State Public Service Commission (PSC) which had taken a decision in this regard earlier in line with the government's policy decision, prepared the rules that govern the procedures which was submitted for cabinet nod.
As per this decision, amendments will be made to the Kerala State and Subordinate Services Rules to include the new reservation pattern and the same will come into effect from the date of notification.
Based on the 103rd amendment to the Constitution passed by the parliament, the state decided to grant 10 per cent reservation in government jobs and for admission in educational institutions for the EWS category, an official press release said.
Although the category is of EWS, it is not open to the sections already eligible for reservation, i.e. backward communities. Thus, in effect the reservation is exclusively for forward communities although with certain income ceiling.
The new decision of 10 percent EWS reservation has come under flak for the relatively high income ceiling set for eligibility of this reservation, which currently is Rs 4 lakhs annually for the family. This limit is seen to include most middle-class income-earners in the net.
As per current regulations 50 per cent of jobs are reserved for Scheduled Castes/Tribes and backward communities. The latest addition of 10 per cent reservation will be from the general category and will not the affect the former.
According to the PSC rotation chart prepared in line with the rules positions numbers 9, 19 and 29 in that order will be allocated for forward communities.
Although there is a Supreme Court-set ceiling of 50 per cent for total reservations, it remains to be seen how the additional 10 percent will be interpreted legally and accommodated in the total matrix. A case is pending with the apex court challenging the constitutional validity of the central legislation passed on 9 January 2019 and took effect of 14 January the same year.
Backward communities are peeved that the positions in general category - which meritorious candidates from them would have claimed - are now being denied to them. Community bodies therefore, have been demanding that the implementation of the new reservation should be withheld until the Supreme Court issues its verdict in this case.
All the same, the left government of Kerala has been a champion of the new reservation on the grounds that the 'poor' among forward communities deserve quotas both in jobs and seats in educational institutions.