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Nirupama Sekhri

Listener of Small Voices | Posted on |

Unfinished EWS Quota


Lovely Gift Hamper with NOTHING Inside

Early this year, the central government introduced the General Category EWS 103rd Amendment Act that came into effect on January 14, which allows for 10% reservation for financially disadvantaged of the general category for government jobs.

Sanjeev Kumar from Champaran, Bihar, preparing for his UPSC exam admits that it was a bold move by the BJP-led government – “We have to give credit to the BJP Government for taking this step, which no other government did, but it is not enough. It is a lovely gift hamper without even a toffee inside it. The Government has branded it very well, it has said the right things, so we can’t challenge it, but we cannot agree with it either, so, we would like to request the Government to please look into our grievances.”

Sanjeev is part of a group of young people from different parts of the country, who came to Jantar Mantar to raise awareness on their issues and submitted a letter to the central government listing the problems with the Amendment.

“It needs to follow the same rules like for the Other Backward Castes (OBCs) with the upper age bar at 35 years and nine attempts allowed for Central Government exams, including the UPSC civil service,” they all agree.

The Amendment as it stands allows a relaxation of five years beyond the upper prescribed age from 27 to 32 years for government departments, but those under the OBC & other reserved categories are entitled to three years, which is what they too want. The qualifying cut off score has been fixed at 25 percent as that for their OBC counterparts.

“Why all these different slabs? Just keep it the same for all,” says Shyam Sunder, studying history at Mandor, Jodhpur in Rajasthan, “It is like creating impediments to the actual goal.”

Unfinished EWS Quota (Shyam Sunder, Jodhpur, Rajasthan)

“You cannot imagine how difficult it is for us: we finish school late because of lack of schools, teachers, quality resources, expensive tuition, etc. Our parents face so many financial and other problems that keep many of us from taking the exams at the right age, but what is the problem if we qualify a little late, we are as competent,” asserts Trinetra Singh from Baghpat, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh.

protest-at-jantar-mantar-letsdiskuss(Trinetra Singh, Meerut, UP)

“By introducing the general EWS quote, the Government has let a genie out of the bottle, and they will have to manage it properly. We are rallying people across the country to raise awareness about the weaknesses in the Amendment that must be addressed,” says Sunder.

Sarita Pandey from Lakshmi Nagar in Delhi has also joined the protest with two of her three children all studying in school. “Yes,” she agrees, “I want a bright future for my children, and this is an important issue.”

protest-at-jantar-mantar-letsdiskuss(Sarita & Soni Pandey with friend, Delhi)

If there is no response forthcoming, these young people intend approaching the courts against the “discriminatory set of parameters” for EWS.

“We don’t know what the objective of this Amendment was for the Government, but we will battle it out for our rights and benefits,” says Sanjeev.