As we all know that the world is facing a global pandemic COVID-19 since 2020 began and due to which every sector is disturbed be it financial or academic. In this context, all institutes are either postponing their exams or evaluating them on the basis of internal assessment. The same was done by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India n(ICAI) wherein the plea challenging the ‘opt-out scheme’ the counsel for ICAI said that the Chartered Accountancy exams will be held in November 2020.
For better conducting of exams, The India Wide Parents Association has suggested some representations to the ICAI. They represented in the light of the case ‘Anubha Srivastava Sahai V. Institute of Chartered Accountants of India’ which was heard by the top court on 13th July in which the not conducting exams in July - august was stated by the ICAI. On behalf of the petitioner for the relief in favor of the students impacted by the cancellation decision due to the pandemic, the representations were made before the top court:
- Mentioning of students specifically who appeared in May 2020 and November 2020 cycle in the mark sheet which is to be issued after the combined November examinations.
- Commencement of articleship for the IPCC (Integrated Professional Competence Course) students to start from August 2020 or reduce the time from 2.5 years to 2 years.
- Allow students to continue work from home from their native places and not from where they were doing their articleship which means they can go back to their real houses.
- Due to the postponement of the exams, CA Final students were not able to attend the office and complete their articleship hence it is requested to consider the period of postponement as period served so to avoid the extension of their articleship.
- CA final year students need time to prepare for exams therefore strict checking should be done to make sure that no article is asked work for than 7-8 hours.
- Advanced ITT and Orientation should be provided to the students till exams are conducted and they should be allowed to complete it after the CA final exam.
- To answer the queries of the students a special mechanism should be set up within 48 hours.
- In this pandemic, it is difficult to find scribes therefore relaxation should be provided to the students who were supposed to bring the scribes for writing examination.
- CA final students who were supposed to be taking exams in May be provided with requisite degrees
- Student’s queries must be responded through mail or social media.
- Many Articles are unable to attend offices due to the extension of lockdown in many states. Relief to them can be provided by following two methods.
- Putting up a statement for Compulsory Work from home permission to the articles.
- Those who are unable to work from home due to the unavailability of equipment provided by their current firms may be allowed to get themselves transferred to their local hometown firms without any restriction by their principals so that they can continue their articleship wherever they are situated.
The representation also states that ‘No relief should be left on MUTUAL DISCUSSION between the Article and the Principal as students rely on the institute for their relief and articleship is a compulsion made by the course. Strict guidelines to be issued to all the firms regarding the specified measures and no student should be forced out of his/her will to perform any act.’ As it is uncertain as to when the vaccine for this COVID-19 will come the letter also suggests some solutions like to provide provisional degrees to the CA final students so that they can take up jobs and can give their final exam in coming 3 years. The association states that if the method of online exams is being selected than trial phases could be started from now to check the systems and software so that no issue occurs while students appear for their exams. It also suggests taking inspiration from IIT University and CBSE where the final year students are being marked on the intermediate scores, Articleship exams, online interviews, technical rounds, and many other aspects. ‘Lastly, the students are expecting solution ASAP from the ICAI so that they can move ahead in career and support their families financially in this pandemic’, said the association.