St Aloysius College in Karnataka's port city Mangalore has banned girl students from wearing burqa in classes and while writing exams, but allowed them to wear the outfit on the campus.
The management of the autonomous educational institution has decided not to change its decision, taken earlier this month, despite criticism.
The ban comes into effect from this academic year and has been conveyed in the prospectus issued to undergraduates.
"We want to maintain the sanctity of exams and also discipline in classrooms," principal (in-charge) Fr Walter Andrade told mediapersons on Friday. He said students should be identified properly in examination halls and classrooms.
He said criticism that the decision targeted Muslim students was unfair because the college respected all religions.
Mangalore Jesuit Education Society vice-president and rector of the college, Fr Joseph Rodrigues, said the decision was taken to maintain principles. He said a lecturer or an invigilator could not insult a student by asking her remove the burqa for identification.
He added that the decision was taken after considering various factors.
The college registrar, AM Narahari, said the college had not witnessed a single instance of discrimination of grounds of religion in its 132-year history.
A college official who did not wish to be identified said the decision should not be misinterpreted and likened to the ban imposed by France on wearing the burqa in public.