Bengaluru, Nov 14, 2023: The Karnataka Examination Authority (KEA) has banned students from wearing any form of head cover during recruitment exams. The step is being taken to curb cheating during exams such as using Bluetooth devices, reported India Today. However, following protests by right-wing organisations, the exam conducting body has allowed mangalsutras (necklaces worn by married Hindu women) and toe rings during exams.
As per the official notice released by KEA, wearing “any garment or cap that covers head, mouth or ears” at the exam hall has been banned from now onwards. The order further added that this is part of the effort to stop exam malpractices. The announcement by KEA came prior to various board and recruitment exams slated to be held on November 18 and 19 across the state.
A few days ago, women were allowed to appear for examinations for recruitment to departments such as the labour department, Karnataka State Electronics Development Corporation Limited (KEONICS), Mysore Sales International Limited (MSIL), and Sainik Welfare Board while wearing hijab. Karnataka’s Higher Education Minister Dr M C Sudhakar had clarified that “this is not to be confused with the Supreme Court (SC) order on hijab in schools.”
“NEET also allows students who are wearing hijab to answer examinations, and it is the same systems that are being implemented for these exams that are being conducted for recruitment to these boards through the state examination agency — Karnataka Examination Authority (KEA). The Supreme Court judgment is only with regard to the schools and it has nothing to do with this,” Sudhakar had said.
On the other hand, during the Karnataka civil service examination, female students claimed they were asked to remove their ‘mangalsutra’ before entering the exam hall. The State Public Service Commission who was conducting the exam had also allegedly asked the students to remove other ornaments including earrings, chains, and toe rings. The authorities meanwhile allowed women who wore a Hijab inside the exam hall after checking them.