Many degree colleges had almost completed their admissions by September first week and the state had completed the first round of junior college (FYJC) admissions. After the SC interim order, admissions across courses were stalled for over two months even as the state appealed to the court. The state, in November, decided to apply the interim order and continue admissions without the Maratha quota for 2020-21 academic year. Students from the Maratha community were then asked to apply under the open quota.
Of the 3.1 lakh first-year junior college seats in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, 17,844 seats were reserved under the quota and 2,923 students had applied. Of these students, 2,309 were allotted a seat in the first merit list that was announced before the Supreme Court interim stay on the quota on September 9. Their admissions remain safe even after Wednesday’s order.
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A month later, the state allowed Maratha candidates to avail themselves of the benefit of the 10% Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) quota. Despite allowing Maratha candidates to apply as EWS, the quota had a 68% vacancy across the state when admissions concluded. Next year, the decision will basically mean around 40,000 more FYJC seats will be open for students.
Medical aspirants, students and their parents from the open category, who were also one of the petitioners’ group, are relieved after the order. Medical students were the worst affected with the additional quota as their seats shrank by 12%, when they only have a few thousand seats available in the state. Dr Aparna Ranadive, one of the petitioners, said that the fight was not only for this batch, but for all students in future.