In a bid to keep a tab on malpractices during a recruitment examination in Telangana, the authorities asked female candidates to remove their mangal sutras (wedding necklace) before entering the examination hall. At several exam centres in Medak, Mahabubnagar and Karimnagar districts, candidates appearing for Village Revenue Officers exam were barred from taking the exam.
According to a report by The Hindu, husbands and relatives of the female candidates were seen standing outside examination centres, holding mangal sutras in their hands. The official directive sparked a controversy with activists from the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) calling it ‘insensitive and anti-Hindu’. They also demanded action against the officials involved.
The examination was conducted by the Telangana State Public Service Commission (TSPSC) for the recruitment of village revenue in 2,000 centres across the state. Over 10 lakh candidates applied for the 700 posts of Village Revenue Officers. TPSC, however, justified their stand and said that gold ornaments pose a risk as there is a possibility of embedding electronic devices in them, reports the Hindustan Times.
A similar incident happened in July this year where female candidates who were appearing for the National Eligibility Test in Bengaluru were asked to remove their ornaments, including mangal sutras and toe rings. Many candidates were even forced to remove burkhas, reports The New Indian Express.
In May, female candidates appearing for a competitive examination in a school in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district had their sleeves cut off by invigilators in “full public view” in a bid to prevent cheating. The male candidates, on the hand, were asked to remove their shirts. The district education department had reportedly advised candidates against full-sleeved clothing as a precautionary measure beforehand.
Two years ago, male candidates appearing for a recruitment drive in Indian Army in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district were forced to strip down their underwear. Over 1,150 candidates, dressed only in their underwear, were made to sit cross-legged in a ground while taking the exam, reports The Indian Express.