I am reading an article in a leading newspaper of India, in which the author says:

As per the India Human Development Index ( IHDS ), the annual household incomes of 98% of households are less than ₹8 lakh. Even if we apply all the other criteria for exclusion ( e.g. amount of land owned and size of home ), the Bill would still cover over 95% of the households. So who are we excluding ? Almost no one.

While the benefits of the EWS quota are likely to be minimal, the cost may be higher than one anticipates. First, it is important to remember that General category jobs are open to everyone, Scheduled Caste ( SC ), Scheduled Tribe ( ST ) and Other Backward Class ( OBC ) individuals. Thus, by removing 10% jobs from the “open” category, it reduces the opportunities for currently reserved groups.

My question is that firstly, the author says that 95% of Indian households are covered under the EWS quota and there is a question mark on the exclusion and later she says that 10% quota is eating into the jobs of the reserved categories. If there is a doubt on the exclusion factor then how is it interfering with the quota of currently reserved categories ?


A bit info

The 10% reservation is intended to provide reservation to poor people who currently do not enjoy other form of reservation. This includes some castes within Hindu religion and people from other religions. Some states do have special quotas for minority religions but that is not the case for all. The normal procedure is that, the General Quota will be filled before the reservation quotas.

An example

In a vacancy for 10,000 seats the first 5,000(or 3,000 depending on the state) will be filled on the basis of merit. Then the reservation quotas will will be filled in the order of merit among the people availing the quota. The people without reservation will be left out.

The doubts on the exclusion factor

In the above example, people from the unreserved categories need to secure high marks or will be left out. A person with a rank of 6000 may or may not enter a college based on their caste despite having 10,000 seats. This is hurtful if the person rejected is very poor. The purpose of the bill is to provide reservation to only the poor who are left out. The article implies that, the exclusion factor is not effectively filtering out the rich among the unreserved and thereby not helping the poor as much.

If there is a doubt on the exclusion factor then how is it interfering with the quota of currently reserved categories?

The 10% reservation will be taken from the General seats which belong to all people. People already availing reservation cannot benefit from the 10% reservation. In my above example, the total number of seats on merit will be reduced to 4,000 and the 1,000 seats will go to the currently unreserved as opposed to being common.

The government in fact increased the number of seats in education institutions so that the number of general category seats remain unchanged. But there will be an impact on Job recruitment.

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