Following the lines of states like Gujarat, Maharashtra government, in a revolutionary move, has introduced a radical fee waiver scheme, which extends to all the students irrespective of caste or creed.
In a press conference initiated after the State Cabinet Meeting, incumbent Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Mr. Devendra Fadnavis announced the ‘Rajarishi Shahu Maharaj Fee / Shulk Pratipurti Yojana’, which was launched initially targeting the SC / ST students and OBC students.
To quote the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis himself, “SC/ST students had 100 per cent fee waiver while OBC students had 50 per cent concession. It will now be extended to all students with income limit of Rs 6 lakhs and who have secured more than 60 per cent marks at the time of admission. Those with income limit upto Rs 2.5 lakhs will have no condition,” he said.
According to the estimate of the Chief Minister, around 6,000 students in government colleges and 1.45 lakhs in private colleges will benefit with the decision.
With this, the Maharashtra government, walking on the lines of progressive states like Gujarat, has introduced income linked reservation schemes, which would benefit the real backward and oppressed classes, irrespective of caste, creed and race, in the long run. Besides, by initiating this move, Devendra Fadnavis has successfully aimed at two birds with a stone:-
Not only will this move increase the campaign of changing the basis of reservation, this move also caters to the agitating Marathas, who are the latest after the Patidar community in Gujarat, and the Jat community in Haryana, to campaign for reservation in public sector institutions, despite being financially and apparently, socially well off.
The movement of the Marathas, who wish some reservation on the same lines as the Patidars of Gujarat, apparently lead by anarchist Hardik Patel, turned ugly, as the protest against a dastardly rape and murder of a young girl by allegedly three Dalit youngsters turned violent in Ahmadnagar, threatening to engulf the entire Maharashtra in one go, to the tune of eager opposition members, who like vultures, wait for every single spark to be turned into a devastating fire for political mileage, that could hurt both Devendra Fadnavis’ government and Maharashtra in one go. The income based fee waiver scheme, or an indirect way of income based reservation.
How is this move beneficial?
For those, who have been at the wrong and receiving end of the malice that is reservation, this is nothing less than a blessing. To elaborate the mentioned points in the CM’s statement, following is a rough sketch of the benefits offered:-
- ‘Those with income limit upto Rs 2.5 lakhs will have no condition’ Simply put, it means anyone with an annual family income of below 2.5 lakhs will have a hassle free education at a college of his / her choice in Maharashtra.
- ‘It will now be extended to all students with income limit of Rs 6 lakhs and who have secured more than 60 per cent marks at the time of admission’ To be specific, this clearly means, that admission in colleges of Maharashtra will be marked on the basis of merit, apart from income based fee waiver scheme, already a raging success in some of the premium management institutes in India, including IIM Ahmedabad.
This is not all. Especially in case of medical colleges, the government of Maharashtra shall pay the interest of the educational loan taken by the students, provided they fall under the ambit as mentioned. In the long run, as mentioned by Mr. Fadnavis himself, over 35000 students in government institutions and some 3 lakh students from private colleges will benefit from the same.
While he refused to delve deep into the current Maratha agitation, Devendra Fadnavis did mention about it. In his opinion, lack of opportunities in the field of education could be one of the main reasons behind the same.
To quote him, “In the last 20 years, education has become a business in the state and the common man is finding it difficult to get admission.”
However, terming the decision as ‘historic’, he also mentioned, ‘The investment we are making in education sector will yield good results in times to come. We are making provision of Rs 1,000 crore this year and later budgetary provision will be done.’
Call it a well crafted political move, or something in line with the fervor regarding the surgical strikes of INDIA, but the move made by Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis will give millions of students, who otherwise are left feeling cheated, a new chance to contribute towards the growth and development of both the state of Maharashtra and INDIA. There are still some legal hurdles to be crossed, but if successful, Devendra Fadnavis shall go down in history, as one of the mavericks, who had the guts, to make INDIA great again!
Press Trust of India