The sleeves of several female candidates were snipped before the exam in Bihar. [Representational picture]Reuters

Invigilators at an exam center courted controversy after they snipped off sleeves of several female candidates under the guise of a disciplinary measure in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district. The shocking incident took place on Saturday, May 12, during the nursing entrance exam conducted by Bihar Combined Entrance Competitive Examination Board (BCECEB).

The footage of the incident went viral on social media and was flashed across several regional news channels which sparked massive outrage by students and parents. Following the uproar, the district magistrate set up a two-member team to probe into the matter, Press Trust of India reported.

"The footage showed that the staff members of the examination center at a public school were cutting off the sleeves of candidates with scissors and blades," District Education Officer Lalan Prasad Singh was quoted as saying by PTI. The sleeves of the female candidate were cut as they were not adhering to the norms, he added.

The invigilators justified the decision by saying that the disciplinary measure was to ensure that the students did not indulge in any malpractice. The female examinees, however, claimed that they were unaware of such rules during the exam, DNA reported.

After conducting an inquiry, the education department barred the school from holding any competitive exams in the future.

"The school, where the exam was held, has been blacklisted and it would no longer be entrusted with the duty of holding exams in the future. The official who served as exam superintendent has also been debarred for life," Singh added.

"The intention of the exercise was not questionable and care was taken to involve only female staff, but the problem was that the candidates were made to resize the sleeves in full public view," the DEO said.

Apart from nursing, competitive exams for courses in medical, engineering and agriculture streams are also conducted by the BCECEB across the state.