The question paper for the University Grants Commission-National Eligibility Test was circulated on the messaging platform Telegram before the examination, said Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday.

The test, conducted for the post of assistant professor in universities and colleges, was held by the National Testing Agency on June 18 in two shifts across the country. On Wednesday, the government cancelled the test, saying that the integrity of the examination “may have been compromised”.

The Union education ministry, however, had not specified how the examination had been compromised. “Fresh examination shall be conducted, for which information shall be shared separately,” the Centre had said on Wednesday. “Matter being handed over to CBI [Central Bureau of Investigation] for thorough investigation in the matter.”

During a press conference on Thursday, Pradhan said that the question paper circulated on Telegram matched the original question paper.

Regarding alleged irregularities in the National Eligibility-Cum-Entrance Test, the minister said that the probe so far had indicated that there were “errors in some regions”. He also said the ministry was in regular contact with the Bihar Police regarding the alleged leak of the question paper of the examination, which is conducted by the National Testing Agency for admission to undergraduate medical courses.

This came against the backdrop of one of the students, who had appeared for the test from Bihar, confessing before the police that the question paper was leaked a night before the examination, reported The Hindu.

Anurag Yadav, who was preparing for the test in Rajasthan’s Kota, said that his uncle Sikandar Yadavendu told him to return home as he had planned to leak the paper. Yadav said he was dropped at the house of the other two accused, Amit Anand and Nitish Kumar, who gave him the question paper and the answer sheet.

“The entire night I was asked to memorise all the answers,” he wrote in his confessional statement, reported The Hindu. “My exam centre was DY Patil School and the same questions were asked in the exam which I was made to memorise the whole night.”

The results of the National Eligibility-Cum-Entrance Test were announced on June 4. Subsequently, several aspirants alleged that an inflation of marks had led to 67 candidates securing the top rank, including six from the same examination centre.

On June 14, the Gujarat Police arrested five persons for alleged malpractice at an examination centre in Panchmahal district’s Godhra.

Also read: NEET fiasco puts the spotlight on the National Testing Agency and its error-ridden record