EWS Criteria - Eligibility, Quota, Benefits

By K Balaji|Updated : September 7th, 2022

EWS Criteria is an initiative by the Central government to benefit the citizens who belong to the economically weaker sections (backward classes) of the society by giving them reservations to provide them better financial assistance, good education, and employment opportunities. They enjoy a 10% reservation among the general category by applying for the EWS Certificate.

EWS Criteria is a newly added yet important topic for the IAS Exam. Equal emphasis is given to the topic in the IAS prelims and mains exams. Below you will learn about EWS Criteria, eligibility, category, how to get the EWS Certificate, and the EWS Criteria latest news.

What is EWS Criteria?

Recently, a 10% reservation quota was introduced by the central government of India for EWS (Economically Weaker Sections. The EWS Criteria is eligible for the candidates falling in the General category applying for the jobs in the government section and for the students aiming to study in educational institutions (like the IIMs and IITs).

EWS Criteria Overview

The basic overview of the EWS Criteria is as under-



Reservation Category

Economically Weaker Sections (EWS)


Government of India

Certificate Name

EWS Certificate

Certificate Validity

1 year

EWS Latest News

On 12 Jan 2019, the President of India approved the EWS certificate bill. As per this bill, the candidates falling under the category of EWS enjoys a 10% reservation of seats in the General category if they are applying for any government job or wish to seek admission in a Government school or other educational institutes. Gujarat first adopted this bill, and later it was implemented in rest of the Indian states.

EWS Eligibility Criteria

As per the Indian constitution, the candidate applying for the EWS Certificate must fulfill the following criteria-

  • Nationality- He/she must be a resident of India.
  • Category- The candidate must belong to the general category, i.e., must not belong to any secondary category. A reservation of 10% is given to the candidate from the EWS criteria, while the ST (7.5%), SC (15%), and OBC (27%) have more reservation benefits.
  • Agricultural land- The candidate must own land not more than 5 acres. The same applies to the family of the candidate.
  • Family Income- The gross annual income of the candidate's family must not exceed eight lakh rupees. The income includes the amount from all the sources, including profession, business, agriculture, and salary in the previous financial year (i.e., the year before the application).
  • Residential flat- The candidate or the person's family should not possess a residential flat exceeding 1000 sq. feet. Also, there should not be any record of possession of a residential plot exceeding 100 sq. feet.

What is EWS Category?

The Economically weaker section is a sub-category of people that belong to the unreserved category (based on their economy) with an annual financial economy below eight lakh rupees of the family. The candidate enjoys the following benefits in the EWS Category-

  • He/she has the right to ask for benefits under many government schemes.
  • They can get financial help from the government if needed.
  • He/she can get admission in all the central universities of India under UGC.
  • The candidate can get a said amount of subsidy on the State’s and central government schemes made for the resident’s welfare.

How to get EWS Certificate?

EWS Certificate is called the Income and Assets Certificate. This certificate is essential for availing of the EWS reservation. The local government authority (Tehsil) grants the EWS certificate to the eligible candidates. All the documents required for the EWS Certificate vary among states. Its latest updates are available on its official website. You can get the EWS Certificate by submitting the following documents-

  • PAN Card
  • Aadhar Card
  • Scanned passport-sized photograph
  • Self-declaration/ Affidavits
  • Resident/Domicile certificate.
  • Land/Property documents.
  • Other states/UT documents.

The proof of a candidate belonging to the EWS category is accepted if any of the following authorities have issued the certificate to you-

  • Revenue Officer not below the rank of Tehsildar.
  • Sub-Divisional Officer of the candidate’s area.
  • Presidency Magistrate/ Additional Chief Presidency Magistrate/ Chief Presidency Magistrate.
  • Extra Assistant Commissioner/ Taluka Magistrate/ Executive Magistrate/ Sub-Divisional Magistrate/ 1st Class Stipendary Magistrate/ Additional Deputy Commissioner/ Deputy Commissioner/ Collector/ Additional District Magistrate/ District Magistrate.

Note- EWS certificate is available in offline and online mode only.

Verification of EWS claims

The EWS certificate is granted to an individual after carefully verifying all the submitted documents as suggested by the respective Union territory or the State. If an individual is appointed on the grounds of a fake certificate/ false claim, then his/her services shall be terminated per the conditions mentioned in the appointment offer letter.

EWS Certificate Validity

There are key points that you need to know about the EWS Certificate Validity-

  • The applicants need to renew and update the EWS certificate so as to enjoy the lifetime benefits within a given period.
  • The EWS Certificate is valid for 1 year from the date of issue, while in some states, it is only 6 months from the date.
  • Online facility is available by some of the states to reduce time usage.
  • For offline renewal, the candidates have to the office of the issuing authority.

EWS Criteria UPSC

EWS Criteria UPSC is a recently added topic in the IAS Exam. Few questions have been asked from the EWS Criteria in the UPSC Prelims and UPSC Mains exam. So the candidates need to get a hold on this topic. You can learn about the EWS Criteria and all the related topics by going through the NCERT Books for UPSC and UPSC Study Material. You can also judge your preparation by solving the UPSC Previous Year Questions.

EWS Criteria UPSC Questions

A few EWS Criteria UPSC Questions that are asked in the UPSC prelims and UPSC mains is as under-

The family income in the previous financial year of an individual eligible for the EWs criteria must be-

  1. Below 8 lakhs
  2. Exceed 8 lakhs
  3. Below 10 lakhs
  4. Exceed 10 lakhs

Answer- Below 8 lakhs

Question for mains- Write a report on the revision of EWS criteria.

EWS Criteria UPSC Notes PDF

The aspirants need to prepare the topic thoroughly. For this, you can download the EWS Criteria UPSC Notes PDF with the link provided below-

Other Important UPSC Notes
Cooperative Federalism in IndiaMission Shakti
Constitutional Bodies in IndiaCapital Adequacy Ratio
Prehistoric PeriodSpecial Drawing Rights
Parliamentary Form of GovernmentGovernors-General of India
Cabinet Ministers of IndiaDances of India
International Labour Organization (ILO) Fiscal Deficit
Salient Features of Indian ConstitutionKothari Commission


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FAQs on EWS Criteria

  • The Indian President adopted the EWS certificate bill on 12 Jan 2019. However, Gujarat was the first Indian state to adopt the bill, and then it was implemented in the rest of the states of India.

  • As per the EWS reservation rules, the term family refers to the individual who wishes to seek the EWS benefits, siblings (below 18 years), spouse, children below 18 years of age, and parents. It accounts for the property in different places/cities by the family.

  • The primary eligibility to apply for an EW certificate is that the annual income of the family of the candidate must be less than eight in the last financial year and they must be Indian citizens.

  • The processing time period for an EWS certificate is different for different states in India Usually, the processing period for the certificate is 21 days.

  • A candidate with the EWS certificate enjoys the 10% reservation of seats in the general category when applying for a government job or any educational institution.

  • The validity of the EWS certificate is different from state to state. For some Indian states, the EWS certificate is valid for one year, while in a few states, the validity of the EWS certificate is restricted to 6 months only. Then, the candidates need to renew the certificate either online or offline mode.

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