The BJP-led state government in Karnataka on Monday(March 28) officially notified the rules for availing 10% reservation in education and employment under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category. The EWS quota was introduced by PM Narendra Modi-led NDA government through a constitutional amendment in January 2019.
The recent decision to reconfigure the state's complex reservation matrix in the last cabinet meeting of the BJP government paved the way for the notification of rules for the 10% EWS quota.
During the meeting, CM Basavaraj Bommai-led government scrapped the 4 per cent religion-based reservation given to Muslims in Karnataka under 2B of the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category. It distributed it to two communities — Veerashaiva-Lingayats and Vokkaligas — at 2 per cent each in jobs and admissions in educational institutions.
The state cabinet also decided that the Muslim community in the state can now avail of benefits under the 10 per cent quota for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS).
Until recently, the state government faced an operational challenge in notifying the 10% EWS quota rules, as over 93% of the state's population was covered by the present reservation matrix. Only five communities (Brahmin, Jain, Arya Vaishyas, Nagarthas and Modaliars), who comprise an estimated 6% of the state's population, were eligible for EWS quota as they did not enjoy reservation under any other category.
The decision to scrap religion-based reservations paved the away for the government to increase the reservation for Lingayats and Vokkaligas and notify the rules for the EWS quota.
According to the rules notified for EWS, the exclusion criterion for availing the quota under EWS category includes
An annual income of more than Rs 8 lakh per annum
Family ownership of 5 acres of agricultural land and above
Owning residential dwelling of 1,000 sq. ft and above, a residential plot of 100 sq. yards and above in notified municipalities
Owning residential plots of 200 sq. yards and above in areas other than the notified municipalities.
After the cabinet decision last week and the EWS notification issued on Monday, the reservation matrix in the state is as follows:
Category 1 (Backward Classes) 4 per cent (Ambalakaran, Bavandhi, Byaragi, Gowrimatha, Kolimahadev, Bhomptra, Salaparu, Mansuri caste etc.)
Category 2A (OBCs) 15 per cent (Dhobi, Devadiga, Padiar, Poojari, Ezhava, Kshatriya / Kshatri, Aryan, Kamasal, Kumbar caste etc)
Category 2B abolished.
Category 2C (Vokkaligas) 6 per cent
Category 2D (Lingayats including Panchamshali Lingayats, Marathas, Bunts, and Christians) 7 per cent
SC 17 per cent (Adi Andhra, Adi Karnataka, Anamuk, Arunthathiyar, Banjara, Lambani, Lambada, Lambadi, Lamani, Sugali, Sukali, Bhangi, Mehtar, Olgana, Rukhi, Malkana, Halalkhor, Lalbegi, Balmiki, Korar, Zadmalli, Chalavadi, Chalvadi, Channayya, Korama, Korava, Koravar, Paraiyan, Paraya, Sindhollu, Chindollu etc)
ST 7 per cent (Adiyan, Bavacha, Bamcha, Gamit, Gamta, Gavit, Mavchi, Padvi, Valvi, Kadu Kuruba, Hakkipikki, Koya, Bhine Koya, Rajkoya, Meda, Medara, Medari, Gauriga, Burud, Vitolia, Kotwalia, Barodia etc)
EWS 10 per cent (Muslims, Brahmin, Jain, Aryavaishya, Nagarthas, Modaliars any other caste not under OBC/SC/ST category)
The state government also recast the internal reservation formula for the 17 per cent quota for around 101 groups classified as SC.
The SC (left) category, which consists of 29 communities, including Madigas, will get 6 per cent of the quota, whereas the SC (right) with around 25 communities such as Holeyas, will get 5.5 per cent.
Touchable communities' such as Banjaras, Bhovis, Koracha, Korma will have 4.5 per cent of the quota, and dozens of other small SC communities will get 1 per cent.
While the SC (left) is widely considered supporters of the BJP, the SC(right) has been viewed as a dependable vote bank for the Congress. AICC President Mallikarjun Kharge, former Union Minister KH Muniyappa, former Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara and many Congress leaders hail from SC (Left)
The 'touchable' category 3 groups such as Lambanis, Bhovis, the most mobile among the SCs, are usually divided in their political loyalties.
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