Supreme Court is told that EWS quotas will not affect existing quotas
In response to concerns that the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) quota may reduce the reservations for backward classes or reduce the number of seats available for general categories, the Centre told the Supreme Court on Tuesday that 2,14,766 additional seats were approved for central educational institutions in order to ensure that the respective quotas for other categories are not affected.
This was the Ministry of Social Justice’s affidavit to the five-judge Constitution bench that wrapped up arguments on petitions challenging the 103rd amendment introducing a quota of 10 per cent for EWSs in jobs and admissions, presided by U U Lalit.
Immediately after the constitutional amendment, the government decided that seats for candidates from reserved and open categories would not be affected in absolute numbers.
A government affidavit states that the Department of Higher Education issued orders on 17 January 2019 requiring all central educational institutions to increase admission intake to provide for a 10-per cent reservation for EWS students.
Additionally, the government argued it protected proportionate reservations for SC/ST/OBC candidates, as well as not reducing the number of seats in the general category (in absolute terms).