CA Exams 2021: The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) informed the Supreme Court that since there is a dip in the number of COVID-19 cases, it is in the best interest of students that Chartered Accountant (CA) exams are held as scheduled in July instead of postponing it for later. In a brief note submitted before the top court late on Sunday night, ICAI said, “The Covid-19 spread is now at a substantially low level, therefore this is the opportune moment to offer the aspiring Chartered Accountants to further their professional careers. As on date, the number of Covid-19 cases are comparatively low and thus it would be in the best interests of the candidates if the examinations are held as per the schedule and not cancelled or postponed.”Also Read - NEET-SS 2021: Doctors Knock Supreme Court’s Door Challenging 'Abrupt Last-minute Changes' in Exam Pattern

The Supreme Court, on the other hand, on Monday adjourned the hearing on a plea seeking its direction for postponement of July-scheduled Chartered Accountancy (CA) examinations if adherence to Covid protocols cannot be ensured. The plea, filed by Child Right Activist Anubha Shrivastava Sahai will now be heard by a three-judge Bench of Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Aniruddha Bose on Tuesday. Also Read - 'Third Wave Not in Offing Immediately', Supreme Court Allows Kerala Govt to Hold Class XI Exams Offline

The plea by Anubha Srivastava Sahai assailed a June 5 notification issued by the ICAI on the ground that it does not give students the choice to opt out before and during the exams and to carry forward all the benefits. The plea also prayed for an extra attempt to be given to the candidates who are appearing for the intermediate and final exams under the old syllabus. Also Read - Tale of Two Siblings: Nandini Tops ICAI CA Final 2021, Sachin Scores Rank 18

The plea further sought postponement of the scheduled CA exams from July 6 to any later period when the COVID-19 situation normalizes, or until after teachers, students and invigilators are vaccinated.

CLICK HERE TO READ ICAI NOTE TO SUPREME COURT

Meanwhile, a group of 6000 students about to appear in the upcoming Chartered Accountancy (CA) examinations, wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to take Suo-moto cognizance of several issues including the postponement of exams due to the adverse effects of the pandemic, extension of old course attempt amid other reliefs.

It is important to note that as per the seating arrangement chart shared by the institute, 200 students will be allowed to sit in few examination centres. However, the chart also shows that in certain centres, the institute is planning to accommodate upto 200-250 students whereas in one centre the ICAI will conduct the examination for more than 300 students. This has also become another major concern for the students, as they believe that these centres will turn into a super spreading paving way for the third wave of Covid pandemic.

Earlier, CA aspirants had also written to CJI NV Ramana seeking directions to ICAI to provide an Opt-Out option to the students who are unable to appear for the exams due to COVID-19, increase the number of attempts for Old Course Students and conduct an additional examination attempt for students who are unable to appear.

Why CA July Exams 2021 Should Not Be Cancelled Or Postponed, According To ICAI

  1. The Covid-19 spread is now at a substantially low level, therefore this is the opportune moment to offer the aspiring Chartered Accountants to further their professional careers.
  2. As on date, the number of Covid-19 cases are comparatively low and thus it would be in the best interests of the candidates if the examinations are held as per the schedule and not cancelled or postponed.
  3. The 3rd wave of Covid-19 cases is expected only by September-October. The Institute of Company Secretaries of India and the Institute of Cost Accountants of India are scheduled to hold examinations in August-September, 2021.
  4. Many candidates appear for 2 or more of these exams, hence the three Institutes hold the exams in a manner that the same do not overlap. Therefore, since covid is dynamic in nature, the ICAI has got this very narrow window to hold the exams in July, 2021.
  5. The CA Exams are normally scheduled in May, but owing to the high number of cases at that time, the ICAI took a considered view to postpone the same, and after evaluating all factors, has now decided to hold the exams in July, 2021 when the number of Covid-19 cases is comparatively low.

According to the ICAI, the institute is taking all possible measures for safe and secure conduct of CA Examinations scheduled to be held in July,2021. ICAI has increased the examinations centres to cover additional 192 districts of the country to facilitate candidates to not to travel beyond their district to the extent possible.

Here are some of the measures taken by ICAI:

  1. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for implementing safety precautions and for maintaining required standard of hygiene shall be followed.
  2. Before commencement of the examination, seating areas shall be adequately sanitized. All door handles, staircase railing, etc. shall be disinfected. Candidates, if so desired, may further sanitize the seating area with his/her own hand sanitizers; and may also carry face shield, hand gloves, etc. for additional protection as per their choice.
  3. Adequate gap as per norms between two seats shall be maintained.
  4. Thermo scanning for temperature check of examination functionaries/candidates shall be done at the entry.
  5. Hand sanitizer would be made available at the entry and inside the exam venue at prominent places for candidates and centre staff to use.
  6. Candidates shall be allowed to carry the following items inside the examination hall –

Mask on Face (Compulsory), Face Shield (Optional), Gloves on hand (Optional), Personal transparent water bottle, Personal small hand sanitizer, Exam related items/documents as instructed (Calculators, stationery items, Admit Card, Photo ID card, etc.)

Guidelines for examination candidates

  1. Candidate to check reporting/entry time at Centre given in the Admit Card and to reach centre as per reporting time only to avoid any crowding at the centre at the time of entry and to maintain social distancing.
  2. All candidates must ensure before reaching the examination centre that they do not have any symptom or suffering from COVID-19 disease.
  3. Candidates need to maintain social distancing from each other at all the time.
  4. The candidates must ensure to report at the Examination Hall not before 1.00 PM wearing face mask and carry with them exam related items and documents. They may carry a transparent bottle of drinking water and 50/100 ML bottle of hand sanitizer and admit card. Candidates will not be allowed to carry their mobile phones, smart watch, other electronic gadgets, books & written materials and bags inside the examination halls.
  5. At the entrance, the candidates shall be subject to thermal temperature scanning and sanitization of hands. Candidates and other functionaries having body temperature of more than the prescribed limit will not be allowed entry in the examination centre. However, their record will be maintained.

The ICAI earlier had announced that the Chartered Accountant (Final, Intermediate/ IPC and PQC Courses) Examinations will be held from 5th July 2021 to 20th July, 2021 and Chartered Accountant (Foundation) Examination on July 24th, 26th, 28th and 30th, 2021 from 2 PM to 5 PM.