The dominant Maratha community in Maharashtra won’t benefit from the 10 per cent reservation in jobs and education announced by the Centre for economically weaker sections (EWS) in general category.
On Tuesday, a notification issued by the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis-led general administration department regarding the implementation of the 10 per cent quota in Maharashtra made it clear that the reservation won’t be applicable to the Maratha community.
Reaching out to EWS sections among upper castes ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the Narendra Modi government has extended a 10 per cent quota for them in government jobs and education. This reservation is over and above the existing 50 per cent quota for the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Castes.
Following the state Cabinet’s nod for replication of the Centre’s proposal in the state, the Fadnavis government, on Tuesday, notified the rules regarding the implementation of the 10 per cent quota. According to the notification, the latest benefit won’t be applicable to categories included in the recently-coined Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC).
Express Explained: Why Maharashtra has kept Marathas out of EWS quota
In the wake of the statewide Maratha quota protests, the state government had secured the legislature’s nod on November 30 last year to offer 16 per cent reservations to the community in jobs and education. To facilitate the move, the community was placed in the SEBC category.
While the state’s Bill on Maratha quota is yet to pass the test of judicial scrutiny — several petitions are being heard in the Bombay High Court — the state has clarified that the community, which accounts for roughly 33 per cent of the state’s total population, cannot avail the benefit under the 10 per cent EWS quota. Replicating the Centre’s move, poorer segments in the other reserved categories, too, have not been extended the benefit.
Families earning less than Rs 8 lakh annually and those holding agricultural land less than five acres among eligible castes can avail the benefit. “All exclusion criteria fixed by the Centre has also been replicated in the state,” a senior official said.
In Maharashtra, the government has said that new quota will be applicable from February 1.
In the case of educational institutions, it has also been applied for non-aided private institutions, with the exception of those who have secured a “minority” tag. The state has further said that the quota will be applied on the government’s ongoing mega recruitment drive, where 72,000 vacant jobs are targeted to be filled up in the coming two years.