EWS Reservation Eligibility - Who is Eligible for EWS Certificate?

The Parliament amended the Constitution of India to provide for a 10% reservation in education and government jobs in India for a section of the General category candidates. Know all about the EWS reservation, who all are eligible for the EWS quota, how to apply for EWS reservation in the UPSC exam application, etc.

Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) Reservation

The government has introduced a 10% EWS reservation for general category candidates. This is for all those candidates who are not covered under any reservations (such as OBC, SC, ST and except PH and Ex-servicemen criteria) and belong to economically backward sections.

Who is eligible to claim EWS Quota?

The government has laid down certain eligibility conditions for candidates to be able to claim reservation under this new category. EWS full form is ‘Economically Weaker Section’.

To be eligible for the EWS certificate, you will have to satisfy all the conditions mentioned below:

  1. You should be a ‘general’ candidate (not covered under reservation for SC, ST or OBC).
  2. Your family’s gross annual income should be below Rs. 8 lakhs. This includes income from all sources such as agriculture, salary, business, etc. for the financial year before you apply for the exam.
  3. Your family should not own agricultural land of size 5 acres or more.
  4. Your family should not own a residential flat of area 1000 square feet or more.
  5. Your family should not own a residential plot (in notified municipalities) of area 100 square yards or more.
  6. Your family should not own a residential plot (other than in notified municipalities) of area 200 square yards or more.

What is ‘Family’ according to the EWS Reservation rules?

For this reservation, ‘family’ includes the following:

  • The person seeking the reservation.
  • His/her parents.
  • His/her siblings below the age of 18 years.
  • His/her spouse and children below the age of 18 years.

The land or property owned by the family in different locations should be clubbed while checking the eligibility conditions for EWS reservations.

How do I apply for EWS reservations?

You can get the EWS certificate from your local government authority (Tehsil). The certificate is called an ‘Income and Assets Certificate’, and this is the proof that is required to avail the EWS reservation.

There is no online method prescribed by the government for getting an EWS certificate. You need to go to your local Tehsil or any other local government authority. You will need additional documents such as Aadhar Card, Pan Card, bank statements, passport size photo, etc. along with the Income and Assets Certificate (downloadable from many government websites). The certificate looks like this below:

EWS Certificate - Income and Assets Certificate

The designated government officer will verify your documents and issue your EWS certificate. The certificate issued only by any of the following authorities will be accepted as proof of a candidate belonging to the EWS category:

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

Will candidates under EWS get other relaxations in age and the number of attempts?

No, EWS candidates will only get the 10% quota in seats. Other eligibility conditions of the IAS exam such as age limit and the number of attempts shall remain the same as for any ‘general’ candidate.

EWS Reservation Eligibility – Is the criteria uniform across all states in India?

Even though the Central Government brought the EWS criterion, states can have their cut-offs for income. However, for the UPSC 2020 and other central government jobs, the cut-offs prescribed by the Centre will be valid.

Difference between EWS and OBC reservations

The OBC reservations are for the non-creamy layer section of the Other Backward Classes section. For them, a 27% reservation is given. The EWS is for that section of the ‘General’ classes (not covered under OBC, SC or ST) whose family income is below Rs. 8 lakhs. For them, a 10% reservation in seats is provided.

There will be a separate (lower) cut-off for the EWS candidates, in the same manner for OBC, SC and ST candidates. However, there is no other relaxation concerning the number of attempts and the upper age limit for applying.

Another difference between EWS and OBC reservations is that in determining the family income for reservations, in the case of OBC candidates, the income of the spouse is not included. In contrast, it is included in the case of EWS reservation.

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  1. I have filled the upsc prelims application form 2020 but there was not any column in which i have to upload the ews certificate. So can u plz. tell me when will i have to upload/submit the ews certificate.

    1. Hi
      Candidates clearing Prelims stage will have to submit EWS Certificate. For Mains Stage, an on-line detailed application form (DAF) will have to be filled where you will be required to upload scanned copies of all relevant documents in support of date of birth, category {viz. SC/ST/ OBC(without OBC Annexure) along with EWS Certificate.

  2. Hello. The notification says certificate should be dated earlier than the closing date of application of Prelims examination. Should it also be dated earlier than the day i personally apply for the exam?

    1. Hi,
      No, it should just abide by the UPSC criteria, i.e., it should be dated earlier than the due date of UPSC Application Form 2020 (3rd March 2020).

