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EWS Quota Relaxation Demand Gains Momentum at Top Universities

The demand for relaxation in the quota for economically weaker sections (EWS) of the unreserved (general) category, has reached the top varsities of India in the national capital with events organized at Delhi University (DU), Jawahar Lal University (JNU) and Jamia Millia Islamia University. Scores of students gathered at the events organised on Tuesday and sought relaxation in the age limit and land clause for the EWS category.

Shakti Singh Bandikui, EWS relaxation activist, visited the campus to discuss the issue with other student leaders and held meetings at DU and Jamia as well.

“Our key demand is relaxation in the clause of land, which has been fixed at five acres and a residential area of 1000 sq ft,” Bandiku said while addressing the students at JNU.

“We want the government to give relaxation in age limit and scrap the land clause as the Other Backward Castes (OBC) don’t have any such clause to be eligible to get reservation. Why the government is having dual standards for EWS and OBC when both are underprivileged,” he added.

Last month, during the parliament session, senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh raised this issue in the Rajya Sabha and sought relaxation for the EWS quota.

While speaking to India Today, he also sought the EWS quota to be relaxed for aspirants as per OBC.

Rajkumar Singh, a PhD scholar from Delhi University, said, “On what grounds does the government think that those who have five acres of land are not EWS?”

“How can anyone compare a five-acre land in Punjab or Uttar Pradesh to a similar area of land in arid areas of Rajasthan or flood-affected areas of Bihar? There has to be an end to this discrimination,” Singh added.

Nipun Solanki, a student from Jamia University, said, “We want the government to bring equality, if a student from the general category has as much money as a student from the OBC category, then why this discrimination of differences in age relaxation and land clause?”

“It’s not rocket science for anybody to understand that the EWS are being subject to discrimination, and it needs to end now,” he added.

During his statement in Rajya Sabha, Digvijay Singh had pointed out that for one seat of UPSC, 1950 SC candidates, 1335 scheduled tribe candidates, but merely 569 EWS candidates were turning up.

All UPSC categories like engineering services, foreign services were witnessing the same trend due to the conditions of the EWS reservation. This has also led to a very thin selection of girls from this community.

The current clause in the EWS quota restricts eligibility to individuals in the unreserved categories who possess either five acres of land, a residence spanning 1000 square feet, or an annual income of Rs 8 lakh.

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