EWS Full Form: How Communities Stand Together For The Economically Weaker Section

June 12, 2024
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EWS Full Form

Understanding the EWS Full Form – Economically Weaker Sections – is crucial in today’s socio-economic landscape. As the government continues to roll out policies aimed at reducing inequality, the EWS category provides vital support to those facing financial hardships.

In India, to get an EWS certificate, you don’t just need to have a certain income each year. The Union Council of Ministers approved a 10% reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in government jobs and schools on January 7, 2019.

To get an EWS certificate, they’ll look at things like:

  • How much money you make each year.
  • You own any property.
  • You have a home to live in.

Based on these things, they’ll decide if you qualify for the EWS certificate. So in this blog we delves into what EWS means, its criteria, and the significant role it plays in shaping an inclusive society.

EWS Full Form Hindi

Full Form of EWS in Hindi is आर्थिक रूप से कमजोर वर्ग (Ārthik Roop Se Kamjor Varg).

EWS Meaning

EWS stands for Economically Weaker Section. It refers to a category in India for people who belong to the unreserved category (general category) and have an annual family income below ₹8 lakh (around $9,600). This category is separate from existing reservation programs for Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), and Other Backward Classes (OBC).

The Indian government introduced a 10% reservation quota for EWS in higher education and government jobs.

History of EWS Reservation

The idea of EWS reservation in India started in 2019. Here’s a simple look at its history:

1. Before 2019:

  • India had reservations for groups like SC, ST, and OBC in jobs and education.
  • But there wasn’t any reservation for economically weaker people in the general category.

2. 2019: EWS Quota Started

  • In January 2019, the government changed the Constitution to allow a 10% reservation for economically weaker people (EWS) in jobs and schools.
  • This new reservation is different from the ones for SC/ST/OBC.

2.1. Why Some Like It:

  • Supporters say EWS reservation gives chances to financially struggling people in the general category.
  • It tries to help those who are poor even if they’re not from SC/ST/OBC.

2.2. Why Some Don’t:

  • Critics worry EWS reservation might weaken the benefits for SC/ST/OBC.
  • Some don’t like the rules for who counts as EWS, especially the income limit.

3. After 2019:

  • Since 2019, there’s been talk and debate about EWS reservation.
  • There were even court cases, but the Supreme Court said EWS reservation is okay in 2020.

4. Current Situation:

  • EWS reservation is still happening. It gives 10% reservation in jobs and schools to eligible people.
  • Keep an eye out for any changes in the EWS rules by the government.

Eligibility Criteria for Obtaining an EWS Certificate

To be eligible for an Economically Weaker Section (EWS full form) certificate, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • General Category: You cannot belong to the Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), or Other Backward Classes (OBC) categories who already have reservation benefits.
  • Income Limit: Your family’s gross annual income from all sources (salary, agriculture, business, etc.) must be below Rs. 8 lakh for the financial year preceding your application.
  • Land Holding Limits: Your family should not own:
    • More than 5 acres of agricultural land.
    • A residential flat with an area of 1000 square feet or more.

If you meet the requirements, you can apply for an EWS certificate from your state’s designated authority. This certificate proves you belong to the EWS category and lets you enjoy benefits such as:

  • 10% Reservation: The government gives a 10% reservation in government jobs and schools for EWS candidates. This reservation is different from those for SC/ST/OBC groups.

Documents Required to get EWS Certificate

To get an Economically Weaker Section (EWS full form) certificate, you usually need to provide certain documents. These may include:

  1. Identity Proof:
    • Aadhaar Card (highly preferred)
    • PAN Card
    • Voter ID Card (if you don’t have Aadhaar)
  2. Address Proof:
    • Domicile Certificate
    • Recent Utility Bill (Electricity, Water)
    • Ration Card (if applicable)
  3. Income Proof:
    • Income Certificate issued by a competent authority for your family’s income (previous financial year)
    • Bank Statements (may be requested)
  4. Asset Proof:
    • Land Records (if applicable)
    • Property Ownership Documents (if applicable)
  5. Photograph:
    • Passport-sized photograph
  6. Other:
    • Self-Declaration or Affidavit (format may vary)
    • Educational certificates of family members (sometimes requested)

These documents help verify your eligibility for the EWS category and ensure you receive the benefits entitled to you.

How to Apply for an EWS Certificate

Getting an Economically Weaker Section (EWS full form) certificate can be done in two ways: online or offline. The steps might be slightly different depending on your state. Here’s a simple guide to both methods:

Online Application:

  1. Find the Application Portal: Search for your state government’s official website or the Revenue Department’s site. Look for a section about EWS certificates.
  2. Register or Log In: If it’s your first time, you might need to create an account. If you already have one, just log in.
  3. Fill Out the Application Form: Enter your personal details, income information, and other required information.
  4. Upload Required Documents: Prepare scanned copies of your documents (like ID proof, income proof, etc.) and upload them to the portal.
  5. Pay the Fee: There might be a small application fee. You can pay it online using a debit/credit card or net banking.
  6. Submit the Application: Review all the details you entered and submit the form.
  7. Download the Receipt: After submitting, you can download a receipt or confirmation for your records.

