Mumbai: Amidst a growing unrest among the Maratha community over the Bhima-Koregaon incident, the government has increased the upper limit of the Economically Backward Class (EBC) to Rs 8 lakh from Rs 6 lakh. The government also announced an extension of monetary benefits to Maratha students and youths.
The Maratha Kranti Morcha had warned the government it would agitate on February 19 against the government over the demand of reservation and other issues. To douse the Maratha agitation, the government took an escape route through the benefits to the Marathas. Students from the Maratha community fall under EBC category, so they will have to pay only 50 per cent of the professional course fees while the remaining would be paid by the government to the institute.
The students eligible for the EBC scheme can fill their income details online from January 25 and also get EBC certificate online, which they can produce at the time of admission for fees concession. Earlier, the students had to pay the full fees to the institute and then the government would reimburse it to the students’ bank account under the Rajshri Shahu Maharaj Scheme.
The same scheme is applicable to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, who were eligible for 100 per cent reimbursement and OBC students 50 per cent. Students trying to get placements through their colleges will be eligible for the reimbursement under the scheme.
The government also extended help to the Maratha youths by providing loan for business up to Rs 10 lakh through Annasaheb Patil Arthik Vikas Mahamandal. The repayment tenure of the loan will be five years and the interest amount, about Rs 6 lakh, will be paid by the government to the banks directly. If a group of four to five youths come forward for agri-based business, they will be eligible for a loan of Rs 50 lakh and the government will pay 50 per cent of the interest amount, which is Rs 15 lakh, to the bank.
The government identified 24 types of courses under skill development, where the Central government has granted Rs 128 crore to the State government for the fees of the courses. 605 courses have been identified by the government, where 100 per cent fees of the courses will be paid by the government. The government also decided to open hostels for the Maratha students. If there are no buildings for hostels, the government will provide PWD’s defunct buildings for hostels. The PWD will repair and hand it over to an NGO or educational institute to run the hostel for Maratha students.