The Punjab administration on Tuesday withdrew its order directing female teachers in government schools from wearing “indecent and provocative” clothes, 24 hours after it issued the directive. Punjab Education Minister Aruna Chaudhary suspended two department officials with immediate effect after the order had drawn outrage from teachers across the state.

“These instructions reflect an old mindset, and I do not agree with them,” Chaudhary said. “[Telling] what girls or ladies should wear is not done. We are encouraging girls to do their best in their respective fields and this defeats the whole purpose,” The New Indian Express reported her as saying.

On Monday, the Director General School Education of Punjab had issued a circular asking women teachers in government-run schools in the state not to wear “indecent and provocative clothes like jeans, tops and fashionable dresses” to work. The order had alleged that the state had received complaints about the “bright dresses” women wore and their “bad effect” on students, according to PTI. However, it made no mention of a dress code for male teachers, including a rule on wearing jeans.

Chaudhary suspended Deputy Director Amrish Shukla and Assistant Director Amarbir Singh of the Punjab Education Department for the “controversial” order that used “denigrating” language against female teachers and was issued without proper authorisation. Emphasising that it was the age of women’s empowerment, she said such a mindset needed to be condemned.

After issuing the order, Singh had told The Indian Express that “jeans and tops are indecent and not part of Punjabi culture”. “They can wear suits, but there has to be a proper dupatta,” he said. “Even saris are okay, but not jeans and tops. Teachers are role models for children and they have to wear something which keeps the body completely covered.”