Offline Application:

  1. Visit the Issuing Authority: Find out where to go in your area. This could be the District Magistrate’s office, Sub-Divisional Magistrate’s office, Tehsildar’s office, or Collector’s office.
  2. Get the Application Form: You can download the form from a government website (if available) or pick it up in person from the office.
  3. Fill Out the Form: Carefully fill in all the required information on the form.
  4. Attach Required Documents: Attach self-attested copies of the necessary documents (like ID proof, income proof, etc.).
  5. Submit the Application: Hand in the completed form and documents at the designated counter in the office.
  6. Pay the Fee and Get a Receipt: You might have to pay a small fee at the office. Make sure to get a receipt for your application.

This simplified guide helps you understand how to apply for an EWS certificate, whether you choose the online or offline method.

Government Initiatives and Policies for EWS

The Indian government has created many programs to help people from the Economically Weaker Section (EWS full form) of society. These programs aim to improve their lives by giving them better access to education, jobs, healthcare, and housing.

Here are some key Government Initiatives and Policies for EWS:

1. Reservation in Jobs and Education

  • 10% Reservation: The government offers a 10% reservation for EWS candidates in government jobs and educational institutions. This helps EWS individuals have a fair chance to get good jobs and education.

2. Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY)

  • Affordable Housing: This scheme helps EWS families get financial aid to build or buy a proper house. They can get subsidies to make housing more affordable.

3. Ayushman Bharat (National Health Protection Scheme)

  • Free Health Insurance: EWS families can get free health insurance that covers up to Rs. 5 lakh per year. This allows them to receive quality healthcare without worrying about high costs.

4. Skill India Mission

  • Vocational Training: This program provides job training and skills development for EWS youth. It helps them learn new skills, making them more likely to find good jobs and earn money.

5. Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY)

  • Free LPG Connections: EWS families can receive free LPG connections for cooking. This helps them use cleaner cooking fuel and live healthier lives.

6. Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY)

  • Bank Accounts for All: This initiative ensures that EWS families can open zero-balance savings accounts. These accounts let them receive government benefits directly, access small loans, and save money.

7. Integrated Low Cost Sanitation Scheme

  • Sanitary Toilets: This scheme provides financial help for EWS families to build toilets. This improves sanitation and public health in their communities.

These initiatives are just a few examples of how the Indian government is helping EWS families. By supporting these programs, the government aims to close the socio-economic gap and improve the standard of living for EWS families.

EWS Reservation in Education & Employment

The Economically Weaker Section (EWS full form) reservation system has been implemented in both education and employment sectors in India. Here’s how it works:


  • In educational institutions, a certain percentage of seats are reserved for students from the EWS category.
  • This reservation typically applies to government-run educational institutions, including universities, colleges, and schools.
  • The aim is to provide opportunities for economically disadvantaged students from the general category to access quality education.


  • In the employment sector, a certain percentage of job openings are reserved for candidates from the EWS category.
  • This reservation applies to government jobs as well as private sector jobs in some cases.
  • The goal is to ensure fair representation and equal opportunities for economically weaker individuals in the job market.

Overall, the EWS reservation system in education and employment aims to promote social inclusion and upliftment of economically disadvantaged sections of society.

EWS and Social Welfare Programs

Social welfare programs help people in the EWS category. These programs offer different kinds of help like money, food security, and protection for those who are economically weak. For example, there are schemes that give food at lower prices, money for older people, and ways to send money easily.

Healthcare is very important for EWS people. Governments make sure they have health insurance and access to doctors and medicines at cheaper rates. This helps them get the care they need without spending too much money.

By including EWS people in these programs, governments want to make their lives better. These programs not only give them what they need but also help them break free from poverty and live better lives on their own.

Benefits of EWS Certificate

Here are the benefits of having an Economically Weaker Section (EWS full form) certificate:

  1. 10% Reservation: With an EWS certificate, you can avail a 10% reservation in government jobs and educational institutions. This reservation is separate from existing quotas for SC/ST/OBC categories.
  2. Eligibility for Government Schemes: Holding an EWS certificate makes you eligible for various government welfare schemes and programs aimed at supporting economically disadvantaged individuals and families.
  3. Fee Concessions: Some educational institutions and government bodies offer fee concessions or scholarships to students from the EWS category, making higher education more accessible.
  4. Priority in Housing Schemes: In some states, individuals with EWS certificates may receive priority consideration for affordable housing schemes and subsidies for housing loans.
  5. Business Loans and Subsidies: Certain government schemes provide financial assistance, including loans at subsidized rates, to entrepreneurs from the EWS category to start or expand their businesses.
  6. Reservations in Services: Apart from job reservations, individuals with EWS certificates may also benefit from reservations in services like railways, public sector undertakings, and other government-owned enterprises.
  7. Exemption from Application Fees: When applying for government exams, recruitment processes, or other government-related services, individuals with EWS certificates are often exempt from paying application fees.

