When the Centre introduced a separate quota for the economically weaker sections (EWS), it said the new system would not affect the reservations already in place.

CHENNAI: When the Centre introduced a separate quota for the economically weaker sections (EWS), it said the new system would not affect the reservations already in place. A recent recruitment notification issued by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS), says otherwise. As per the notification, OBC, SC, ST quota has been reduced to accommodate the 10 per cent EWS quota.

In effect, quota for OBC, SC and ST candidates has been reduced from 49.5 to 40 per cent, while maintaining the open category tally at 50 per cent. Express contacted the IBPS Mumbai office about the development, but officials refused to comment. Former Madras High Court judge K Chandru said there was no legal sanctity for the move.

“The Centre has already issued clear directions to the UPSC. If IBPS cuts the quota of reserved castes to facilitate EWS system, it’s a blatant violation of the Constitution.” By contrast, the SBI, which implemented the EWS quota in recruitment last year, did so without cutting the existing reservations — by only reducing the open category recruitment.

The IBPS had recently invited applications for filling vacancies in Bank of India, Bank of Maharashtra, Punjab and Sind Bank and UCO Bank. The preliminary examinations were conducted on October 3, 10 and 11. The main exam and personal interview will be conducted based on the results in prelims.

Banking aspirants lament over EWS quota
Of the total 1,417 vacancies, 21 per cent (300 posts) were earmarked for OBCs against the statutory requirement of 27 per cent. Similarly, under the SC and ST category, 13 per cent (196 posts) and 6 per cent (89 posts) were reserved. The statutorily mandated reservation is 15 per cent and 7.5 per cent respectively for these communities. Interestingly, 142 posts (10 per cent of the total vacancies) have been allotted for EWS. About 50 per cent of the posts (690 vacancies) have been left for the unreserved category.

The recruitment was for probationary officers and management trainees in four nationalised banks across the country. Activist and alumnus of IIT-Madras, E Muralidharan, said the move has validated the apprehensions raised by activists and political parties that EWS quota will affect the reservation of the underprivileged.

“When cases were pending before the apex court, the Centre hastily implemented the quota. This is against the Constitution.” An employee of a nationalised bank, who wrote the examination, said, “Quota of 6 per cent from OBC and 3.5 per cent from SC/ST have been taken away for EWS. Thus, 142 posts which supposedly were filled by reserved candidates have gone to forward caste applicants.

This is sheer injustice and unacceptable.” When many States are yet to start issuing EWS certificates, the EWS candidates get lowest cut-off marks for qualifying main examinations.  Many banking job aspirants rued that IBPS has enforced 50 per cent cap on reservation without considering that cases were pending against EWS quota, not against the reservation for OBC, SC and ST.

Courtesy The Indian Express