In the wake of the Supreme Court’s order cancelling the Maratha quota in excess of the 50% cap, the Maharashtra Government proposes to provide a slew of benefits to the politically influential Maratha community which constitutes 32% of the state’s population.
Some of the sops will be in the form of financial assistance, increase in the quantum of education loan and fellowship, training for non-SSC, matriculates, undergraduates and graduates; and facilitate such trained youth to get jobs in various sectors.
A senior MVA minister told the Free Press Journal, '‘There are a number of proposals on the table including scholarships and education loans, additional financial allocation to the Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Research Training and Human Development Institute (SARTHI) and the Annasaheb Patil Financial Backward Development Corporation to provide funds to the Maratha community. In addition, the government will go for a mega recruitment of about 70,000 posts which could not take off pending Supreme Court order.’’ Further, the government will offer benefits to the Maratha community under the 10% reservation provided by the Centre for the Economically Weaker Section.
The government also proposes to facilitate concessional loans to the self employed, skilled and unskilled youths. Already, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who holds the finance and planning department, has said the government will compensate the Maratha community.
Another minister said the government may explore an array of benefits offered under the EWS quota at par with OBC. ''The government may also consider tweaking the age limit for the Maratha youth to provide more preparation time for examinations. SARTHI can increase the scholarship and fellowship benefits. The Maratha youths fromfamilies with an yearly income of Rs 2 lakh will get 50% rebate in education fees from the EBS quota and the balance 50% can be borne by the state government through SARTHI,’’ he added.
Further, SARTHI will create data of passed and unpassed youths from the Maratha community and they can be imparted training for skill development