The 103rd Constitutional Amendment Act

The 103rd Constitutional Amendment Act

The 103rd Constitutional Amendment Act

#GS-02 Social Justice

For Prelims:

About the 103rd Constitutional Amendment:

  • The 103rd amendment act provide for 10% reservation in appointments to posts under the state and in admissions to educational institutions to “economically weaker sections of citizens [EWS]”.
  • The Act amends Article 15 and 16 to provide for reservation based on economic backwardness.
  • The 10% reservation prescribed by the Amendment Act is in addition to the existing reservation.
  • The 103 Constitutional Amendment Act also covers private unaided educational institutions, except the minority educational institutions.
  • 103rd CAA is aimed at implementing Article 46 which urges the government to protect the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of society.

Who are eligible:

EWS Quota is available to those-
  • To those who are not covered in existing quotas
  • Whose Family income below 8 lakhs a year or agricultural land below 5 acres.
  • Who has a house above 1,000 square feet or a 100-yard plot.
  • In the case of a residential plot in a non-notified municipality area, the residential plot should be below 200 yards.

For Mains:

Supreme Court decision:

  • A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in a 3:2 majority decision, upheld the validity of the 103rd Constitutional Amendment.
  • Supreme Court held that reservation was an “instrument of affirmative action by the state” and should not be confined to the SCs, STs, SEBCs, and the non-creamy layer of the OBCs but also include “any class or sections so disadvantaged as to answer the description of ‘weaker section’”.
  • The Court also held that reservation on economic criterion alone did not violate the Basic Structure of the Constitution.

The concerns:

  • Exclusion of those who are already beneficiaries of reservation is concerning since;
  • SCs make up 38% of the population, STs 48.4%, and OBCs 13.86% of the 31.7 crore people living below the poverty line.

Source “Supreme Court, in a majority verdict, upholds the EWS quota