Kerala Governor P Sathasivam on Tuesday approved the ordinance making Malayalam mandatory in schools across the state, including those under the CBSE and ICSE boards. The rule will come into effect from the next academic session and schools violating the law could lose their No Objection Certificates, reported Mathrubhumi.

According to the law, school authorities have been barred from asking students not to speak in Malayalam. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said if schools do not obey the ordinance, a fine of Rs 5,000 will be imposed against the school principal.

Vijayan, however, clarified that students from other states and foreign countries who come to Kerala to study will not be asked to learn Malayalam to pass Class X.

In 2012, a division bench of the Kerala High Court had struck down the government’s rule that had made Malayalam mandatory subject in CBSE schools. The court had said that students from other states were also studying in ICSE and CBSE schools, and that the language should not be a compulsory subject for them.

The previous Oommen Chandy-led government in Kerala had made knowing Malayalam a mandatory requirement in order to get government jobs.