On day one, 98.3% or 7,71,878 students across Karnataka appeared for the second language 10th grade SSLC (secondary school leaving certificate) exam on Thursday, according to the government.
Out of the 7,85, 140 who were enrolled to write the exam on Thursday, 13,212 did not appear, S.Suresh Kumar, Karnataka's primary and secondary education minister said.
Kumar said that if the student has a genuine reason for not appearing on Thursday, they will be allowed to write supplementary exams in August as first timers.
However, around 201 students across the state who showed some symptoms were made to write the exam in separate rooms.
"The health department is monitoring these students," Kumar said.
The exams are being conducted at a time when Karnataka is witnessing a surge in cases and the state breached the 10,000 covid-19 positive mark ahead of projections.
The rise in cases has forced the state to mull another lockdown to contain the spread of the virus that may now be in community transmission phase.
The decision to conduct exams was criticized by political parties, parents and guardians who accused the government of trying to use young students to prove a point that the covid-19 situation in the state was under control.
However, the father of one student died while he was trying to take his son to the examination centre in Raichur. Reports also stated that one girl in Belagavi took her own life hours before the exam.
Nearly 8.5 lakh 10th graders are enrolled to write the SSLC exams that will go on till 5 July across 2,879 centers in Karnataka.
Students waited in long queues to get their screening done and complete other formalities before taking their exams.
This included 555 out of the 614 students from neighbouring states appeared for the exams.
A total of 367 students from neighbouring Kerala were allowed to cross over at Talapadi check post to their respective exam centers across Dakshina Kannada district.
Exams for students in ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary Examination) and CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Examinations) were cancelled by the Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday.
The state government said it has taken all safety precautions across centres. There were 5755 health centers in place and over 1.5 lakh personnel, including teachers, health workers, transport officials and police, were working to conduct the exams.