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Maratha quota row: Maharashtra cabinet approves ordinance on reservation in post-graduate medical courses

Mumbai: The Maharashtra Cabinet on Friday gave its approval to promulgate an ordinance to amend the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Reservation Act, 2018 to provide reservation to Maratha students in post-graduate medical courses.

The cabinet also gave its approval to reimburse the fees to the candidates from the general category, who will be affected following the promulgation of the ordinance.

A minister said the general category students can seek admission under management quota in private colleges. The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court had disallowed to grant 16 percent reservation to Maratha community for admissions to post-graduate medical courses on the grounds that the admission process had begun much earlier.

The Supreme Court had upheld the high court's decision.

 Maratha quota row: Maharashtra cabinet approves ordinance on reservation in post-graduate medical courses

A protest demanding reservation for the Maratha community. File image. PTI

Talking to reporters after the cabinet meeting, Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil said the draft of the ordinance is being sent to the Governor for promulgation. "The ordinance will provide relief to those students who had already got admission under Maratha quota, but were affected after the process was stayed by the court. Now, the third round of the admission would start," he said.

Those students from the general category, who will be affected, should try for admissions in private colleges and the government will reimburse their fees, he said. The students from open/general category should seek management quota and the government will assist them, Patil added.

According to him, the state government will approach the Supreme Court to extend the admission time frame from 25 to 31 May.

"We will also seek additional 213 seats in the medical courses," he said.

A meeting has been scheduled on 21 May on this issue, the minister said, adding that demand from other states is also being addressed to.

"We will move the court to seek reservation be applied for the additional seats," he said.

The minister also said the state government will file caveats in the Bombay High Court and its Aurangabad and Nagpur benches and the apex court to ensure the ordinance is not challenged.

Meanwhile, a statement from the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) said the cabinet also reviewed the drought situation, El-Nino effect, weather-related predictions, water storage in various dams, fodder availability and seeds stock. Currently, 5,493 tankers are in operation in 4,331 villages. Rs 162 crore have been given for fodder camps.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis directed to speed up issuance of ration cards in rural areas, especially in drought-prone areas. He also directed the local administration to ensure more works under the Employment Guarantee Scheme (EGS).

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Updated Date: May 17, 2019 15:57:32 IST