This is a very serious concern and the authorities who do not respect the religious sentiments of the others should be taken to task. According to the state government officials, there is no such rule of dress code that exists and hence no authorities can stop the student from appearing for the examination wearing a hijab.

The issue become a matter of concern when a 24-year-old student from Panaji was denied to appear for the NET examination for wearing hijab. She was asked by the examination supervisor to remove the hijab to which she refused due to which she was not allowed to appear for the examination.

Goa is the most secular place in the country and people from all the religion lives in peace and harmony. This is the first such incident that took place in the state wherein a Muslim girl was asked to remove her hijab, which is against their custom and tradition.

Goa is the most secular place in the country and people from all the religion lives in peace and harmony. This is the first such incident that took place in the state wherein a Muslim girl was asked to remove her hijab, which is against their custom and tradition.

Everyone in the country has a right to practice their religion regardless of how odd it may feel to others. The fact came into the light that despite no such mention anywhere about the dress code a young student was denied her rights.

Last month, a 24-year-old student Safina Khan Soudagar alleged that when she arrived at the examination center in Panaji on December 18, the supervisor there asked her to remove her hijab. When she refused to do so, he did not allow her to sit for the test.

24-year-old student Safina Khan Soudagar

Taking a serious note of the allegation by Safina the director of higher education Mr. Prasad Lolienkar said that there are no rules specifying a dress code for the exam. 

“The woman should have been allowed to appear in the examination,” Mr. Lolienkar in a letter to the National Testing Agency of the Union Human Resource Development Ministry.

There are no rules specified on the website (concerned) or elsewhere pertaining to exams, especially about restrictions on hijab or a particular dress code

According to Mr. Lolienkar, there is no such rule specified anywhere on their website about the dress code. “Prima facie, it appears there are no rules specified on the website (concerned) or elsewhere pertaining to exams, especially about restrictions on hijab or a particular dress code,” Mr. Lolienkar added.

Following the incident, Ms. Soudagar had approached the Goa State Human Rights Commission after not being allowed to appear for the NET. She had also sent an e-mail to Mr. Lolienkar.

It is a sensitive matter and it needed to be taken seriously by the concern departments of the education sector.

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