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Maharashtra CM announces survey by state commission to assess backwardness of Marathas

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Mumbai, Jan 20 (PTI) The state Commission for Backward Classes will conduct a survey from January 23 to asses the social, economic and educational backwardness of the Maratha community, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said on Saturday.

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The Maratha community has been demanding reservations in government jobs and education under the Other Backward Class (OBC) category.

The chief minister directed the administration to carry out this survey in three different shifts on war footing.

Shinde chaired a meeting on Maratha reservation issue at his official residence here and gave instructions to divisional commissioners, collectors, commissioners of municipal corporations and other senior officials via a video link.

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The survey announcement comes on a day when Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange embarked on a protest march to Mumbai from Jalna with thousands of supporters. He has announced to launch an indefinite fast for the Maratha quota in Mumbai from January 26.

Jarange has demanded the issuance of blanket Kunbi (OBC) caste certificates to all Marathas.

At the meeting, Shinde directed officials to inform villagers about the survey exercise and share detais with gram panchayat offices.

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"In order to check the social, economic and educational backwardness of the Maratha community, the state Commission for Backward Classes is going to start a survey on war footing from January 23. This work should be given a top priority and the survey should be carried out accurately with punctuality", the chief minister said.

The survey will be conducted from January 23 to January 31, which will cover Maratha and non-Maratha open categories.

An estimated 2.50 crore families will be surveyed. Renowned institutions like the Gokhale Institute in Pune and IIPS will assist in carrying out this excercise, the chief minister said.

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Ajit Ranade of Pune-based Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics said more than 1.25 lakh enumerators, including teachers, gram sevaks, anganwadi workers and talathis, will be engaged for the survey, which will be completed in about eight days.

He also said training for enumerators started on Saturday in 36 districts, 27 municipalities and seven cantonment areas.

Shinde also asked the administration to carry out the training of enumerators and officers properly and maintain a daily record. PTI PR NSK

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