‘2.14 lakh addl seats’: Centre says EWS quota won’t impact general, reserved categories

The Centre on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that 2,14,766 additional seats will be added to those already existing in higher educational institutions, and the 10 per cent economically weaker sections (EWS) reservation in admissions would not impact seats for the general and reserved categories.

Defending the 103rd Constitution amendment, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, submitted before a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice U.U. Lalit that Rs 4,315 crore has been provided by the government to central higher educational institutions for additional infrastructure in connection with the increase in seats.

Mehta said the decision was taken to ensure that seats available to the reserved category and the open category are not impacted in absolute numbers.

He said in order to provide for the EWS quota and also not decrease the seats for the general category in absolute numbers, as compared to the admissions made in 2018-19, the total intake would have to be raised by nearly 25 per cent.

Mehta said a total of 2,14,766 additional seats were approved to be created in the central educational institutions.

Defending the EWS quota, he emphasised that the Central government had responded to the wishes and aspirations of the poor people.

After hearing detailed arguments, the top court reserved its verdict on pleas challenging 10 per cent reservation for the economically weaker sections (EWS) in admissions and government jobs.

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