HIGHER EDUCATION institutions run by the Centre may have to increase their student intake by as much as 25 per cent in order to implement 10 per cent quota for the Economical Weaker Sections (EWS) of the general category, The Indian Express has learnt.
The HRD Ministry held two meetings on Thursday to discuss ways and means of introducing the EWS quota in central educational institutions including IITs, IIITs, NITs and central universities. According to sources, the reservation will be introduced from the new academic session starting July, and an executive order to this effect is expected next week.
Among the various alternatives discussed was the option to get institutions to increase their student strength by 25 per cent in order to accommodate the new 10 per cent quota while ensuring that the number of unreserved seats does not shrink.
If this alternative is chosen, then a university or an institute, for a three-year programme, will have to increase its intake by roughly eight per cent every year, for three years. In case of a four-year programme, student admissions will witness an annual hike of approximately six per cent for the next four years.
“Another option is to create 10 per cent supernumerary seats. So, if there are 100 seats, we just add 10 more seats, which will be supernumerary in nature. The actual student strength will still be 100,” said a source who did not want to be identified.
The financial implication that the increase in seats will have on the educational institutions is not clear yet.
Although the Constitutional amendment of Article 15 provides for reservation in private educational institutions as well, it is not clear if the government will implement this immediately.
A person whose family has a gross annual income below Rs 8 lakh will be identified as a beneficiary under the 10 per cent quota. The family includes “the person who seeks the benefit of reservation, his/ her parents, siblings below the age of 18 years, his/ her spouse and children below the age of 18 years”. Also, income will cover all sources such as salary, agriculture, business and profession.
However, families owning agricultural land of over five acres, a house covering more than 1,000 square feet, a 100-yard plot or more in a notified municipal area, or a plot of 200 yards or more in a non-notified municipal area cannot avail the benefit of this reservation.