Don’t ask Sikh students to report early for exams: Minority affairs ministry
In a statement released on Monday, the Ministry of Minority Affairs urged the National Testing Agency and other examination bodies not to haveseparatereporting policies for Sikh examinees vis-a-vis others. The ministry was responding to reports that Sikh students were being called earlier to examination centres than others.
“It has been brought to the notice of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) that students belonging to the Sikh community are asked to report at the examination centers hours in advance vis-à-vis candidates belonging to other communities for the purpose of scanning of Kara and/or Kirpan, which are articles of faith, while appearing in examinations such as the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) etc,” the ministry said in a statement.
In addition, in its capacity as the statutory body constituted to safeguard the interest of all minorities, the ministry directed the examination agencies “to consider taking following steps to avoid any discrimination against students belonging to the Sikh community.”
The three steps suggested by the ministry include same reporting time of examination for all candidates irrespective of their religion, no discrimination between Sikh candidates and others on the basis of their articles of faith and screening through a door frame metal detector for reducing time and ensuring proper security procedure.