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Truth of Economically Weaker Section

Truth of Economically Weaker Section

By Simran Sabharwal

Recently, 10% reservation was provided to the Economic Weaker Section of India. A popular website reads, “The constitutional provision to provide 10% reservation in government jobs and education to the economically backward section in the general category came into force.”[1] So, this leads to the question who all are economically weak?

·      Economic Weaker Sections refers to a category of the group of people who earn below a certain level. This will include professionals as well as agricultural income people.

·      Therefore, if any family earns less Rs 8 Lakhs per annum, he is termed as Economic Weaker Section. There are other categories which have to be fulfilled.

·      For rural areas, families who have land of less than five acres and for residential areas, families who have land of less than 100 yards are eligible for this term.

Background

·      India already has a lot of reserved classes. Reservations are already provided to Schedules Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Also, there are state recognised classes like Kapus, Gujjars etc.

·      Moreover, if one wants to appear for a National level Examination then there are state reserved (domicile) candidates too. This makes one feels that India is a land of reserved people.

·      General category people were the ones who did not have any reservation. Now, the government has provided reservation for them too. The bill was passed by the Parliament on January 9.

·      The Act has amended Article 15[2] and Article 16[3] of the Indian Constitution to provide 10% reservation in government jobs and education. There were claims before that the bill breaches these two sections.

·      The bill was passed and is now read as The Constitution (103Amendment) Act, 2019. The President has also assented to the bill.

·      Also, the act has amended the two articles by adding a clause which allows them to add any reservation for the economically backward section.

 

Arguments of people who supported the Act

·      The Act is definitely a good move in supports of people whether the method is right or not is still questionable. But this type of aid was needed.

·      Starting with, the Union Minister, Thaawarchand Gehlot said that the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) citizens are not able to attend higher educational institutions and get employment because of lack of resources.

·      Muslims highly appreciate the bill and happily welcome it. This was the first bill which did not label Muslims and helped them get their benefits.

·      Public also call this as a “pro-poor” move, claiming this will help India to eradicate poverty. People on social media are responding to the bill as “Reservation on the Economic parameters was the need of the nation and which has been duly given to the nation by our elected government.”[4]

·      The ministers are also quoting B.R. Ambedkar, saying, he wanted equality. He provided for reservation in the Constitution itself to deliver equality.

·      Apart, from this, if the government is providing reservations it should also make provisions to increase the number of attempts for UPSC aspirants.

·      Gujarat and Jharkhand have already passed the bill. However, no reservations will be provided to Gujarat citizens if they have attained citizenship after 1978. Bihar is on the verge to implement the bill.

People not supporting the Act

·      This is also termed as Jumla as this was the first bill which brought Muslims under its ambit.

o   No party used the Muslim word and everybody was interested in gathering votes. Some of the parties first supported the bill but later on abstained from voting.

·      I personally believe that India should have never taken the reservation path. Instead of this, the government should have provided financial aid to citizens who are worthy enough for the seat and give the proper coaching.

o   Let their knowledge decide their future instead of the politics of the nation. It can now be termed as using the wrong path for getting correct objectives.

o   Income aid should have been provided to the weaker SC/ST section students and this would have helped them to attain higher education. Is the Indian Government not aware of the rampant corruption?

·      Coming, to the next point if the Indian government recognises people who earn below 8 lakhs as poor and economically weak then why charge them with such a high-income tax rate.

o   They should raise the limit to 8 lakhs. But the ‘smart’ Indian government will probably amend this in the upcoming budget and will make everyone quiet. But isn’t this all done to acquire as many votes as possible? 

o   To make one section happy and mould everything accordingly is what the government is following.

·      India is a country which supports caste rather than class for providing reservation. If one does not fall under the EWS then he/she will have 10% lesser jobs or opportunities.

o   Also, no party opposed the bill. The bill was passed in record time. Everyone is aware of the coming elections.

o   Some of them abstained from voting but nobody came in direct opposition to the bill.

Is the EWS actually ‘weak’

·      The question to ponder now is the EWS actually weak as the government mentions them to be or is it just a method to gain from the 10% bill.

o   The move was to woo the non-Dalits is said by some economists. ‘Indira Swahney case’ mentions that reservation can act as a tool to eradicated historical discrimination and its ill effects.

o   The court also mentioned that reservation is not aimed at economic upliftment.

·      Now, it is doubtful whether the government has proper statistics to show that people for lower income groups are under benefitted. 

o   The data showed by Mumbai based think tank - CIME reveals that unemployment rose to a two-year high level from 7.4% to 11%.

o   This bill may accentuate the problem.

·      The bill was completely a strategy of BJP. If the bill was passed, then they would gather votes as they provided benefits and even if the bill didn’t pass and was rejected by the opposition, they will now also get votes seeking they rejected the bill.

o   It was a win-win situation for them.

·      So, can the Economically Weaker Section actually be termed as weak? If a person is earning Rs 60,000-65,000 a month then he is termed as poor.

o   This is directly a negative point. Take tax and term them as poor.

o    I can bet on this if a person is earning Rs 60,000 a month and has a moderate style of living he is not economically weak. He can afford all the basic expenses. 

·      There is a wide misuse of SC-ST reservations in India. There are many cases registered under this which have been proved to be fake.

o   The government should take adequate measures to prevent this from happening with the 124th amendment.

o   Also, fake certificates are easily prepared. We all have seen this in the Telgi Fake Stamp Paper[5] Case. It is easy to fake any documents.

In conclusion, the Act may prove to be really useful for the Economically Weaker Section or it certainly may be another Act which pools fake certificates and corruption. Only if the bill is properly implemented and the citizens are honest enough then the bill can prove to be highly useful.


[1] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/10-reservation-for-economically-weak-in-general-category-comes-into-force/articleshow/67528010.cms

[2] https://indiankanoon.org/doc/609295/

[3] https://indiankanoon.org/doc/211089/

[4]https://twitter.com/BhuvanKankani?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1082227617644785664&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.timesnownews.com%2Findia%2Farticle%2Freservation-in-india-upper-caste-narendra-modi-10-percent-economically-weaker-sections%2F343242

[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdul_Karim_Telgi


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