Hi, I am a CA Final Student. I have been preparing for my CA Final Exams from last more than one year now. But the last five to six months have been so frustrating, confusing, and also disturbing that now I feel so confused that whether I have read anything? Whether I will be able to attempt the paper? And most importantly whether the exams will actually happen?
This mindset is not mine only but there are so many students who are actually feeling the same. A few days back I have also written an article sharing my plight and thoughts with you all. I received many comments from the students sharing their own opinions and feeling. At the same time, some students were also blaming me that I am trying to demean our institute in some way. Let me tell them clearly that raising GENUINE QUESTIONS with our own institute does not amount to demean it! Not at all.
Read my earlier article: Story of A Frustrated CA Student
I would like to again share my opinion here. And I really want that this article should reach to every single CA Student and the Institute authorities as well. There are many things, which I personally think, need to be addressed and the institute MUST take some concert measures towards it instead of just making hollow promises.
1. Safety of the Students:
Of course, the first and foremost priority must be the safety of the students. The institute always tells that they are going to take care of the students very well. But How?? Institute said that they would follow the precautions mandated by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and maintain social distancing, sanitizations, etc.
Okay fine! I would request you to please visit Google now and search how many students got COVID after the NEET/JEE 2020 exams. You would get to know the reality. NEET/JEE Exams also followed the same. But many students and worst of all their family members too got infected after the exams. That was only a one-day exam and ours are 18 days long exams. Now you tell me do you actually think that Following so-called guidelines would actually do the needful. I don’t think so!
So, Am I asking for Further Postponement or even cancellation of the exams?? ABSOLUTELY NOT! I have always been a BIG supporter of conducting the exams. But that does not mean I am ready to risk my family for this. I am from a very normal middle-class family. If I got infected then I know it very well that I won’t be able to afford the treatment. And worst cum scenario, if god forbid my family members got infected because of me, then we would be in deep trouble and I won’t be able to spare myself.
I was just thinking that instead of thumping the chest about following guidelines why don’t the ICAI actually take some practical approach towards exams amid covid? Institute has sufficient funds and institute can use it actually towards the student welfare (at least for this attempt only). I believe the institute should take some sort of group medical insurance policy that covers covid treatment for its students. That would do a lot of help for many students (like me) and it would make us feel confident that Yes Institute actually cares for us. When the benevolent fund can be made for the CAs then why not for students?
2. Past Experience with the Institute:
During the May 2020 Attempt, we all have seen how the Institue acted to manage the exams amid coronavirus. ICAI postponed the exams not once but twice before the cancellation of the May attempt. Ironically, the council members always tell that exams are going to happen on schedule and after few days from their such tweet the same council members tweet the news of postponement. We all have seen this during the May attempt cancellation.
Unfortunately, the same pattern has been followed during the Nov. 2020 attempt so far. Earlier the exams were to be held from 1st Nov. 2020 and now it has been shifted to 21st Nov. 2020. And whether it is still going to happen, is definitely doubtful to some extent.
My point here is just this, if the Institute is sure about the examinations then Just Conduct the Exams! If you want to make a postponement, then do postpone it. But definitely not wait until the last few days to act. We CA students also have a life to live. And this kind of attitude from the institute messed everything up. And please do not say that you are giving us extra time to revise. No, but you are making us more miserable by your this kind of attitude.
3. Exam Centers in the Containment zones:
Recently, our Institute has issued the Admit cards for our November 2020 CA Exams. But interestingly many students got their exam centers in the containment zones on the very first day of issuing the admit cards. Now, don’t you think that it is the institute’s own responsibility to check whether any of the exam centers are falling in the containment zones or not? But Institue just did not do that. Maybe they forgot to check that because they need to comply with their own deadline of issuing admit cards on 1st Nov. 2020.
On the immediately next day, to cover this mistake, they issued another notification asking students to check their own exam centers that if they are falling in containment zone and notify the institute. Now, when you have 20 days left in your examination, then you must need to prepare for the exams and not check every day whether the exam centers are falling in the containment zones!
4. Opt-Out facility availability:
Admit Cards have been issued but the opt-out window is still missing. Interestingly, A Few days back the opt-out window was opened for a few hours and after a few hours later it again vanished. This thing reminds me of the 2018 CA results declaration in which the first 24000 students were passed and later on 5000 students were failed. This kind of mistake is unforgivable. But the institute often does it sneakingly!
We are still unclear whether on opting out we would be allowed any extra attempt under the old syllabus exams. Whether our exemptions, fees, etc. would be carried forward or not. These things must have been cleared by now.
There are many things which I can say here but that won’t help the challenges. My point here is just to explain that the Institute must act more actively and empathetically rather than just making false and hollow promises.
I am also aware of the fact that there are many persons who are actually reaping the benefits from the situation but at the same time, we also can’t deny the fact that there are actually many issues that the ICAI needs to address.
It is only the Institute that can handle this situation and help the students in this hour of need. I do trust my institute very much and I do respect it like anything. But I feel cheated when the Institute ignores students’ genuine concerns. I am urging the Institute that PLEASE DO WHAT YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO DO TO MITIGATE THE SITUATION. Even after so much confusion and disturbance, I have faith in the ICAI. Please don’t let us down!
Article Written By: Malvika Singh
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