Maratha students say no to admission sans SEBC quota

Students of the Maratha community are irked with the decision of the state government to conduct all admissions to educational institutions without the reservation of seats for the Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC) quota. Students said they cannot be deprived of their right to secure seats under Maratha reservation in Maharashtra as the matter is still pending in the Supreme Court (SC).

Late night, on November 24, 2020, the state released a government resolution (GR) saying, "All admissions for the current academic year will be done without the 12 per cent SEBC quota. Students who have applied for admissions under SEBC quota post September 9 and have not been admitted will now be considered under the open category. However, admissions completed before the SC order dated September 9, 2020, of the interim stay will not be affected."

In response to this decision, students of the Maratha community said they cannot be compelled to apply under the open category. Rishikesh Kadwadkar, a student said, "It is unfair as securing admissions under Maratha reservation in Maharashtra is my right. We cannot be deprived of the 12 per cent seat reservation when there is no final order passed by the SC."

Tejaswini Karande, another student, said, "We understand all admissions were on hold for some time. But, the state cannot make hasty decisions and force all students to opt for seats under the open category. Also, the state government cannot make a decision before the SC has given a final verdict. The Maratha quota reservation matter is still being heard in the SC."

In addition, students aiming for admissions to medical programmes said they depend on reservation to secure seats in government-aided colleges. Revati Mane, a student said, "I want to secure a seat for the MBBS programme in a government-aided medical college in Maharashtra. The competition is way too high and the Maratha quota is my only way to secure a seat in a government medical college."

On September 9, the SC directed an interim stay on reservation in government jobs and educational institutions for candidates belonging to the Maratha community in Maharashtra. The state government halted all admission processes for courses, as it termed Marathas as a Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC). During the last hearing, on October 27, the SC adjourned the matter by four weeks.

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Free Press Journal