The Central Board of School Education (CBSE)—body which is conducting National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET)—has come up with a bizarre set examination-day-guidelines for NEET, 2017 to be held on 7th May.
The instructions provided to the candidates categorically mention that there is a particular ‘Dress Code’ in place that needs to be followed on the day of examination.
The mentioned dress code advises the students for not wearing full sleeve dresses while sitting in the examination and those who do so will be rendered disqualified.
What is more shocking is that the dress code does not allow the use of Scarf by the students during the examination.
“The candidates are instructed to follow the following dress code while appearing for NEET (UG): (a) Light clothes with half sleeves not having big buttons, brooch/badge, flower etc. with Salwar/ Trouser. (b) Slippers, sandals with low heels and not the shoes,” the instructions read.
There is a categorical warning written in the information bulletin available on the NEET website saying that “In case any candidate is found in possession of any of the barred items inside the centre, it will be considered as use of unfair means and action will be taken against the candidate in accordance with the relevant provisions.”
A large number of students from the state are going to appear in NEET 2017, which comprises a good number of female students as well.
Importantly, this for the first time that any examination has come up with a ‘dress code’ to be followed by the candidates appearing in the examination; given the socio-cultural fabric of Kashmir, the female students in valley do use Scarf, with such examination guidelines, they are going to face a tough a time ahead.
“This is absurd, even the prestigious examinations like IIT-JEE, IAS etc do not issue such a diktat. On the pretext of conducting fair examinations, how can they direct students to follow a particular dress code,” said Ishrat Ashraf, Ishrat is scheduled to appear in the entrance examination on 7th May.
On being asked what will be her next step, if the concerned authorities will not amend the instructions given, she said “I will prefer not to appear in the test rather than letting then decide what to wear, I cannot even walk wearing dresses with half sleeves.”
The section (11) of the provided information bulletin bars some items that are particularly going to create trouble for female students. The barred items include: “All ornaments like Ring, Earrings, Nose-pin, Chain/Necklace, Pendants, Badge, and Brooch etc” These items are listed after a warning that states “The candidates are not allowed to carry the following items inside the examination centre under any circumstances. The candidates will be subjected to extensive and compulsory frisking before entering the examination centre with the help of highly sensitive metal detectors.”
It is pertinent to mention here that the authorities may have issued these guidelines to conduct the examination in a fair manner and to avoid any unfair means, but right now, it is going in an opposite way, with many of the female students in the valley preferring to stay away and not to appear in the examination.
“The move is indeed bizarre. I wear hijab and cover myself from head to toe, how am I now going to appear in the entrance test? Making sure that examination is conducted in a fair manner is good, but this is totally unacceptable,” said a student, Zahira Ayoub, from Srinagar, adding that “I will give it a second though that that am I really going to appear in NEET this year or not.”