Published: 08th July 2019
Kerala government demands income certificate for EWS quota, medical aspirants in despair
Students from the state have demanded a revision in the criteria being followed by the Kerala Government so that they match with that of northern states
Separate criteria being followed to define economically weaker sections at the Centre and the state have put several students from Kerala seeking higher education in trouble.
According to students, the norms in the Bill to provide 10% reservation for economically weaker sections among upper castes will become meaningless for the deserving candidates from Kerala owing to the separate criteria being followed here. Students from the state have demanded a revision in the criteria being followed by the Kerala Government so that they match with that of northern states. According to the provisions in the Bill, to become eligible for quota, the family of the student should own residential land measuring less than 2.3 cents in urban areas and 4.6 cents in rural areas.
In the case of houses, the area should not exceed 980 sq ft. Only then that students would become eligible to apply for the reserved seats in the education sector. However, according to the Kerala Government, the prescribed land area to make them eligible for the economically weaker section (EWS) income certificate is 3 cents.
Recently 155 new seats were added to seven medical colleges in the state as part of increasing the quota. However, since the poverty measuring standards of the state are higher, the candidates allege that their applications of EWS income certificates are being rejected by tahsildars.
The claim of Malappuram native N Sarojini's daughter, who is eligible to apply for reservation, was rejected by the tahsildar, as EWS income certificate was not considered. Owing to the poor economic condition of her family, sending her daughter to medical studies spending lakhs is impossible, Sarojini said. The last date for applying for reserved seats is July 15. There are 50 new seats in Thiruvananthapuram Medical College, whereas Kottayam, Thrissur and Alappuzha Medical Colleges have 25 new seats each. In Ernakulam, Manjeri and Kollam Medical Colleges, there are 10 more seats each from this year onward. If the candidates are not able to produce income certificates as prescribed by the Bill, nearly all of them would miss the opportunity for higher studies.
Responding to the issue, Kozhikode MP M K Raghavan said he would raise the issue in Parliament. Only those students, who are homeless or whose families are staying in rented houses, will be eligible to produce the income certificates. Several parents have raised concern before us, as they are about to lose a chance to send their children for medical studies under government quota, he said. However, the deserving students from Kerala are likely to miss out on the opportunity, if the criteria being followed in northern states are implemented here, he said. Students said the state government has the right to intervene and change the reservation norms. Hence we will raise the concern before the state government, they said.
Already those seeking admission to NIT, IITs and IIMs have missed the opportunity. They have sought the immediate intervention of the Chief Minister and the Education Minister citing the discrepancies in the income criteria of the state and the Centre. When the students from the state miss such an opportunity, that would, in turn, benefit the students from other states, they said.
The quota Bill It was in January this year that the Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill to provide 10% reservation for economically weaker sections among upper castes was passed in Parliament. The Opposition had then criticised it as another election stunt on the last day of the winter session. Opposition parties, including the Congress and the CPM, had demanded that the Bill be sent to a joint committee of Parliament for proper scrutiny.
After passing the Bill, the Centre increased around 25% seats to implement the 10% reservation in educational institutions.