The Kerala wing of the Human Rights Commission on Monday said it has ordered an inquiry into an 18-year-old girl student being asked to remove her bra before sitting for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test in Kannur, according to The News Minute. She had alleged that she and several other female candidates had been asked to take off their bra at the Tisk English Medium School before entering the examination hall at the centre because of the dress code.
The Central Board of Secondary Education, which administers the test, had banned candidates from wearing full-sleeve clothes, dark-coloured trousers, closed or high-heeled shoes, big brooches and any metallic objects, including buttons, earrings and even hooks on innerwear such as bras. The board believed such standards would stop cases of cheating.
The commission asserted that forcing the women to remove their bra violated their basic human rights. It has registered a suo motu case and also requested the National Human Rights Commission to intervene in the matter. Kerala HRC Acting Chairperson P Mohandas has asked the regional director of CBSE and the Kannur district police chief to submit a report on the case within three weeks.
The state’s Education Minister C Raveendranath has also said he will look into the matter, PTI reported.
The 18-year-old girl told Hindustan Times that it was a “humiliating experience” for her. She said she had to take off her bra right by the metal detectors and hand it over to her mother by the gate as there were no restrooms nearby. “As I entered the exam hall to write the test, I had little confidence left in me,” she told The News Minute.
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.