Students wearing hijab will not be allowed to sit for the annual II PUC examination in Karnataka, state Minister for Education B.C. Nagesh said on Tuesday.
"All students must follow rules on uniform, hijab-clad students won't be allowed," he added.
After successfully conducting SSLC (class 10) exams amid 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 made for smooth conduct of exams amid possibility of resurfacing of the controversy. Karnataka High Court Special Bench headed by the 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.
The 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 hijab in exam centres.
The department has stated that the examination will be conducted in 1,076 examination centres. A total of 3,46,936 boys and 3,37,319 girls are appearing in the exams. Seventy-four students suffering from autism, 377 hearing impaired, 371 learning disability, 683 locomotor impairment (problem from moving from one place to another), 128 mental retardation, 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 centres and 2,67,349 students will attend it. 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 centres and all exam works will be carried out in police bandobast. A 200-metre zone surrounding the exam centres would be declared as a prohibited zone.