Schedule for Karnataka secondary-level exam shared with a false communal twist

By: Rahul Adhikari
February 7 2024

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Schedule for Karnataka secondary-level exam shared with a false communal twist

Social media posts claim the Karnataka government changed the SSLC 10th grad exam timing to appease Muslim students. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The SSLC 10th grade exam scheduled on March 1 will be held in the afternoon instead of the morning due to a clash in timings with a PUC exam.

Claim ID f5b38267

What is the claim?

Several social media users have claimed that the south Indian state of Karnataka changed the timings of a secondary-level exam so that students from the Muslim community are able to offer afternoon Friday prayers. 

Sharing a picture of an examination timetable written in Kannada, users have claimed that the state government scheduled the Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) Science examination at 2pm in the afternoon on Friday, March 1, while the rest of the assessments were scheduled around 10am in the morning. 

One user who shared the SSLC timetable on X  (formerly Twitter) wrote: “Karnataka state 10th standard exam time table released. All the exams in the morning session but for Friday. Why? Oh.. time for Namaz (sic)?” This post had garnered over 3,14,000 views and 4,500 likes at the time of publishing. Archived versions of the post and similar others can be viewed here and here.

The state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party—the principal Opposition party in Karnataka where the Indian National Congress (INC) is in power— also shared an X post about the difference in timings between the exam scheduled on Friday, March 1, and other dates giving the matter a communal twist. The post also accused Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Congress of ‘appeasement politics,’ likening the latter to Taliban and ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). An archived version of the now-deleted post can be accessed here

The Karnataka BJP X account had reshared an X post (archived here) by Kannada news outlet Vistara News. The outlet had posted a news article with the caption “SSLC Exam: Muslim favor in exam; Time for Namaz instead! (translated from Kannada)” The accompanying news article (archived here) had the same headline and included a screenshot of the viral SSLC examination timetable. Vistara News said that Hindu organizations had alleged that the change in timing for the March 1 exam was part of an effort to appease Muslims in the state.

Screenshots of the viral posts on X. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, the SSLC examination scheduled on Friday, March 1, will be held at 2pm because of a clash in timings with the Karnataka pre-university course (PUC) exam to be conducted the same day. There is no communal angle to the issue.  

What did we find?

Logically Facts confirmed that the timetable in the viral post corresponds to the 2023-2024 SSLC preparatory examination, which is set to commence on February 26 and conclude on March 2. We found that, as suggested in the claim, all exams are slated to begin at 10:15 a.m., with the exception of the Science examination on Friday, March 1, which will commence at 2:00 p.m. 

However, the reason for the difference in the timings for the Friday Science exam and the other assessments is explained towards the end of the timetable itself. In a note, the timetable mentioned that a PUC exam was scheduled around the same time in several schools which served as examination centers for SSLC. The note read, “As 2nd PUC Examination-1 will be held on 01.03.2024, some of the Composite PU Colleges & Karnataka Public Schools are examination centers for the PUC examination. Hence Science subject Preparatory Examination of SSLC is scheduled on 01.03.2024 afternoon session.” The timetable is available on the official website of the Karnataka School Examination and Assessment Board, both in English and Kannada.

Screenshot of the note mentioned in the SSLC exam schedule. (Source: Karnataka School Examination and Assessment Board)

Vistara News had also mentioned the clarification from the Karnataka school examination board in its report. 

Logically Facts also accessed the PUC examination timetable on the board’s website and confirmed that the PUC exams will commence on March 1 and conclude on March 22, with all papers set to start at 10:15 a.m., including those scheduled for Fridays. Three consecutive Fridays, including March 1, have exams starting at 10:15 a.m. Hence, one preparatory SSLC examination and one PUC examination (Kannada/Arabic) are scheduled for the same day. 

Screenshot of the PUC examination timetable. (Source: Karnataka School Examination and Assessment Board)

The Karnataka Congress unit also posted a clarification over the matter on X, stating that PUC exams commence on March 1, which is why the SSLC exam will be conducted in the afternoon on that day. Since there is no PUC exam the next day, the SSLC exam on Saturday, March 2, will be held in the morning. The clarification in Kannada further said that this decision aims to address the shortage of examination centers and avoid any confusion.  

The Karanatka Congress’ X post, translated to English, further read, “BJP Gampur, who claims that the SSLC exam is scheduled in the afternoon on Friday to accommodate namaz (prayers offered by Muslims), should clarify whether students writing the PUC exam on the same day also need to perform namaz.” The schedules for the preparatory SSLC examination and PUC exams have also been included in the post. 

TV9 Kannada reported that Madhu Bangarappa, minister of primary & secondary education, had also responded to the issue. According to the report, Bangarappa too clarified that the SSLC Science exam would be conducted in the afternoon on March 1 because of the schedule clashing with the PUC exams. The report further quoted the minister saying that the government made the changes for students' comfort and not to favor one religion.

The verdict

The SSLC preparatory examination scheduled for Friday, March 1, will be held at 2pm, as a PUC exam is scheduled at 10:15am the same day. The difference in timings between the Friday SSLC exam and other examinations has no communal roots. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false. 

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