CA Aniruddha Phene, Director, Phene Education

CA Aniruddha Phene is an entrepreneur at heart and is a keen observer of various trends and patterns in the marketplace. He is an avid reader and is always updated about the smallest of the things that take place in the commerce world. He is a keen observer of the stock markets, consumer market trends, political environment, government policies, laws, taxation, education industry trends and business news.

 

The Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI) recently announced that they will be conducting their Inter & Final level Exams in December as per schedule. The only difference being the mode of appearing for the exam would be through online mode. The students can select whether they will appear through centre based or home-based online mode. This announcement of the institute received mixed reactions from students. Many were happy that exams will be conducted on schedule, few were unhappy about the change in mode to online. Overall, the move was welcomed by most.

The move signalled a positive breakthrough into the ongoing postponements of all the professional exams. The Respected Governing Body of the Institute came up with a solution to solve the dilemma, the students were put through. The ICAI has scored a home run with this move.

Professional Exams like CA, CS and CMA are conducted twice every year. The CA exams are conducted in May and November, followed by CMA and CS exams in June and December. This year the May/June exams were postponed and eventually cancelled by all the three Institutes. The exams are usually conducted through offline mode where centres are assigned to each applicant. The Inter and Final Level exams go on for almost 2 weeks. Lakhs of students from all over India attempt the exams every year. With the pandemic protocols, it was difficult to carry out the exams through offline mode. Neither was the Institutes prepared for such a crisis. Hence, they cancelled the exams.

It was expected that by the next Exam attempt in Nov/December everything will be back to normal. But unfortunately, the pandemic is still not over. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) recently postponed their November exam by 20 days. The Institute has given an opt-out option for students who have enrolled for the exam and wish to opt-out. The students are in two minds. But the main concern is the safety of the students and their families. In the current situation, it would put them at high risk of infection.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India should think of switching to online mode. This can relieve the students of the stress they are in today. With the on-going pandemic situation, it would be wise to adopt a different strategy to conduct the exams. The changing times call for a change in practice.

Today the whole world has switched to online mode and it’s time for the Educational Institutes to do the same. This month the Mumbai University successfully conducted the Final year graduate level exams through online mode.

The Company Secretary Exams conducted by the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) are scheduled in December. The CS Institute should follow the example of the Institute of Cost Accountants of India.

It’s time for the management of the educational bodies to show dynamic leadership and make bold moves. The nation’s future is in their capable hands.

This year can be a great opportunity for the three Institutes to rework their strategy and connect with more students leading to more enrollments. Technology can change the way the exams are held in future without losing their competitiveness.

All the three institutes have already switched to online mode for admission and application for exam procedures. The fees are also paid online. Maybe it’s time to switch the exams too to online mode starting with this year as such a situation in the future could be easily handled.

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