  3. For the exam on may 31st, EWS certificate for 2019-2020 should be taken or EWS for 2018-2019 should be taken?

    1. Hi Raghvendra
      You should produce an EWS Certificate for the year 2019-20. The validity of the certificate is one year. The ‘Income & asset certificate’ has to be of the year 2018-2019 producing which you can get your EWS certificate.

  4. Any age relaxation in EWS candidate

    1. No, there is no age relaxation for EWS candidates so far in UPSC Exam. The eligibility criteria for UPSC stands same for the general category and EWS candidates.

  5. Pradeep Kumar Gupta

    Hello sir,
    I am Defence (Army) employee and belongs to OBC category. Age criteria / Relaxation in age limits is not understood. My dt of birth is 11Feb 1988 . Till which dt I will be able to apply in category of OBC and defence employee.

    Thanking you

    1. The maximum age limit is 37. While filling the form against the ex-servicemen quota, you will have to also mention your category as OBC.

  6. Sir for upsc CSE main examination 2020 which year certificate required 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 while filing DAF

    1. EWS certificate for the year 2019-20 will work.

  7. I wanna to give upsc cse 2022 exam , now I have ews certificate for 2019-2020 term , is it useful their or I have to produce certificate of 2021-2022 , because even certificate of 2021-2022 expire in 2022 and the final result of cse 2022 comes in 2023 , what about that issue

    1. For UPSC 2022, you have to produce an EWS Certificate for the last financial year. That is 2021-22.

      1. Which caste will apply for ews certificate

      2. EWS reservations are for those candidates who are not covered under any other reservations (such as OBC, SC, ST and except PH and Ex-servicemen criteria.)

  8. Dear Sir,

    I am a candidate from Karnataka, I got my EWS (Income Certificate) last year in 2019. But it is written in Kannada. will UPSC accept it?

    1. Yes, Samuel. It is acceptable.

  9. sir i belong to ews but dont have certificate for 2019-20 .nd i indicated ews in form . can i correct it.
    i have certificate for 2020-21
    am i treated as general or my form would be rejected

    1. Hi Ankit
      As per UPSC Guidelines for 2019 exam, the EWS certificate should be obtained by the candidates by 1st August 2019. Similarly, for 2020, the EWS certificate should be obtained by 1st August 2020. The validity of the certificate is one year. If you have the certificate with you before your Mains Exam, you will be eligible for the reservation.

  10. Sir i indicated EWS category in my upsc 2020 prelims form. But i don’t have ews certificate now in October 2020. Will i be considered in general category if i can’t upload ews certificate during daf for mains??

    1. Hi
      The applicant is required to submit a copy of EWS certificate while filling Mains application form and the same has to be verified during the interview stage. As per UPSC guideline, “Candidates seeking reservation/ relaxation benefits available Economically Weaker Sections must ensure that they are entitled to such reservation/ relaxation in accordance with the eligibility prescribed in the Examination Rules/Notice. They should also be in possession of all the requisite certificates in the prescribed format in support of their claims for availing reservation before applying for the examination, and in any case, not later than the closing date for receipt of applications for the examination.”

  11. Sir i will give upsc cse 2022 so which year’s ews certificate going to be eligible? And sir ews certificate is to be produced in mains form and intetview form both?

    1. An EWS certificate will be issued after the income and asset certificate of the year 2020-21. Hence, that EWS certificate that dates before the application closing date of 2022 exam will be valid. The certificate has to be uploaded in Mains application form while it will be cross-checked in the interview stage in its original form.

  12. Sir. Its notified regarding upsc cse 2020 that income and asset certification should belong to year 2018-19 for ews candidate. So how will candidate obtain this certificate of 2 years ago. The ews certificate is made of 2019-2020 so how to get 2018-19 income and asset certificate. Can 2019-20 income and asset certificate be suffice and valid?

    1. Hi
      A competent authority that is designated to issue the income and asset certificate will clear all the doubts. To have your EWS certificate, you have to get your income and asset certificate (before the closing date of the application) issued by any one of the following authorities mentioned in this post.

  13. Sir, If i have applied for EWS category before prelims but not able to produce the certificate for mains DAF. What are the consequences ??

    1. Such guidelines have not been mentioned in the UPSC notification. You may contact UPSC query portal for further assistance.

  14. sir I got EWS CERTIFICATE ON 27 Oct 2020
    Am I eligible for reservation benefit in 2020 upsc cse

    1. If you have applied for CSE 2020, cleared the prelims as recently UPSC Prelims Result was out; you may sit for UPSC Mains (however, it is suggested you contact UPSC and fetch more details about it.)

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