Students appearing for the first National Eligibility and Entrance Test for dental and medical courses held across the country on Sunday had a tougher time adhering to the bizarre dress code than dealing with the question paper. The Central Board of Secondary Education, which administers the test, had banned them from wearing full-sleeve clothes, dark-coloured trousers, closed or high-heeled shoes, big brooches, metal buttons, metal earrings and even metal on innerwear such as bras with hooks. The board said ithad set such standards for clothes to stop cases of cheating.
A woman appearing for the test in Kannur, Kerala, was asked to take off her bra because metal was detected on it. “My daughter went inside the centre only to return a few minutes later to hand over her bra because it had metal hooks,” her mother told NDTV.
Another candidate was asked to get rid of a pocket and buttons on her trousers at the same examination centre. “I used a blade to remove the buttons and sent her back. Then I went to a shop about three kilometres away from the exam centre and bought a new dress for her after getting the shop opened,” her father told the news channel.
In Bengaluru, the authorities at the Delhi Public School centre has stocked up on t-shirts to offer to students whose clothes did not meet the dress code. Students wearing covered shoes had to leave their footwear outside the examination centre. In Chennai, some candidates had to cut their full-sleeve shirts to half sleeves. Authorities at examination centres in Andhra Pradesh made women candidates untie their hair to prove they were not hiding anything there, reported The Hindu.
“The ordeal is over, but it’s debatable how many female candidates would have been able to write the exam properly after they were subjected to so much humiliation,” state Mahila Congress President Bindhu Krishna told The Hindu. “I will write to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to seek action against those responsible.”
More than 11 lakh students had registered for the test held in 104 cities on Sunday. The CBSE had issued a circular on April 25 notifying students that they must keep the strict dress code in mind while appearing for the examination. The guidelines were introduced in 2015, after a test was cancelled following alleged irregularities. The All India Pre-Medical Dental Test, which was replaced by NEET in 2016, was held again as per an order by the Supreme Court that year.