Having an EWS certificate opens up various opportunities and benefits, helping to uplift economically disadvantaged sections of society.

Challenges and Criticisms of EWS Reservation

The Economically Weaker Section (EWS full form) reservation system in India aims to help economically weaker sections, but it faces several challenges and criticisms. Here’s a simpler look at some of the key points:

Challenges in Implementing EWS Reservation:

  1. Defining “Economically Weaker Sections” (EWS):
    • The current income limit of Rs. 8 lakh per year to qualify as EWS may not accurately reflect who is truly economically weak in different parts of India.
    • Regional cost of living differences can make this limit unfair or ineffective in identifying the genuinely needy.
  2. Verification and Fraud:
    • It’s hard to ensure that only truly deserving people get the EWS benefits. Some might misuse the system by providing false information to get the certificate.
  3. Exclusion of Disadvantaged Groups:
    • People from SC/ST/OBC categories who are economically poor cannot benefit from the EWS reservation. They must rely on the existing reservations for their categories.

Criticisms of the EWS Policy:

  1. Doesn’t Address Caste-Based Issues:
    • Critics say that the EWS quota doesn’t tackle caste discrimination, which remains a significant problem in India. It focuses only on economic criteria.
  2. Reduction in General Category Seats:
    • Adding a 10% EWS quota reduces the number of seats available for the general category. This can be seen as unfair to those who compete without any reservation.
  3. Potential for Wealthy EWS Beneficiaries:
    • Over time, there’s a risk that the benefits of the EWS quota could go to relatively well-off people within the EWS category, defeating the purpose of helping the truly needy.
  4. Exceeding the 50% Reservation Limit:
    • Some argue that including the EWS quota exceeds the Supreme Court’s recommendation to keep total reservations under 50% of available seats, which might create legal and social tensions.

While the EWS reservation system is designed to help economically weaker sections, it faces challenges in identifying and verifying truly needy individuals and may not address deep-rooted social inequalities like caste discrimination. It also reduces opportunities for general category candidates and might exceed the intended limit for reservations.

Who Issues EWS Certificates?

The authority to issue Income and Asset Certificates for the Economically Weaker Section (EWS full form) can vary based on where you live in India. Here’s a simple guide to help you understand who to contact for an EWS certificate:

Common Issuing Authorities:

  1. District Officials: In most places, EWS certificates are issued by officials at the district level. These might include:
    • District Magistrate (DM)
    • Additional District Magistrate (ADM)
    • Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM)
    • Collector (specific to some states)
    • Tahsildar (in many states)

How to Find the Right Authority:

  1. Visit Your State Government’s Website: Each state might have slightly different processes. Check your state’s official website for details on EWS certificates or contact the Revenue Department.
  2. Local Offices: You can also visit or contact your local:
    • Tehsildar’s Office
    • District Administration Office

These offices can provide information on who issues the EWS certificates in your area. National Government Services Portal offers a general overview and guidance for applying for an EWS certificate online. It might not have specifics for your area but is a good starting point.

Differences Between the EWS and OBC Certificates

Here’s a table comparing the Economically Weaker Section (EWS full form) Certificate and the OBC (Other Backward Classes) Certificate:

CriteriaEWS CertificateOBC Certificate
Full FormEconomically Weaker SectionOther Backward Classes
Primary PurposeFor economically disadvantaged individualsFor socially and educationally disadvantaged communities
Eligibility Criteria1. Annual family income below ₹8 lakh.
2. Limited ownership of agricultural land and property
1. Based on social, educational, and economic criteria.
2. Family annual income below ₹8 lakh for “Non-Creamy Layer” status
Reservation QuotaUp to 10% in educational institutions and government jobsGenerally 27% in educational institutions and government jobs
Community BasisDoes not consider caste; purely economic statusBased on specific castes listed as OBC by the government
Caste CriteriaApplicable to all communities except those already benefiting from SC/ST/OBC reservationsOnly for castes listed in the Central/State OBC lists
Certificate Issued By1. Revenue Officer
2. Sub-Divisional Officer
3. Designated officials as per state guidelines
1. Tehsildar
2. District Magistrate
3. Designated officials as per state guidelines
Application Documents1. Proof of family income
2. Property ownership proof
3. Identity proof (Aadhaar, PAN, etc.)
4. Affidavit/Declaration
1. Proof of community/caste
2. Income proof for Non-Creamy Layer status
3. Identity proof (Aadhaar, PAN, etc.)
4. Affidavit/Declaration
ValidityTypically 1 year; renewable based on criteriaTypically 1 year; renewable based on criteria
RenewalRequires re-evaluation of income and propertyRequires re-evaluation of income (for Non-Creamy Layer) and proof of ongoing eligibility
UsageFor accessing reservations in educational institutions and public sector jobsFor accessing reservations in educational institutions, public sector jobs, and some other government benefits
Examples of Benefits1. Educational reservations
2. Job reservations
3. Access to specific government schemes
1. Educational reservations
2. Job reservations
3. Access to specific government schemes

