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Amid hijab row, Karnataka government orders uniform dress code in all schools, colleges

The government had announced that it will neither support the hijab nor does it favour the wearing of saffron robe by students
Last Updated : 05 February 2022, 15:14 IST
Last Updated : 05 February 2022, 15:14 IST
Last Updated : 05 February 2022, 15:14 IST
Last Updated : 05 February 2022, 15:14 IST

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Firm on its stand of uniform dress code at schools and colleges of Karnataka, the state government on Saturday ordered the mandatory wearing of uniform approved by the state government on school and college campuses.

Even as the 'Hijab Row' is snowballing into a nationwide controversy, the state government referring to judgements of various High Courts, instructed that kids at government schools, colleges must wear uniforms approved by the state government and in private institutions, the uniform approved by the management.

Interestingly, the state government had announced on Friday that it will neither support the hijab nor does it favour the wearing of the saffron robe by the students. However, with the controversy gaining momentum in other districts and drawing the attention of the entire country, the Primary and Secondary Education Department on Saturday issued a formal order mandating a uniform dress code approved by the state government in all government schools and colleges.

While it is mandatory for the government schools kids to wear uniforms approved by the government, the students at private colleges shall wear the uniform approved by the management. Similarly, students in all PU Colleges must wear the uniform approved by the College Development Council (CDC). In case if there is no rule on the uniform, the students must wear those dress that goes well with the idea of equality and unity without affecting the law and order of the region.

Referring to multiple judgements by various High Courts including Mumbai, Kerala and other states, the government order said, "Compelling a student to remove the headscarf on school campus does not amount to a violation under the Article 25 of the Indian Constitution. Also, reviewing the various provisions under the Karnataka Education Act 1983, the state government has the right to decide on the uniform in schools and colleges. As per the sub-clause 2 under section 133 of the Education Act 1983, it is mandatory for students of the government colleges to wear uniform approved by the state government."

The state government also noted in its order, "The government is holding programmes at various schools, colleges to facilitate uniform learning among students. However, with a few students in some of the institutions arguing to continue with their religious traditions is coming on the way of unity and equality. But the Supreme Court and several High Courts have upheld the uniform dress code over the individual dress code."

Officials from the Education department revealed to DH that the issue which is currently heard by the High Court of Karnataka pertains only to the Udupi College where the controversy erupted. "The state government's order is applicable to all the schools and colleges across Karnataka," an official said. The officials also cautioned the students, "Pre-University is an important stage in the career of students. Kids must focus on academics and attendance rather than focus on these unnecessary controversies. If they fail to maintain attendance, they will lose a chance to appear for the exam."

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Published 05 February 2022, 15:00 IST

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