Hyderabad: Telangana chief minister K.Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) on Tuesday instructed all educational institutions, private and public, to teach Telugu as a compulsory subject from classes I to XII.

The decision was taken at a meeting with officials from various departments to decide the dates of the World Telugu Conference (WTC). Rao said only educational institutions teaching Telugu as a compulsory subject will be given recognition and permission to function, said a press release from his office.

Urdu, which is one of the state’s official languages, will be offered as an optional language. Rao also asked the Telangana Sahitya Academy to prepare a syllabus for Telugu subject to be taught in primary, secondary and higher education and also at the intermediate (classes XI and XII) level. The syllabus for the language will be fixed by the Sahitya Academy and educational institutions “are not expected to print textbooks and teach syllabus according to their whims and fancies", the press release quoted Rao as saying.

The Telangana government will be strict in implementing the policy to see that Telugu is taught as a compulsory subject, Rao told officials.

In the same meeting, Rao also said that all public and private establishments and institutions in Telangana should display their names in Telugu on their signboards. “It is up to them to write their firm’s names in other languages too," Rao told officials, according to the release.

During the meeting, it was also decided to conduct the first-ever WTC in the state from 15 to 19 December. The chief minister also announced the sanction of Rs50 crore for organizing the event. At the WTC, conferences on how to preserve, protect and enrich Telugu in the Telangana region will be held, said the release, adding that eminent writers in other languages who have won the Sahitya Academy and Jnanpith awards will also be invited for the programme.

The state government will invite the president, the prime minister and vice-president of India for the inaugural and valedictory meetings.