A strict dress code for India’s national medical-school entrance exam proved too strict for some religious hopefuls, including a nun who elected to skip the test rather than remove her veil and cross.
In an attempt to minimise opportunities for cheating on the test, India’s Central Board of Secondary Education had imposed rules forbidding clothing such as full sleeves, watches, dark glasses, scarves, hair bands and even shoes at the 30 test sites nationwide. The Daily Pioneer reported that candidates were shedding jewellery at test sites, and that one woman with cloth-covered buttons was turned away. She returned with an acceptable blouse.
The Supreme Court turned away a petition by an Islamic organisation seeking permission for Muslim women to wear hijabs to the exam. And at a test centre in Kanjiramkulam, a nun identified as Sister Seba was ordered to remove her veil and cross. She refused after her request to take the exam in a separate room was denied.
“Therefore I am giving up my dream of pursuing the medical profession,” the Pioneer quoted Sister Seba as saying. “Indeed, I am very sad as I had prepared well for the examination and was confident of cracking it.”