The Maharashtra government on Tuesday approved the first report submitted by a committee led by retired high court judge Sandeep Shinde. This committee was tasked with determining the procedure for awarding Kunbi caste certificates to the Marathas residing in the Marathwada region.
According to an official statement, the issuance of Kunbi certificates has now commenced. The Kunbi community, primarily linked with agriculture, falls under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category in Maharashtra, entitling them to reservation advantages in education and government employment.
During the state cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, it was also determined that the OBC Commission would gather updated empirical data to evaluate the educational and social disadvantages experienced by the Maratha community.
These government actions were taken in response to activist Manoj Jarange's ongoing hunger strike advocating for Maratha community quotas, which had reached its seventh day on Tuesday. Furthermore, the Marathwada region had experienced incidents of violence.
Govt's responsibility to provide reservation to Marathas: CM Shinde
In a statement, the Chief Minister's office (CMO) said, “The first report of the Justice Sandeep Shinde (retd) committee has been submitted. The process of granting Kunbi certificates to Marathas has started."
Addressing reporters following the cabinet meeting, the Chief Minister expressed that it is the government's responsibilty to ensure reservation for the Maratha community.
"The government is committed to giving the Maratha community a reservation which is full proof and that can pass the legal muster. The reservation will be given without disturbing the quotas of other communities," CM Shinde said.
Other important decisions taken in cabinet meeting
Furthermore, the cabinet resolved to officially designate drought conditions in 40 talukas and revised the criteria for relief and rehabilitation in the event of natural disasters, raising the threshold from 2 hectares to 3 hectares.
The cabinet also made the decision to modify existing legislation in order to accelerate proceedings in pending chitfund cases within the courts.