What is the full form of EWS ?

Definition of EWS

Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) is a term used in India to describe the groups of people or families with the lowest incomes who have restricted access to necessities like food, housing, healthcare, and education.

According to the Indian government, EWS refers to households having an annual income of up to Rs. 1 lakh (about $1,300 USD) or as otherwise determined by the state government. Under the reservation policy of the Indian government, a category known as EWS is given special privileges and quotas in employment, education, and other government programs. The government of India introduced a 10% reservation to this category of people.

Government policies for EWS

The Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) has been targeted by a number of policies and initiatives that the Indian government has implemented. Here are some of them −

  • Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) - In order to provide banking services to the unbanked population, including EWS and Low-Income Group (LIG) families, the government developed the PMJDY financial inclusion program. The program offers a fundamental savings bank account, a RuPay debit card, and access to several financial services including credit, insurance, and pension.

  • Reservation in Education and Employment - For EWS and other disadvantaged groups, the government has set aside a specific portion of seats in educational institutions and government positions. The reservation policy seeks to offer EWS and other underprivileged groups in society equal opportunity for advancement.

  • Food Security - Through the Public Distribution System (PDS) and other welfare programs like the Mid-Day Meal Program and the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), the government offers subsidised food grains to EWS households.

  • National Food Security Act (NFSA) - The NFSA is a government assistance program designed to give food to the needy and weaker members of society, such as EWS families, at reduced costs. A substantially subsidised monthly supply of 5 kg of grains is given to qualified individuals under the program.

These are some of the policies and programs launched by the government to uplift the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) of the society.

Benefits and schemes for EWS

The Government of India has launched several schemes and programs to provide benefits and support to the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) of the society. Here are some of the major benefits and schemes −

  • Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) - PMAY is a housing scheme launched by the government to provide affordable housing to EWS and Low-Income Group (LIG) families. The scheme provides financial assistance to eligible beneficiaries for the construction or renovation of their homes.

  • National Health Protection Scheme (Ayushman Bharat) - Ayushman Bharat is a health insurance scheme launched by the government to provide financial protection to EWS and Low-Income Group (LIG) families against catastrophic health expenses. The scheme provides cashless hospitalisation benefits up to Rs. 5 lakhs (approx. USD 6,600) per family per year.

  • Employment Reservation - The government has reserved a certain percentage of seats in educational institutions and government jobs for EWS and other disadvantaged groups. The reservation policy aims to provide equal opportunities for the upliftment of EWS and other backward sections of the society.

  • Mid-Day Meal Scheme - The Mid-Day Meal Scheme is a welfare program launched by the government to provide nutritious meals to school children from disadvantaged sections of the society, including EWS families. The scheme aims to improve the nutritional status of children and increase school attendance and retention.

These are some of the major benefits and schemes launched by the government for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) of the society.

Challenges faced by EWS

Due to their poor economic standing and restricted access to essential resources, Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in India have various kinds of difficulties. Some of the major challenges faced by EWS are −

  • Poverty − Due to their poor income and lack of resources, EWS families frequently struggle to satisfy their basic requirements, including food, housing, and healthcare. This creates a vicious cycle of poverty and hardship that is challenging to escape.

  • Educationy − Due to budgetary restrictions and the absence of high-quality schools in their areas, EWS students frequently have restricted access to education. Due to this, there are less prospects for economic and social mobility as well as low literacy rates.

  • Healthcarey − Due to financial limitations and a lack of healthcare facilities in their areas, EWS families frequently do not have access to high-quality healthcare treatments. As a result, there are worse health outcomes and increased rates of morbidity and mortality.

  • Discriminationy − Because of their social and economic standing, EWS families frequently experience prejudice and marginalisation. This restricts their access to resources and opportunities and keeps them in a state of poverty.

These are a few of the main difficulties that India's Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) encounter. Government, civic society, and the business sector must work together to address these issues in order to give EWS families access to basic resources, enhance healthcare and education, advance inclusive policies, and provide employment opportunities.


Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) are a vulnerable group of people in India who suffer several difficulties as a result of their poor economic standing and lack of access to essential resources. To address the underlying causes of the poverty and misery that EWS families experience, there is still more work to be done. We can guarantee that every person of India has the chance to have a dignified and full life, regardless of their economic and social standing, by striving toward a more equal and just society.


Q1. What is EWS reservation in education?

Ans. A fixed proportion of seats at educational institutions are set aside for students who fall under the EWS category under the concept known as EWS reservation. This strategy intends to give kids from low-income backgrounds access to high-quality education.

Q2. How is the EWS identified and verified for government schemes?

Ans. The procedure of self-declaration or verification by a recognized authority is used to identify and validate the EWS. The Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC), among other databases, are used by the government to locate and target eligible recipients.

Q3. How can EWS individuals apply for government schemes?

Ans. EWS persons can submit an application for these programs either online at the official websites of the programs in question or in person at specified government offices. Aadhaar cards, bank account information, and income certificates are just a few of the documentation that certain programmes can need.

Updated on: 17-May-2023


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