The political analysts believe that the latest 10% quota for economically weak people from the general category may prove to be an electoral master stroke for the incumbent Modi government, right before the all important general elections.
Even though the quota is for economically weak sections, statistics show that a major bulk of Indian population gets covered under the criterias to avail the scheme. the proposed criteria for determining who is “economically weak”, and, therefore, need the proposed reservation: an annual income below Rs 8 lakh; landholding less than 5 acres; residential house below 1,000sqft; residential plot not measuring more than 100 square yards in a notified municipality and less than 200 square yards in non-notified areas.
Now let’s compare these creterias with the official numbers. Data suggest about 95 per cent, approximately 127 crore Indians earn less Rs 8 lakh a year. As far as the landholding is concerned, In India about 86 per cent land holdings come under the category of 5 acres.
While more than 80 per cent of households in India have houses smaller than 500sqft.
According to reports, there are only 1 crore families, that is 4% of the total population, which earns more than 8 lakh per annum. The agricultural census for 2015-16 showed that 86.2 per cent of all land-holdings in the country were under 5 acres, the publication mentioned. Also, the NSSO report on housing conditions in 2012 revealed that even the richest 20 per cent of people had houses with an average floor area of exactly 500sqft.
Further contrary to popular misconception, the government’s news quota is not for Hindu upper castes. While it most certainly covers the Hindu upper caste, generals from otherwise religious communities are also equality eligible to avail this scheme.