Mangalore:  In a decision that may trigger a controversy, a local college has banned girl students from wearing burqa in classes and while writing exams, but allowed them to wear the outfit in its campus.

The management of St. Aloysius College, an autonomous educational institution, has decided to ban burqa from this academic year.

"The wearing of burqa is banned only while attending classes and writing exams. However, students can wear it in the campus," Principal Fr. Walter Andrade informed.

Defending the decision, he said, "We want to maintain the sanctity of exams and also discipline in classrooms."

An official of the college, however, refused to comment on whether the ban clause has been inserted in the prospectus to be given to students at the time of seeking admission. "There is a difference between a scarf and burqa," the official said.