In a report submitted to the state government on Thursday, 15 November, the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission (MSBCC) cleared the way for granting reservation to the Maratha community in the state, The Indian Express reported.
If the resolution is passed by the government, members of the Maratha community will get quotas in government jobs and education.
The commission, headed by Justice MG Gaikwad, concluded that the Maratha community was socio-economically backward, thus eligible for reservation.
A government official told PTI that the commission went through 2 lakh memorandums submitted to it, along with surveys of 45,000 families as well as empirical data on the social, financial and educational backwardness of the Maratha community for its report.
WHAT DID THE REPORT SAY
Despite their political and demographic dominance (the community constitutes 33 percent of the state’s population), as per the report, the percentage of Marathas below the poverty line was at 37.28 percent, higher than the 25 percent base line.
In addition, 62.78 percent of the community members owned small or marginal land, much higher than the 48.25 percent base that is considered social-economically low.
The report also highlighted that 60 percent of Maratha families lived in mud-houses and lagged behind the national average literacy index – both being crucial measures for getting the socially backward status.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
The winter session of the Maharashtra Legislature, beginning on Monday, 19 November, is likely to discuss the Maratha reservation during the two-week-long session.
In a meeting on 14 November, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that his government would complete all legal formalities by the end of November to grant reservations to the Maratha community.
In July, a shutdown called by Maratha outfits to demand for reservation had turned violent as protesters clashed with police and blocked roads in several parts of the state. CM Fadnavis had then appealed protesters for time, so the government could initiate the steps to fulfil the community’s demand.
(With inputs from PTI and The Indian Express)