Thiruvananthapuram: In a significant decision, the Public Service Commission (PSC) in Kerala on Monday approved a government proposal to make proficiency in Malayalam compulsory for getting state government jobs.
A meeting of PSC members presided over by its Chairman K S Radhakrishnan cleared the proposal submitted by the Administrative Reforms Department of the state government, a PSC spokesperson said.
This would mean those candidates who have done studies in non-Malayalam medium will have to qualify a proficiency test in Malayalam during their probation period after joining.
Those who had studied in Malayalam medium upto 10th standard would be exempted from such examination.
According to PSC sources, the examination would test the reading and writing ability of the candidate in Malayalam.
Cultural leaders and academics in Kerala have been pressing for this decision for quite some time, especially after proliferation of English medium schools in the state with people increasingly preferring to send their children to such schools.
Some recent studies have shown that the number of children who cannot read and write Malayalam have increased sharply in recent times.
Welcoming the PSC`s decision, eminent writer Akbar Kakkattil said, "This is most appropriate, though it came a bit late."
"This is not just a decision that has come as a boost to Malayalam but also a major step forward in further democratising the governance," Kakkattil, also vice president of the Kerala Sahitya Akademi, told PTI.
"Even after five-and-a-half decades of formation of the Kerala state on the basis of language, there are government offices where files are prepared in English," he added.