Students wearing hijabs will not be permitted to write the crucial annual II PUC examination in Karnataka, state Minister for Education B.C. Nagesh announced on Tuesday.
"All students must follow rules on the uniform. Hijab cladding students won't be allowed," he added.
After successfully conducting SSLC (class 10) exams amid the hijab controversy, the Karnataka government is all set to hold crucial II PUC examinations from April 22 to May 18 in the state. As many as 6,84,255 students have enrolled for the examinations, stated an official release from the Department of Pre-University Education.
Elaborate security arrangements have been set for the smooth conduct of exams amid the possibility of resurfacing the controversy. Karnataka High Court Special Bench, headed by Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, has dismissed the petition by students seeking permission to wear hijab in classrooms. The bench also noted that wearing of hijab is not an essential practice of Islam.
Hijab controversy started with six students in Udupi Pre-University College and spread across the state leading to a crisis. It has also made international news. The Karnataka government conducted SSLC exams with heavy police cover and banned the hijab in exam centers
The department has stated that the examination will be conducted in 1,076 examination centers. A total of 3,46,936 boys and 3,37,319 girls are taking the exams. Seventy-four students suffered from autism, 377 hearing impaired, 371 learning disability, 683 locomotor impairment (problem from moving from one place to another), 128 mental retardations, 103 multiple disability, 48 speech impairment, 355 visual impairment (blindness) and 55 visual impairment (low-vision) students have also enrolled for the exams.
The practical lab tests will be conducted in 1,030 examination centers, and 2,67,349 students will attend them. The students are banned from taking mobiles inside exam halls. The supervisors are permitted to carry a basic set without a camera.
Taking no chances with the security, the department has sought the police security cover to all examination centers,
and all exam works will be carried out in police bandobast. The 200-meter zone surrounding the exam centers would be declared a prohibited zone.