The Uttar Pradesh government has issued an order making it mandatory for students and teachers at madrasas to sing the national anthem every day before classes, ANI reported on Thursday.

The state Madrasa Education Board had taken the decision to make the national anthem mandatory on March 24, and had issued an order for its implementation on May 9, India Today reported.

However, madrasas were closed from March 30 to May 11 during the Islamic month of Ramzan. The order came into effect from Thursday with the reopening of the educational institutions.

The order applies to recognised, aided as well as non-aided madrasas.

District minority welfare officers have been asked to monitor the Islamic religious schools to ensure that they comply with the order.

Danish Azad Ansari, the minister of state for minority welfare, said that the government wants madrasa students to be imbued with patriotism, The New Indian Express reported. He said that students will learn social values through the singing of the national anthem.

“The government is working for the upliftment of madrasa education,” Ansari said. “Now the students study Islamic religious scriptures along with other subjects including math, science and computers.”

The newspaper quoted anonymous office-bearers of the Madrasa Teachers Union as saying that normally, Hamd, or praises to Allah, and Salam, salutations to the Prophet Mohammed, were read in the educational institutions. The national anthem was not mandatory in madrasas, the office-bearers said.

In 2017, the Uttar Pradesh Madrasa Board had made it mandatory for students and teachers to sing the national anthem and hoist the tricolour on Independence Day.