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Wearing hijab allowed in exams, says Karnataka higher education minister M C Sudhakar

Sudhakar's comments on Sunday come against the backdrop of the hijab row in Karnataka, which erupted last year after a college in Udupi allegedly barred six girls wearing hijabs from entering a class, sparking a protests and counter-protests across the state.
Last Updated : 23 October 2023, 09:57 IST
Last Updated : 23 October 2023, 09:57 IST

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Candidates in Karnataka will be allowed to wear hijabs to competitive and recruitment-related exams, state higher education minister M C Sudhakar has said.

Sudhakar's comments came after a meeting held on Sunday to discuss the State Education Policy and the issue of filling vacancies, when he said, "The hijab issue was not part of the discussion."

"Some want to raise objections to small things, but we cannot infringe on the rights of people. Even in NEET, candidates allowed to wear hijab," the minitster was quoted as saying by TOI.

"I think people who are protesting should verify the guidelines of the NEET exam. I don't know why they are making an issue out of this," he added.

The minister also told India Today that people had the right to wear what they wanted to examinations, saying, "This is a secular country. People are free to dress however they want."

The clarification, it is understood, will also apply to the exams that are being held in Karnataka on October 28 and 29 to fill vacancies in five corporations, among other bodies.

Sudhakar's comments on Sunday come against the backdrop of the hijab row in Karnataka, which erupted last year after the Government PU College in Udupi allegedly barred six girls wearing hijabs from entering the classroom, sparking a protest by the girls.

The protest was met with counter-protests by some Hindu students in colleges who demanded they be allowed to wear saffron scarves, and the issue soon spread to other colleges in the state.

Petitions were also filed in the Karnataka High Court on behalf of the aggrieved students in the Udupi college, and after a protracted hearing spread over 11 days, the HC upheld the ban on the hijab in educational institutions, declaring that the hijab was not an essential part of religious practice.

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Published 23 October 2023, 09:57 IST

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