The government of Maharashtra has approved 16% reservation in government jobs and education for Marathas, the politically influential community in Maharashtra.
The state legislature on Thursday cleared the quota bill within minutes of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis tabling the legislation. The bill is called the Maharashtra State Reservation (of seats for admission in educational institutions in the state and for appointments in public services and posts under the state) for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act, 2018.
The community had demanded for reservation for a long time. In fact, its agitation for the same in July and August this year had taken a violent turn.
However, with the move, the caste reservation quota in the state will now reach 68% from the existing 52%. It will come into force as soon as Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao clears the law, though the bill could still face intense legal scrutiny.
The previous Congress-Nationalist Congress Party government too had given 16% quota to the Maratha community in 2014, which was later set aside by the court.
The reservation to the community that comprises around 32% population of the state, has been granted on the basis on the report by the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission (MSBCC) that has declared it as socially and educationally backward.
While no discussion took place on the bill, when Fadnavis tabled it in both the Houses one by one, reservation as a matter is still debatable given the paucity of jobs in the country. The bill only puts further pressure on businesses and educational institutions to meet the law whilst balancing the need for the right kind of talent.