A few days back, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has changed 30 exam centers claiming some “Unavoidable Reason” behind it. But before CA Students were able to find their new exam centers, the ICAI yet again changed some center secretly.
But this time centers were changed by sending emails directly to the CA Students instead of the official announcement. Thanks to Social Media! This secret went viral within a few hours and other CA students also started to share the email they received.
Not only one or two, but many exam centers were changed by sending private emails to the students. On 19th Nov 2020, just 2 days before exams, the ICAI has yet again officially changed 5 examination centers. Also, today (i.e. 1 day before examination) again ICAI change 2 more centers. Is this some sort of joke??
Not only this notification, but ICAI did issue 3 other notifications definitely clarifying few issues (but leaving many). So, today was a Notification Day for us and the ICAI issued a total of 4 Notifications. I will be talking about them also.
Apart from the center change notification, the ICAI has also issued a second notification that was a very much-awaited notification i.e. January 2021 exam date. Although the ICAI has not issued the entire paper-wise schedule, but it has announced the start date of January exams i.e. 21st January 2021. We must appreciate that!
The third notification was about the Nov. 2020 CA Exams conduct. It was simply again telling the same thing that CA exams will happen in approx 1100 centers. ICAI also allowed the students to carry their books for the CA final (NEW) paper-6 which is Open book exams.
And lastly, there was one very important notification warning students that STUDENTS MUST NOT APPEAR IN THE EXAMS if they have COVID-19 or COVID-19 symptoms. Yes, I also agree with this. If anyone knows that s/he has COVID should not appear in exams and must opt-out voluntarily. But what if there is some genuine student who himself/herself doesn’t know that s/he has COVID??
The Notification tells that CA students must have to adhere to the SOP issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW). And, if anyone is breaching such guidelines, then it will be punishable under the various sections of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, & also under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Now, here are some of the points of the Guidelines/SOP which I would like to highlight here:
1. Maintaining physical distancing of a minimum of 6 feet, when queuing up for entry and inside the center as far as feasible.
2. Proper crowd management in the examination center, as well as outside premises like parking lots, waiting areas — duly following physical distancing norms, shall be ensured.
3. Bags/books/mobiles should not be allowed in the examination center.
4. For pen & paper-based tests, the invigilator will sanitize his hands prior to the distribution of question papers/answer sheets. The examinees will also sanitize their hands before receiving such papers and handing them back to invigilators. The collection and packing of the answer sheets, at every stage, will involve sanitization of the hands. The answer sheets will preferably be opened up after 72 hours have elapsed post collection of papers.
5. Use of spit/saliva for counting/distributing sheets shall not be allowed.
I am here mentioning just 5 points and you can imagine even managing these will be so hard. Apart from that, managing the crowd at entry and exit of exams would be specifically challenging.
Still, I would appreciate the Institute that it is actually trying to do things happen. But there are still many questions which need an answer. I am once again going to point out those concerns:
1. Clarification on the last attempt of the CA Old Students.
Now, this one query alone has many sub-queries like what if students choose to appear in Jan/Feb? What if the student directly appears in May 2021? What if students attempt one group in Nov. and then opt-out to Jan/Feb OR May 2021?
These doubts are actually very frustrating for the students as they are not able to decide whether they should opt-out or appear in the Nov. 2020 CA Exams. Will they be losing an attempt if they are not appearing in the Nov attempt must be clarified.
2. Clarification on the issue of the Results:
Another important issue that has remained unanswered is the Results. When the results will be issued for the Nov attempt & for the Jan attempt?
Will Nov. 2020 exams result and Jan/Feb exams result will be issued together? If not, then at what time the results of Jan/Feb 2021 shall be issued? What will be the effect on the exemptions? Will the timing of the results of the Jan/Feb exams will postpone the May 2021 attempt as well?
3. Will the student be allowed to change the exams centers if they opt for Jan/Feb. 2021 exams?
Many students are worried about this issue too. What if they opt for the January exams, Will they be allowed to change their exam centers at that time? As many students need to move to separate places for exams, clarifying this doubt well within time will be much appreciated.
4. What will happen if any student from a particular exam center is found covid positive during the exam days?
This one doubt which is directly linked with the Nov. 2020 CA Exams has not been yet answered. What if during the exams days any student, or staff, or examiner found to be COVID Positive? What will be the consequence in that case? This is a case that needs clarification.
Apart from that also, there are many doubts which need clarification. But the ICAI is right now not in the mood of answering anything else. All it wants is to just conduct the exams as soon as possible no matter whether it takes literally the last minute change.
The members’ exams which were already in the online mode that has been shifted. All the BELOVED CCMs are conducting meetings through Webinars. When it comes to plea Govt for last dates extension, the Insitute will take the cover of the COVID. But when it comes to the students, EVERYTHING BECOMES NORMAL!
At last, I would like to request to all students that PLEASE TAKE CARE OF YOURSELVES AND YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS. The ICAI will be conducting the exams NO MATTER WHAT it takes! So just Be careful.
Thanks for reading. Good Luck with Exams!
Article Written By: Malvika Singh
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