NCM asks NTA to ensure Sikh students not discriminated while entering exam centres


New Delhi: The National Commission for Minorities on Monday said it has come to its notice that Sikh students are asked to report at centres for examinations like NEET and JEE hours in advance for scanning of ”Karas” and ”Kirpans”, and urged the National Testing Agency to ensure there is no discrimination against Sikh candidates on the basis of their articles of faith.

The NCM in a press release here today said, in the light of the religious belief of the Sikh Community and the right guaranteed under Article 25, Explanation 1 of the Constitution of India, in the absence of any objective facts indicative, or suggestive of, real threat of use of unfair means by those wearing Karas and Kirpans, the blanket ban on metallic objects would not be justified as has been held by Hon’ble High Court of Delhi in Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee Vs. UOI & W.P.(C) 7550/2017.

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 examination centre hours in advance vis-à-vis candidates belonging to other communities for scanning of “Kara and/or Kirpan”, which are articles of faith, while appearing in examinations such as National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) etc., the statement said.

”Kara” and ”kirpan” are among the five articles of faith that are worn by Sikhs.

The release which was addressed to the Chairperson, National Testing Agency, Professor MS Ananth stated that the NCM being a Statutory Body constituted to protect and safeguard the interest of all the Minorities, accordingly advises that the agencies responsible for conducting Examinations may be directed to consider taking following steps to avoid any discrimination against students belonging to Sikh community:

  1. Reporting time of examination should be the same for all the candidates irrespective of their religion.
  2. Not to discriminate between the Sikh candidates and others on the basis of their articles of faith.
  3. Screening may be done through a door frame metal detector for reducing time and ensuring proper security procedure.

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