UGC NET: Woman with ‘hijab’ not allow to appear for exam

PANAJI: A 24-year-old Muslim girl was not allowed to appear for the NET, the National Testing Agency (NTA), University Grants Commission (UGC), education department in Goa.

According to reports, the aspirant Safina Khan Soudagar accused the inspecting officials conducting the NET in Panaji of not allowing her to appear for the 18th December exam because she refused to remove her ‘hijab’ (headscarf).

She reached the exam centre at 1 pm on Tuesday 18th December and stood in the queue waiting for the entrance checking where the officer asked her to remove her hijab as it is “against her religious belief”.

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Speaking to News18, Safina said, “When I told them I couldn’t do that, they insisted I had to show my ears for a photograph. After much debating, I said I would re-adjust my hijab so that my ears were visible and requested them to direct me to a washroom to do the same,” she further said.

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She alleged that officials refused to allow her to go to a washroom and instructed her to re-adjust her hijab right there. ‘Removing hijab in public is against my Islamic belief because there were a lot of men around,” Soudagar said.

She chose to keep her religious faith above her academic loss and didn’t enter the exam hall after she was informed that she would not be allowed to enter the examination hall with her headscarf.

“It was a question whether I wanted to take the exam or not. So I chose to keep my faith above the (academic) loss,” she said.