Karnataka makes uniform mandatory for PUC students

Bengaluru, May 20 (KMS): The Karnataka government has made uniform compulsory for Pre-University Course (PUC) students from academic year 2022-23.

The ruling Hindutva BJP took the decision considering the possibility of a head scarf/hijab crisis, once the PU classes restart.

The SSLC (Class 10) results were announced on Thursday in the state and admissions for the PU colleges will begin from Friday onwards.

The directive forms a part of the guidelines issued for the PUC students. In the guidelines issued by the Education Department for the 2020-21 academic year, uniforms were not compulsory.

Sources in the Education department said that the new rule will empower college managements to implement a ban on head scarf/ hijab in classrooms.

Several parents and students have questioned the government’s decision. However, the Special Bench of Karnataka High Court, which heard the matter upholding the government’s order, stated that wearing of uniform is compulsory for students.

The court also dismissed the petition challenging the uniform rule and asking for the right to wear hijab in classrooms. The petitioners have approached the Supreme Court on the matter.

Giving no scope for any confusion regarding wearing of hijab, the guidelines mentioned that uniforms prescribed by the School Development and Management Committee (SDMC) are compulsory for PUC students.

The new circular stated that in case of SDMC not prescribing any uniform, students are recommended to wear a garment that will maintain equality and unity and it underlined that it should not disturb public order.

Hijab row, which made international news, began with the six girl students launching a protest demanding rights to wear hijab in classes. The protest for hijab, which started in Udupi Girl’s Pre-University College, spread across the state.

The issue took a communal turn and threatened the law and order situation in the state. The crisis resulted in a chain of disturbing events causing social unrest in the state. Muslim organisations and traders protested against the High Court order on hijab.