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Ban on hijab in government educational institutions is still in place in Karnataka

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A social media post claiming that ‘college in Karnataka repealed dress code, and now students will be able to attend the class wearing hijab’ is being circulated widely. The claim in the viral post is being perceived as dress code being banned in the entire state and now that students can attend the classes with hijab. Through this article let’s fact-check the claim made in the post.

Claim: Colleges in Karnataka repealed dress code, and now students will be able to attend the class wearing hijab.

Fact: Karnataka government did not repeal dress code in educational institutions. Thus the ban on hijab in government institutions is still in place. As far as the private institutions are concerned, these institutions do not come under the purview of the earlier government order banning religious clothing in educational institutions. And hence, allowing students with hijab or repealing dress code is their prerogative. However, except for couple of institutions, there are no reports of private institutions all together repealing dress code.  Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE.

Lately, neither the Karnataka government nor the consortium of private colleges in the state took any such decision to repeal the dress code in the colleges. If indeed any such decision was taken, the media would have reported it. However, we could not find any such reports.

However, as per news reports, back in February, a couple of private colleges in Madikeri and Mysore repealed the dress code and allowed the Muslim girl students to attend the classes with hijab. Most likely, news reports like these could be the source for the viral post and this could have been misinterpreted as a blanket exemption on college dress code.

However, it is noteworthy to mention that the government’s earlier order banning religious clothing in educational institutions where there is a prescribed uniform in place, is limited only to government institutions and private institutions do not come under the purview of the order.

Thus, private institutions are entitled to have their own say in allowing students with hijab. Moreover, except for a couple of above-mentioned institutions, we could not find any recent reports of private institutions implementing a blanket exemption on dress code.

In other words, the ban on hijab in educational institutions is still in place as far as the government institutions are concerned. In fact, few Muslim students abstained from appearing for the pre-university exams held in the last week of March 2022 as the ban on hijab is still in place (here & here).

To sum it up, the ban on hijab in government educational institutions is still in place in Karnataka.

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