The Uttar Pradesh Board of Madrasas will introduce the syllabus of the National Council of Educational Research and Training, or NCERT, from the next academic session that begins in March, reported ANI.

“Modern education will be given along with religious education,” Madrasa Education Council Chairperson Iftikhar Ahmed Javed said, according the news agency. “Now children in madrasa will be able to study Computers, Maths and Science.”

In November, the Waqf Board in Uttarakhand had also decided to introduce the NCERT syllabus in all the 103 madrasas that it runs across the state. The Uttarakhand Waqf Board also decided from this year’s academic session, madrasas will be open to children of all religions, and that a uniform dress code will be introduced as part of efforts to modernise education in the Islamic schools.

“The efforts to bring the students of madrasas in the mainstream is our priority,” Uttarakhand Waqf Board Chairman Shadab Shams had told The Hindu. “We will also try to get CBSE [Central Board of Secondary Education] or Uttarakhand State Board affiliations for the madrasas in the years to come.”

In September, the Uttar Pradesh government had started its survey of unrecognised madrassas to gather information such as source of funds, number of teachers, curriculum, among other details.

The decision to carry out the survey had stoked fears among madrassas and Muslim groups. The Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind had described the survey as a malicious attempt to demean the institutions. The Muslim group said it would protect the madrassas at all costs.