7c News Dress code forces NEET candidates in Tamil Nadu to cut off sleeves remove jewellery

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will look into the complains of the national eligibility-cum-entrance test (NEET) candidates who claimed to have been “harassed” and “humiliated” by the authorities at some of the examination centres in the name of dress code.

“An enquiry will be conducted into the students’ complaints,” official sources in the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry told DH. A row erupted over the dress code prescribed by the CBSE for the NEET aspirants after authorities deployed at one of the test centres in Kerala reportedly allowed a girl student to take the entrance examination only after she remove her inner wear.

“After my daughter entered the exam centre, she came out and handed me her bra, saying she had been asked to remove it as per the CBSE dress code,” a news agency quoted the girl’s mother as saying.

Authorities deployed at the said examination centre asked her to remove her inner wear after a metal hook of the inner wear set off an alarm at the time her frisking with metal detectors.

In another case, father of a girl student reportedly had to travel for about four kilometres from the examination centre in Kerala to get a pair of leggings for his daughter as the authorities refused to allow her entry in jeans due to its buttons made of metal.

At many of the examination centres in different parts of the country, boys were made to cut the sleeves of their shirts while the girls had to remove their ornaments like nose pin and ear rings before they enter the examination hall.

While the issue was raised in the Kerala Assembly which is in Session, DMK’s working president MK Stalin in Tamil Nadu condemned the enforcement of dress code, demanding action against those harassing the NEET aspirants.

The CBSE, which held the NEET across the country on Sunday, had barred the candidates from wearing full sleeve shirts shoes and any type of ornaments, notifying the dress code in advance. It had also instructed the students to not to bring any stationary item with them but many of the students reached examination centres with pen and other stationary items.

“The dress code was prescribed only to prevent students from using high-tech communication devices in cheating in the examination. But, authorities deployed at the examination centres could have been sensitive towards the students reaching the examination hall wearing clothes which had metallic buttons or hooks.

Asking a girl student to remove her inner wear just because its hook set off an alarm at the time of frisking is really bizarre,” an official said. The CBSE will try to ensure that students do not have to face such situation next time, the official added.

The CBSE started prescribing a dress code for the medical aspirants after many of the students were caught cheating in the All India Pre-medical and Dental Test (AIPMT) using micro blue-tooth enabled communication devices fitted into their ears and inner wears in 2015. The board had to re-conduct the test after the this came to light.

“Since 2016, the candidates are not allowed to even bring their pen with them as they can be used in cheating in the test if they have micro communication devices fitted inside. The candidates are provided with pen at the examination hall,” the official added.