A total of 11,18,821 candidates wrote their first language papers at 4,194 centres across West Bengal as Class X state board exams commenced in the state on March 7.
An official of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education said the first day of the Madhyamik exam passed off smoothly amid strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols. The students sat for their paper from 11 am to 3.15 pm.
No candidate was allowed to leave the centre for one hour and 15 minutes after the exam began.
According to the official, CCTVs have been fitted in several centres across the state amid speculation that some of the students have hidden textbooks and paper chits in the building.
The government has also temporarily suspended internet services in some areas of the state to thwart unethical practices, the official said.
The move was necessitated after the purported leak of Madhyamik question papers on social media platforms in 2019 and 2020 by some exam centres in the state's Malda and Murshidabad districts.
Last year, the exam could not be held due the surge in COVID-19 cases. Students were given scores based on an evaluation format that took into consideration internal assessment performance among other parameters.
Earlier in the day, chief minister Mamata Banerjee extended her best wishes to all examinees.
"Best wishes to the Madhyamik examinees. This is your first big exam in life. Remain confident, you are sure to achieve success. Appeal to all to cooperate in smooth conduct of the gigantic exercise. All the best, my dear students," she tweeted.