New Delhi: The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has forwarded to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) a representation seeking age relaxation in the recruitment to government services for poor upper caste applicants eligible for the economically weaker sections (EWS) quota.
But DoPT is highly unlikely to accede to this demand, a top government source told ThePrint.
Speaking to ThePrint, sources in the social justice ministry said they had merely forwarded the representation to the DoPT, and that neither Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawaarchand Gehlot nor the ministry made any such recommendations.
“The minister may or may not have a view on it,” said an official close to the minister who did not wish to be named. “But he received this representation, so he just forwarded it to DoPT since they will eventually implement it if at all.”
“We haven’t recommended that the age be relaxed for EWS candidates but just told DoPT that since you are the deciding authority, you take a call,” the official added.
The representation also mentions giving relaxation in marks to EWS category.
While reserved categories like the SCs, STs and OBCs are entitled to relaxation in age and number of attempts in exams for government jobs and educational institutions along with a fixed quota in the number of seats, no such relaxation was granted to the EWS category when the previous Modi government announced a 10 per cent quota for them earlier this year.
The issue has been a bone of contention with candidates from the EWS category — many of whom have demanded that the government grant them the same benefits as other reserved categories.
Sources in the DoPT told ThePrint that granting an age relaxation in the EWS quota is “highly unlikely at least for the time being”.
“It was a deliberate move by the government to not grant either age or attempt relaxation to EWS candidates because they are seen as alternative ways to increase representation,” an official of the DoPT said.
“The representation of this category can most probably be increased by quota itself, in which case additional measures may not be needed,” the official said.
The Modi government’s 10 per cent quota for the EWS category in government jobs and education was seen as a masterstroke in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections.
The quota applies to households with a combined annual income of less than Rs 8 lakh, those who hold agricultural land less than five acres, whose houses are under 1,000 square feet, and who own land not exceeding 100 yards in municipal areas, and 200 yards in non-municipal areas.