Impact and Effectiveness of EWS Reservation

The impact and effectiveness of the Economically Weaker Section (EWS full form) reservation in India are debated. Here’s a simplified breakdown of the potential impacts:

Positive Impacts:

  1. More Access to Education and Jobs:
    • EWS reservation provides a way for financially struggling individuals from the general category to get into schools, colleges, and government jobs.
    • This can help improve their economic situation and provide better opportunities.
  2. Fairer Opportunities:
    • It helps create fair chances for those who, because of their economic condition, might not have access to good education or job resources.
  3. Better Social Inclusion:
    • Having more people from economically weaker backgrounds in education and jobs promotes a more inclusive and diverse society.

Negative Impacts and Criticisms:

  1. Fewer Seats for General Category:
    • The EWS reservation reduces the number of seats available for the general category without reservations.
    • This might affect students or job seekers who have good merits but miss out due to fewer available seats.
  2. Doesn’t Address Caste Issues:
    • Some argue that EWS reservation doesn’t tackle the historical discrimination faced by certain castes. It focuses on economic status, not social inequalities.
  3. Problems in Identifying Beneficiaries:
    • Checking who truly qualifies as EWS can be hard, leading to possible misuse.
    • The income limit (Rs. 8 lakh per year) might not accurately represent economic struggles in different parts of the country.
  4. Wealthy EWS Members:
    • There’s a worry that over time, richer people within the EWS category might take over, leaving the truly needy behind.

Effectiveness of EWS Reservation:

  • The success of EWS reservation in meeting its goals is still a matter of debate.
  • Ongoing studies are looking at its long-term effects on social and economic upliftment.
  • It’s still unclear if it helps bridge the economic gap without taking away opportunities from others.

Overall, EWS reservation has potential benefits but also faces significant challenges. More time and evaluation are needed to see if it truly achieves its goals of providing fair opportunities and uplifting economically disadvantaged groups.


The Economically Weaker Section (EWS full form) reservation in education and jobs helps economically needy individuals by providing equal opportunities for advancement. It aims to reduce poverty, promote inclusivity, and create a fairer society where everyone has a chance to succeed. By supporting policies like EWS reservation, we move towards a more diverse and empowering society, ensuring that no one is left behind.

EWS Full Form: Key Takeaways

  • EWS full form is Economically Weaker Section, referring to people with low income and fewer resources.
  • Governments use EWS to find and assist those who need it most.
  • EWS people might get special help in education, jobs, and housing to make things fairer.
  • Being in the EWS usually depends on how much money someone makes, set by the government.
  • Governments have programs to help EWS people with things like money or services.
  • Some groups work to help EWS people and make sure they’re treated fairly.
  • Knowing about EWS helps us understand how governments try to help those who need it most.
  • By giving targeted support, governments can help EWS people improve their lives.

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EWS Full Form: FAQs

What are the eligibility bars for obtaining an EWS certificate?

The eligibility standards for obtaining an EWS diploma vary depending on the specific policies set by each state or country.

Are EWS reservations applicable in both public and private educational institutions?

Yes, EWS reservations are useful in both public and private academic institutions.

How does the EWS reservation impact candidates from other categories, such as Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), and Other Backward Classes (OBC)?

EWS reservation is distinct from reservations for SC, ST, and OBC categories.

Are EWS reservation policies applicable to both government and private jobs?

Yes, EWS reservation policies are relevant to both government and private sector jobs.

How can one obtain an EWS certificate in India?

To obtain an EWS certificate in India, individuals need to apply to a qualified authority, typically the Tehsildar or Block Development Officer.

Who belongs to the EWS category? or Who qualifies as EWS?

The economically weaker section (EWS) in India includes people who don’t belong to specific caste categories like ST/SC/OBC. They have an annual family income of less than 8 lakh rupees. This group doesn’t get the benefits of reservation like the other categories do.

Which caste under EWS?

Five communities—Brahmins, Arya Vaisyas, Mudaliars, Jains, and Nagarathas—were initially identified for EWS reservation in Karnataka. Now, Muslims have also been added to this category.

Can OBC apply for EWS?

No, individuals belonging to Other Backward Classes (OBC) are not eligible for EWS benefits. They have separate reservation programs available.

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