EWS Category – Meaning, Full Form, EWS Certificate Eligibility Criteria

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

EWS Category Certificate: The weaker sections of society must satisfy basic requirements to become eligible for EWS Certificate. EWS full form is Economically Weaker Sections, and these individuals are basically a part of the unreserved category, including people who do not belong to OBC/SC/ST categories that enjoy reservation advantages. The Constitution of India decides the EWS Certificate Eligibility criteria and gives members a reservation of 10% for schooling and job prospects after they meet the EWS eligibility criteria.

Individuals must fulfill the EWS criteria to claim the reservation quota. This certificate is also known as the Income and Assets certificate and can be acquired by the local government authority via an application process that differs by state. The appointed officer verifies the papers and scrutinizes the application to issue an EWS Certificate that you can use as proof to assert a reserved seat under the quota.

EWS Certificate

The Government of India in the year 2019 introduced a 10% reservation for the economically weaker section belonging to the general category in educational institutes and government jobs. This reservation exists in addition to the 50% mandatory reservation for the OBC/SC/ST categories.

EWS Reservation UPSC Notes

Aspiring students and job seekers from the general category can enjoy reservation benefits if they obtain the EWS Certificate. However, there are certain EWS criteria that the candidates should meet to assert the reservation under the EWS quota.

EWS Criteria Overview

Highlights Details
Reservation Category Economically Weaker Sections (EWS)
Government Government of India
Certificate Name EWS Certificate
Certificate Validity 1 year

EWS Criteria – Eligibility, Quota, Benefits

EWS Criteria is an initiative by the Central government to benefit the citizens who belong to the economically weaker sections (backward classes) of 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.

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 jobs in the government section and for the students aiming to study in educational institutions (like the IIMs and IITs).

EWS Category: History

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 the rest of the Indian states.

EWS full form: Economically Weaker Section

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. A 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 to all the central universities of India under the UGC
  • The candidate can get a said amount of subsidy on the State and central government schemes made for the resident’s welfare.

EWS Eligibility Criteria

The economically weaker section certificate is offered to those candidates by the Indian Government who satisfy the below-mentioned conditions. These individuals are capable of claiming reservations under the new category. The basic EWS certificate eligibility requirements related to nationality, properties owned, family income, etc., are listed below.

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.

Reservation Percentage for EWS Certificate

While the eligibility criteria for EWS reservations in the union government programs are consistent all over the nation, its implementation differs in various states for different caste categories. The latest reservation percentage for EWS Certificate persisting in the country for different categories are given below:

Categories EWS Reservation Percentage
OBC 27%
ST 7.50%
General-EWS 10%
SC 15%
Unreserved 40.60%

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 certificate to eligible candidates.

All the documents required for EWS Certificate vary among states. The 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:

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

  • 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 Stipendiary Magistrate/ Additional Deputy Commissioner/ Deputy Commissioner/ Collector/ Additional District Magistrate/ District Magistrate


How to Apply for EWS Certificate?

The state decides which medium they are suitable for receiving EWS applications from the two available methods, i.e. offline or online. The snippet below illustrates what a basic EWS Certificate form looks like.

EWS Category – Meaning, Full Form, EWS Certificate Eligibility Criteria

EWS Certificate Offline Process

  • Candidates can opt for the offline method as the application format is similar across the country provided by the Indian Government.
  • Aspirants should carefully note all the essential points in the application form.
  • Candidates only get one chance to submit the application form.
  • Authorities even guide the students about the proper procedure to fill out the EWS reservation form if their details do not match the EWS certificate eligibility.

EWS Certificate Offline Process

  • Visit the state’s official website, which accepts application forms online
  • Search for ‘Income Certificate’ and select it
  • Enter the detailed information asked for on the registration form
  • Click on the ‘Submit’ option
  • Candidates will get an interim application or registration number on their contact number
  • Now, they can enter their login credentials
  • Applicants are required to fill in the vacant boxes in the application form
  • The next step is to upload the scanned documents files in a specific format
  • The final step is to pay the fee through BHIM UPI, Credit Card/Debit Card, Internet Banking, or choose any suitable option
  • Finally, download the application and e-payment receipt on the device or take its printout.

EWS Certificate Validity

Individuals falling under the EWS category and holding a certificate for it must review and understand the fundamental key points regarding EWS Certificate Validity:

  • The applicants need to renew and update the EWS certificate to enjoy 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 in some states to reduce time usage
  • For offline renewal, the candidates have to the office of the issuing authority.

Advantages of EWS Certificate

The benefits of the EWS Certificate are numerous, and only candidates with legitimate Income and Asset Certificates receive the advantages of the certificate. Those individuals who fulfill the EWS Certificate Eligibility can avail of the listed benefits. Central universities obey the EWS reservation process and give aspirants seats in the EWS category.

A candidate can also have sponsorship on the schemes provided by the State and Central governments for the welfare of the residents. Candidates can ask for their rights on multiple government schemes. The reservation also offers monetary assistance to the EWS category who are in need.

Verification of EWS Category Claims

The EWS Category 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.

Difference Between EWS and OBC Reservations

The Government of India recognizes certain benefits for people from reserved categories. These benefits include relaxations and quotas while contesting for government jobs such as Civil services and even during admissions into educational institutions.

Two major reserved categories recognized by the government are the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) and Other Backward Classes (OBC). Let’s understand the significant differences between these two categories.

EWS Reservation OBC Reservation
EWS candidates are candidates from the general category with a family income that is under Rs 8 lakhs OBC denotes the socially and educationally backward classes of India
EWS candidates can enjoy a 10% seat reservation for government jobs like civil services OBC candidates enjoy a 27% reservation of seats in government jobs including the civil services
EWS candidates are not entitled to any relaxation regarding the age limit or the number of attempts for the UPSC exam OBC candidates enjoy an age relaxation on the upper age limit set by the Union Public Service Commission
While determining the eligibility for EWS, the income of the candidate’s spouse is included under family income For OBC candidates, the spouse’s income is not included and doesn’t affect the candidate’s eligibility

EWS Reservation UPSC

EWS Reservation is a recently added topic in the IAS Exam. Few questions have been asked from the EWS Criteria in the UPSC Prelims and Mains exam. You can learn about the EWS Criteria and all the related topics by going through the NCERT Books and UPSC Study Material.

Candidates must download and keep a copy of the EWS Reservation UPSC notes PDF which is useful during subject-wise revision. You must also go through all the important questions and practice them well to build a strong foundation on this topic.

EWS Category MCQs

Question: 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: The Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) judgment fails to uphold the constitutional values meant to end the perpetuation of discrimination against the SCs, STs and other backward classes. Critically Examine. (250 words)

Question: Consider the following statements: (2020) (1) The Constitution of India defines its ‘basic structure’ in terms of federalism, secularism, fundamental rights and democracy, (2) The Constitution of India provides for ‘judicial review’ to safeguard the citizens’ liberties and to preserve the ideals on which the Constitution is based. Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (a) 1 only, (b) 2 only, (c) Both 1 and 2, (d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: Neither 1 nor 2

UPSC Notes
Secularism Right to Freedom
16 Mahajanapadas UPSC Notes  French Revolution
Indian Judiciary Prehistoric Period
Raja Ram Mohan Roy ARC Report UPSC Notes
Types of Forests in India Simon Commission
Types of Banks in India Indian National Congress Session
Our Apps Playstore
SSC and Bank
Other Exams
GradeStack Learning Pvt. Ltd.Windsor IT Park, Tower - A, 2nd Floor, Sector 125, Noida, Uttar Pradesh 201303
Home Practice Test Series Premium