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New eligibility norms for CA students and their impact
New Delhi: ICAI has shortened the period of CA course in the newly introduced study scheme. This can escalate the trend of students skipping articleship and obtaining dummy certificates instead.
THE NOTIFICATION RECENTLY issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has changed the air for the students of Chartered Accountancy (CA) course. According to the new study scheme, students will be permitted to register with the Board of Studies and obtain the study material after completing their 10th standard. And, the fresh enrolments will be made on the basis of an entrance exam called Common Proficiency Test (CPT). However, students can sit for the CPT only after completing 12th standard.
Another amendment in the CA course allows the students to appear for CA Final exams along with their articleship. The period of articleship has also been increased to three and a half years now instead of three years as earlier.
Students who enrol after September 2006 will be able to complete their CA course in a lesser duration – minimum four years against five years as under the present scheme. 
CA Final exams have been rescheduled for the students who have already enrolled for the course. And, this move has in turn affected the plans of these students in many ways. For instance, I have to appear for CA Final exam in May 2008. And, I had decided to start my coaching classes for one subject at the end of November, but now I will have to take the classes for two subjects simultaneously. Like this, many students will have to alter their plans according to the changed date sheet. Some students are now contemplating on appearing for one group at a time. Some students have decided to obtain dummy certificates from employers for their articleship programme. In this way they will not have to be present in the office to work and they will be able to use the time for preparation for their final exams.
And, with a number of students coming forward to apply for coaching classes, the CA coaching institutes are already packed. An advance booking of six to eight months is being done for many subjects in the coaching institutes.
But, it is ill wind that blows no good. The new scheme is actually a windfall for some. The students will now be able to complete the course and achieve their dreams of becoming a CA in four years instead of the earlier five.
However, this scheme is being criticised on the grounds of lack of work experience among the students. The new scheme allows the students to appear for inter and final exams during their training period. In such a case, most students will take dummy certificates from employers and study for exams leading to no practical work exposure.
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nilesh shivaji phulwade
i have completed
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