The Karnataka government on Sunday, 20 March, indicated that hundreds of Pre University College (PUC) students who missed their exams while participating in the hijab row protests will not be given a second chance to appear for the practicals conducted as part of the board examinations.
Karnataka Education Minister BC Nagesh, in an interview with Times of India, stated that providing a second opportunity for the protesting students to take their practical exams was "impossible."
"If we allow the students who boycotted the practicals for not being allowed to wear hijab to the exam even after the high court gave its interim order, then another student will come citing some other reason and seek a second chance," he said.
The practical portion of the assessment carries 30 marks while the theory component comprises 70 marks for various subjects in the board exams.
Nagesh's statement comes merely two days after Karnataka Law Minister JC Madhuswamy told the state's legislative Assembly that "Children who did not attend exams due to ignorance or innocence will be allowed to take exams.”
Even after the Karnataka High Court's interim order was given, if children boycotted college exams as a protest, the government is unwilling to let them appear, he had added.
Minister Nagesh said that students of classes 9 and 11, who sit for school-specific examinations, may be allowed to retake the tests.
In January-February, protests had overtaken Karnataka after various educational institutions had denied entry in classrooms to students donning hijab.
A case on the row had been hard in the high court, which on 15 March had upheld the government's ban on Muslim girls wearing a hijab with the uniform in schools and colleges.
(With inputs from Times of India)