Class 10 exams begin in Karnataka amid Hijab row

The Karnataka board examinations for Class 10 began today amid the ongoing row over wearing Hijab in educational institutes.

Around 8.73 lakh students will appear for the exams in 3,444 centres across the state. The exams will conclude on April 11.

Karnataka Minister for Primary and Secondary Education B C Nagesh on Sunday reiterated that students will not be allowed to wear Hijab while appearing for the exams.

Stressing that students must abide by the High Court’s order upholding the ban on Hijab, Nagesh said, “there is no scope of the violation of the dress code and rules must be strictly followed.”

The minister ruled out holding re-exams for those who skipped them on account of the Hijab row and said only those who have failed will have an opportunity to take up the supplementary exams.

Following the Karnataka High Court’s interim order in February restraining all the students from wearing saffron shawls, scarves, hijab within the classroom, several Muslim girl students had boycotted classes and had skipped the practical exams.

The High Court in its final order on March 15 had dismissed the petitions seeking permission to wear hijab inside the classroom and stated that the headscarf is not a part of the essential religious practice in Islam.

The prescription of school uniform is only a reasonable restriction, constitutionally permissible which the students cannot object to, the High Court had said.