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Maharashtra govt extends 10% EWS quota to Marathas in education and jobs

11:32 PM May 31, 2021 | Sanjay Jog

In a serious bid to pacify the Maratha community, which has threatened to launch an agitation for the restoration of 12% quota in education and 13% in government jobs after the Supreme Court scrapped it, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government on Monday issued a notification providing for 10% Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quota for admission in educational institutions and direct recruitment.

The students and job aspirants from the Maratha community can now avail of these benefits, provided the annual family income is less than Rs 8 lakh.

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The Maratha community was not in a position to take the benefit of 10% EWS quota when the reservation under the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act, 2018, was in force. The Maratha community, which has been classified as a SEBC, can now avail of the 10 per cent EWS quota. The state general administration department held by the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray issued the notification.

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The EWS quota will be applicable to the community from the period of interim stay on Maratha reservation granted by the Supreme Court on September 9, 2020, to the final verdict delivered on May 5 this year.

The EWS quota will be applicable for SEBC candidates whose appointments were pending before the interim stay. However, it will not be applicable to those candidates who have benefited from the SEBC quota in appointments and admissions, the government notification said.

The 10% quota is provided for the EWS among General Category candidates in government jobs and educational institutions. This was done by the BJP led government about two years ago by adding clauses for the same in the Indian Constitution (103rd Constitution Amendment Act, 2019).

The state government on September 24, 2020, had issued a notification providing 10% EWS benefits to the Maratha community but it could not be implemented due to objections raised by the Maratha community.

Today’s decision came days after Chhatrapati Sambhajiraje gave an ultimatum to the state government to provide justice to the Maratha community before June 6 or else be ready for an agitation. Sambhajiraje last week had asked the state government to provide benefits of 10% EWS quota to the Maratha community saying that it need not have to approach the Centre for the same. However, he had argued that the state government will have to relax a few conditions related to land holding or area of residence to extend the benefits.

On the other hand, the state government’s move comes close on the heels of the Supreme Court’s order on cancellation of 27% political reservation to the OBCs in local self government. Further, the Congress party is up in arms against the issuance of government resolution on May 7 scrapping the 33% reservation in promotions.

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