The state government is planning to bring a new law for providing special category reservation for orphans aspiring to take competitive exams. The decision was announced by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at Raj Bhawan on Wednesday.
While addressing a gathering at an awards function organised by Mantralaya Vidhimandal and Vartahar Sangha, Fadnavis said: “A young, bright orphan girl approached me recently. The student wants to crack the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC). Now, she has scored well. But under the general category, she does not qualify. She is short of a few marks. But if we consider her case under reservation, she qualifies for the MPSC. The dilemma is that if we should consider orphans under the general category or backward category.”
In the current system, there is no provision to categorise orphan children who are not aware of their parents’ identities.
He added: “I personally feel that such cases, where orphan students are unaware of their parents’ identities, should be accommodated under the special category. But at the moment, there is no legal or constitutional provision to support the theory.”
The chief minister said it is the first time that such a case has come up. “It has got us thinking. I feel it is our duty to provide a solution and help the child fulfil her dreams,” he said.
Fadnavis added that there is no provision in the current system. “Therefore, we have decided to evolve a special act to accommodate orphan students under special category reservation,” he said.
While Fadnavis reckons there are many welfare schemes to assist such students, the larger issue before the state is giving an identity to them. The government will bring a draft Bill soon, he said.