (in keeping with the 93rd Amendment) and the EWS quota (recently brought in through the 103rd Amendment) in private institutes through a new Bill from 2019.
  • It is, however, considering a more decentralised and institute-based mechanism for the implementation of the quota regime in private institutes rather than have a top-down one with specifics dictated by the Centre.
  • Sources indicated that private institutes may be asked to draw up their own action plan for the implementation of reservations for SC, ST, OBCs and EWS.
  • Both the Constitutional amendments –– 93rd and 103rd –– currently provide an enabling framework for bringing private institutes under the reservation umbrella but in the absence of a specific law and litigation on it, the question has stayed open-ended so far.

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