MUMBAI: Candidates belonging to Educationally and Socially Backward Class (ESBC) category who were given a temporary appointment of eleven months in 2014 by the Maharashtra government before the Bombay High Court stayed the quota will be regularised, state PWD Minister Ashok Chavan told the Legislative Assembly on Monday and added the state Public Service Commission (MPSC) has been directed to complete the pending recruitment process by allowing SEBC (Maratha) aspirants to opt either the EWS or general category.
Chavan also said the state government has decided that the age limit for the government job aspirants from the SEBC category will now be 43 years and their exam fee is also reduced.
Based on recommendations of the Narayan Rane committee report, the then Congress-NCP government had announced the 16 per cent quota for Marathas under the ESBC category in 2014, which was later stayed by the high court.
Chavan, who heads the cabinet sub-committee on the Maratha quota, said this decision was being taken to complete the recruitment process stopped due to the legal battle for restoring the Maratha quota.
"Candidates who were selected through the ESBC quota in 2014 before the stay by the high Court and those who got temporary recruitment for 11 months through the open category based on merit will benefit by this decision of the MVA government," the minister said.
Chavan said due to the legal case concerning the Maratha quota and the COVID-19 pandemic, the recruitment process of candidates under the Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC) has been stopped and job aspirants from this category are reaching the upper age limit.
"Hence the age limit for SEBC candidates will now be 43 years and the exam fees of SEBC candidates has also been reduced," he said.
Chavan said the state government has sought a legal opinion regarding those SEBC candidates who were earlier selected for jobs before the Supreme Court granted an interim stay in September 2020 but were not given appointment letters.
Chavan said the MPSC has been directed to complete the pending recruitment process by allowing SEBC candidates to choose either the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) or general category.
The Supreme Court on May 5 struck down the Maharashtra government's 2018 law granting reservation to the Maratha community in admissions and government jobs while hearing a batch of petitions that challenged the Maharashtra State Reservation for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act, 2018.
The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government of the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress is facing flak from opposition BJP and members of Maratha organisations for its "failure" to retain the Maratha quota.
The issue of MPSC recruitment came on the anvil following suicide by a 24-year-old aspirant in Pune over the delay in conducting the final job interview.