Maharashtra Education Minister Vinod Tawde Wednesday announced that caste validity certificate for the Socially and Economically Backward Class (SEBC) category was not mandatory for admissions to engineering and other professional courses.
Tawde made the announcement in the Legislative Assembly after the Question Hour.
The move will benefit students from the Maratha community, declared as socially and educationally backward class (SEBC) by the government.
The Higher and Technical Education Minister said the meeting of the admission controlling authority was held on Wednesday morning under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
The admission process for engineering and other professional courses for the academic year 2019-20 has already begun, he said.
The issue of caste validity certificate for the newly-created SEBC was discussed during the meeting, he said, adding that there was a shortage of staff for providing the caste certificates.
The SEBC category is not a part of the Maharashtra Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), De-notified Tribes (DNT), Nomadic Tribes (NT), Other Backward Classes (OBC), Special Backward Category (Regulation of Issuance and Verification of) Caste Certificate Act, 2000.
Hence, caste validity certificate for SEBC category students should not be insisted till further instructions, he said.
For non-SEBC students, there will be relaxation as per the Supreme Court directives, he added.
In November last year, the Maharashtra Legislature had passed a bill proposing 16 per cent reservation in education and government jobs for Marathas.