The Maharashtra Legislature Thursday passed a bill proposing 16 per cent reservation in education and government jobs for Marathas, declared as socially and educationally backward class by the government.
The reservation will be in addition to the existing 52 per cent reservation in the state.
The reservation quantum in the state will rise to 68 per cent, with the passage of the bill. Marathas not in the ‘creamy layer’ would be eligible for the reservations.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who introduced the bill in the Legislature, thanked the Opposition for helping pass the bill unanimously.
The “Maharashtra StateReservation (of Seats for admission in Educational Institutions in the State and for appointments in the public services and posts under the State) for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act 2018″, won’t affect existing reservation provided to OBC, SC, ST, denotified nomadic tribes and special backward categories.
The bill was not listed in the day’s agenda. The government submitted a corrigendumto the day’s business after tabling the recommendations and summary of the findings of the State Backward Class Commission report along with the Action Taken Report.
Based on the Commission’s report, the government had declared Maratha community as “socially and educationally backward class of citizens” and proposed 16 per cent quota for them in jobs and education.
In June 2017, the State Backward Class Commission was asked to study the social, financial and educational status of the Maratha community. Its reporthad a sample survey of 40,962 families. Public hearings were conducted at 21 places where the panel got 1,93,651 personal memoranda and 814 from various organisations.
The legislation will apply for direct recruitments, appointments made in public services and posts in the state except super specialised posts in medical, technical and educational field, posts filled by transfer or deputation, temporary appointments of less than 45 days’ duration and single post in any cadre or grade.
It will also apply for admissions to educational institutions, including private educational institutions other than minority educational institutions, whether aided or unaided by the state.
These provision won’t applyin cases where selection process was initiated before the Act comes into force.
Fadnavis saidthe government feels Marathas are a socially and educationally backward class on basis of quantifiable data studied by the Commission.
It said they are entitled to reservation benefits and advantages enshrined in Articles 15 (4) and 16(4) of the Constitution.
The panel also suggested that looking at exceptional circumstances and extra-ordinary situations generated on declaring Marathas as socially and educationally backward and their consequential entitlement to reservation benefits, the government may take appropriate decision within constitutional provision to address the emerging scenario in the state.
The Maratha community, which comprises over 30 per cent of the state’s population, has been seeking reservation in government jobs and education for a long time. Their stir for the same in July and August this year had taken a violent turn.