Explained: Maharashtra cabinet approves draft bill to extend 10% reservation to Marathas

explained: maharashtra cabinet approves draft bill to extend 10% reservation to marathas

Explained: Maharashtra cabinet approves draft bill to extend 10% reservation to Marathas

NEW DELHI: The Mahayuti govt of chief minister Eknath Shinde on Tuesday introduced and approved a draft bill in Maharashtra cabinet, granting a 10% quota to the Maratha community in government jobs and education.

What does the bill ensure?

The draft bill says that the community is eligible for reservation on grounds of social and educational backwardness. It points out that the state government has the right to prepare a list of communities who are socially and educationally backward in the state.

Based on report

The quota decision follows a report submitted by the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission that the Maratha community is socially and educationally backward.

The survey showed 94% of the farmers who committed suicides in the state belonged to the Maratha community. It also showed that the percentage of the Maratha community is low in secondary and higher education.

It also says that the Maratha community has inadequate representation in state government jobs and requires a quota. The survey report also say that the community was facing a decline in farm income, the division of land holdings and the lack of emphasis on education for the youth. This had resulted in a decline in the economic status of the community. The survey report also says that the community is largely dependent on agriculture but this sector had been declining.

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Background

This is the third time in a decade that Maharashtra introduced such a bill, each time before an election and based on a survey which concluded that the community is backward. The state faces both Lok Sabha and Assembly polls this year amid a sustained agitation by Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange.

Each earlier legislation granting Maratha quota was struck down in court, mainly because the apex court has upheld that reservations cannot cross the 50% limit. In the state, reservations are already 52%. With a 10% Maratha quota, the reservations will reach 62% and face a legal challenge.

Challenges

The state already has a 10% quota for the Economically Weaker Section in which Marathas are the biggest beneficiaries, claiming 85% of the reservation.

The Maratha agitation has pitted it against the more populous OBC community which fears the dilution of its quota. Meanwhile, some Muslim leaders have made a fresh demand for 5% reservation for the community.

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