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Nothing wrong with cut-offs for EWS candidates being lower than SC, ST & OBC, says UPSC

UPSC says cut-offs for civil services exam for EWS candidates doesn't impact the chances under other categories. Also notes that it depends on the number of people availing the quota.

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New Delhi: With controversy brewing over the civil services exam cut-off for economically weaker section (EWS) candidates being lower than that of other reserved categories, officials of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) have said that there is nothing legally or constitutionally wrong in the cut-offs announced by the commission. 

The cut-offs for the three stages of the civil service examination (CSE) — prelims, mains and interview — conducted by the UPSC for 2019 are as follows: 98 for prelims, 751 for mains and 961 for the interview for the general category; similarly 90, 696 and 909 for the EWS category; 95.3, 718 and 925 for the Other Backward Classes (OBC); 82, 706 and 898 for the Scheduled Castes (SC) category and 77.3, 699 and 893 for the Scheduled Tribes (ST) category. 

With the cut-off for the EWS category candidates being lower than that of the OBC category in all the stages, and lower than that of the SC and ST categories for certain stages, several took to Twitter to allege that the commission was making it easier for applicants from the general caste to clear the exam through the EWS quota. 

This is the first time that the UPSC implemented the 10 per cent EWS quota for upper-caste poor in the CSE. This is in addition to the already-existing reservation granted to SCs (15 per cent), STs (7.5 per cent) and OBCs (27 per cent).

But due to the lower cut-off, the hashtag #End_Savarna_Quota_UPSC was trending on Twitter Wednesday.  

Nothing wrong in cut-offs, defends UPSC

Senior UPSC officials told ThePrint that the controversy was unfounded since every reserved category is bound to have its own cut-off list, which depends on the number of candidates who come forward to avail the quota in that category and their performance. 

“If fewer people are coming forward to avail the EWS quota, then obviously its cut-off will be lower in comparison to the SC/ST/OBC quota,” a senior official said on condition of anonymity. 

“And the 10 per cent EWS quota is separate from the SC/ST/OBC quota… What this means is they are not competing with each other,” the official added. “So how can one allege that the EWS will eat into the other reserved seats? At the end of the day, EWS is a separate category with its own cut-off.”

An official of the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) agreed. “There are Supreme Court judgments that say that the cut-off for general cannot be lower than that of the reserved categories,” the official said. “But EWS is also a reserved category now, and there are no guidelines to say that EWS quota has to be higher or lower.”

A Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) official added that it is not necessary that EWS quota should be higher than SC/ST/OBC quota because these days the commission is witnessing a large number of general seats being taken up by reserved category candidates on merit.

Last year, the Modi government had announced the EWS quota for the upper-caste poor in government jobs and educational institutes, fulfilling a longstanding demand of the financially-disadvantaged sections of the general category.


Also read: Language test for UPSC — less than 5% IAS, IFS officers take civil services exam in Hindi



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  1. Now, these person are called literate but with no knowledge.
    Those who are speaking against reservation …should first know why there is a need of reservation
    It is not a yojana to make a poor person rich….its a shield that protect lower caste from rotten thinking of most( so called)upper caste .
    These people can easily speak against reservation but are totally silent on atrocities against lower caste.
    If reservation is scrapped the lower caste people will go back to the position from where they have started.
    As after so many years have been passed…people are educated and we have so many laws…..atrocities agaisnt dalit and other lower caste are not getting stop….you just type dalit and click on news button on Google and you will see it.
    And what a contradiction….you see your friend (S.C.) is rich then he/she should not get reservation….but when your friend is discriminated…abused on name of caste you remain silent….just ask him/her,how it feels to be a S.C. in this caste dominated society.
    The day this caste system will be eradicated from India….. reservation will be gone too…
    Till then ….please pass some good knowledge to your future generations….make them aware of importance of reservation….and suffering of different sections of society.

  2. See category wise seats and then say who is getting more and who os getting lower seats..dumb assholes only see merit..bhai jo bnde select hue hai chahe koi b category ke ho sab apni apni category me seat le rhe…you cant say that sc st dont have knowledge. Bhai see the seats distribution then say…

  3. There’s nothing wrong in the decision of upsc as it given the reservation to EWS or general category , instead it does a good job for Poor’s from general category ,as ther are many inteligent and talented students from EWS these people are not getting what they deserve just bcj of other reservations as the talented is going down and becoming more poor and the dumb is going up with having less knowledge and getting rich ,so the decision was totally right ,if it is wrong then the whole reservation system should be removed from every category caste .jai hind.

  4. Worst political agenda for vote begging by all political parties maintaining reservation must be scrapped altogether. Survival of the fittest purely on the basis of merit should be the buzzword .However falcon eye vigilance should be ensured for any backdoor favour
    while selecting candidates to do justice with system of justice

  5. General wale kahi ni dikhte govt jobs m har jgha st/sc/obc ab agr unko kuch mil rha to inki kyu sulag rhi. Har jgha tumhi log rhoge kya. Tina dabi jaise log b category m ate hum tab protest ni krte to fir ews se dikkat kyu ho.

  6. General wale kahi ni dikhte govt jobs m har jgha st/sc/obc ab agr unko kuch mil rha to inki kyu sulag rhi. Har jgha tumhi log rhoge kya. Tina dabi jaise log b category m ate hum tab protest ni krte to fir ews se dikkat kyu ho.

  7. You guys did not have a problem when the merit suffered all these years. SC, ST seats don’t even have a cap.
    After MBBS entrance, when I couldn’t get a seat in first counselling, I remember how my fellow SC counterpart teased me (yes, he had very low ranks and emerged out of his house after the counselling and is rich). In the end he studied in a best college and I ended up in a peripheral college. Didn’t merit die there?

    Common, we all know money is the new caste. My only suggestion would be that all reservations must be limited to 30%. Or else country will end up in chaos.

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