The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Friday amended a legislation, to make securing a pass in Tamil language paper compulsory for recruitment to State government services, with retrospective effect, from December 1, 2021.

The Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Bill to amend The Tamil Nadu Government Servants (Conditions of Service) Act, 2016 said that as per Section 21 of this Act no person shall be eligible for appointment to any service by direct recruitment unless he has an adequate knowledge of the official language of the State, that is Tamil.

The said section also enables the candidates who do not possess adequate knowledge in Tamil at the time of application to apply for recruitment, if otherwise qualified and get appointed, subject to the condition that they should pass a 'second class language test' in Tamil within a period of two years from the date of their appointment, failing which they shall be discharged from service.

Moving the amendment Bill, Finance and Human Resources Management Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan said the amendment is considering legalities.

In order to ensure 100 per cent recruitment of Tamil youth in all State government departments and State Public Sector enterprises in the State, a compulsory Tamil language paper has been introduced in all competitive examinations for direct recruitment conducted by all recruiting agencies and orders were issued accordingly in a Government Order dated 1 December 2021. (GO (Ms) No 133 Human Resources Management (M) Department) To give statutory effect to the executive order, the government has decided to amend the Act suitably and also to validate any action taken or anything done based on the said order.

The Bill inserted a new Section (21-A) after Section 21 which read: "Notwithstanding anything contained in Section 21, on and from the 1st day of December 2021, any person who applies for recruitment to any post in any service by direct recruitment shall pass the Tamil language paper in the examination conducted for the recruitment with not less than forty percent marks." T Velmurugan (DMK) wanted the Bill to be re-examined to ensure 100 per cent recruitment of Tamils in government service. Velmurugan is the chief of a party, the Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi. He was elected on a DMK ticket. J Mohamed Shanavas (Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi) backed Velmurugan.

The amendment Bill was later adopted by a voice-vote. Other Bills that were passed include one to repeal as many as 169 enactments as they have become obsolete and redundant. The House was later adjourned sine die.