The Karnataka Examination Authority (KEA) has prohibited students from wearing any type of head cover during recruitment exams to prevent cheating, including the use of Bluetooth devices. Following objections from right-wing organizations, KEA has permitted the wearing of mangalsutras (necklaces worn by married Hindu women) and toe rings during exams.
According to the official notice from KEA, wearing “any garment or cap that covers head, mouth, or ears” in the exam hall is now banned as part of anti-cheating measures. The announcement precedes various board and recruitment exams scheduled for November 18 and 19 across the state.
Earlier, women were allowed to wear hijab during examinations for recruitment to departments such as the labour department, Karnataka State Electronics Development Corporation Limited (KEONICS), Mysore Sales International Limited (MSIL), and Sainik Welfare Board. Karnataka’s Higher Education Minister Dr M C Sudhakar clarified that this decision is not related to the Supreme Court’s order on hijab in schools.
For NEET, hijab-wearing students are permitted, and the same policies apply to exams conducted for recruitment through the Karnataka Examination Authority (KEA). However, during the Karnataka civil service examination, female students claimed they were asked to remove their ‘mangalsutra’ before entering the exam hall. The State Public Service Commission conducting the exam allegedly asked students to remove other ornaments, including earrings, chains, and toe rings, while allowing women in hijab inside the exam hall after verification.