Karnataka Examination Authority restricts head cover in recruitment exams

Bengaluru: The Karnataka Examination Authority (KEA) restricted all forms of head cover in the exam hall during recruitment exams for various boards and corporations to avoid malpractice.

Though the dress code does not explicitly ban hijab, it is implied by the new guidelines. The order said that this is part of the effort to stop exam malpractices using bluetooth devices.

Earlier on November 6, a woman appearing for the Karnataka Public Service Commission examination was asked to remove her ‘mangalsutra’ before entering the exam hall.

After protests by Hindutva groups, the KEA has now allowed women to wear mangalasutra and toe rings in the examination hall while restricting other jewellery.

The recruitment exams of various boards and corporations are to be held on November 18 and 19 across the state.

Earlier in October, the Karnataka government had allowed students to wear the Hijab, during competitive exams. The Higher Education Minister MC Sudhakar had allowed aspirants to come to examination centres wearing the Hijab sparking off protests by right-wing groups.

However, after complaints of usage of Bluetooth devices by certain students the state government this time decided to enforce the ban.

The State government had on November 11 ordered a probe by the state CID into an incident where candidates at Kalaburagi and Yadgir examination centres allegedly used Bluetooth devices for writing the exams conducted by the KEA in October, 2023.

The exam dress code restricts girls from wearing high heeled shoes, jeans and T-shirts, while men are permitted to wear half-sleeve shirts which are not tucked into their trousers.

In 2022, the Supreme Court had upheld the Karnataka government’s decision on banning the Hijab in classrooms that came under the state. The State government had at the time also extended this order to other Board exams like Class X and XII as well as the Common Entrance Test conducted by the KEA.

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