EWS Reservation: SC seeks Centre’s reply in plea for 10% reservation in CTET

EWS Reservation: SC seeks Centre’s reply in plea for 10% reservation in CTET

Shruti Mahajan

The Supreme Court  today issued notice to the Centre, the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE), and the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE) in a plea seeking 10 per cent reservation for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in the Central Teacher Eligibility Test (CTET).

The CTET is a test introduced to recruit teachers under the aegis of the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development. It is conducted by the CBSE.

The Vacation Bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and Sanjiv Khanna today sought a reply from the respondents, returnable in July.

The petition filed by CTET aspirants belonging to the EWS prays for the implementation of 103rd Constitutional amendment with respect to this exam. The petition states that the benefits extended to the candidates belonging to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backwards Classes should also be extended to those belonging to EWS.

When the petition was mentioned before the Court on Tuesday, the Court had expressed its inclination to not entertain the plea. It was stated that the issue of reservation will arise only at the stage of recruitment, not at the stage of an eligibility exam. However, the Court subsequently listed the matter for hearing on May 16.

Today, during the hearing, the Court observed that reservation is a policy decision and the Court does not interfere in policy matters unless there is a gross violation.

Having said so, the Court issued notice returnable in the first week  of July, when the case will be heard next.

The petitioners were represented by Advocates Pushkar Sharma and Prashant Shukla.

The Economic Reservation Bill was passed by both Houses of Parliament in January this year. Three days after it was approved by Parliament, the President accorded his assent for the legislation. However, even as Presidential assent was pending, the NGO Youth for Equality moved the Supreme Court challenging the legislation.

Two days after it received Presidential assent, on January 14, the Economic Reservation Act came into force.

Subsequently, a slew of petitions came to be filed in Supreme Court challenging the amendment. The Supreme Court had issued notice in the matter on January 25.

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