The Institute Of Chartered Accountants of India
Every year our Institute conducts the examinations twice in a year. We conduct the first examinations in the first week of May & the Second one from the first week of November. We are conducting such examinations since long.
This year, our nation is facing an extraordinary situation and it requires extraordinary resolutions to face a pandemic COVID- 19. We have already decided in the interest of the well-being of students and rescheduled our exams to be held from 29th July 2020 to 16th August 2020.
This postponement was very much required but still the clouds of the Pandemic are there and we are really taking the decisions of the well-being of students, we should revisit our decision to go ahead with the July- August 2020 examination. You are requested to consider the following keeping in mind the possibility of the exposure of Corona to our lacks of students, feelings of the parents and as a whole for the nation where our decision may trigger some of the after-effects like Delhi religious gathering problem, Migration problem, Administrative lapse and so on. Our Institute should not be a part of any such decision that may be harmful to students as well as to the Nation.
1. The present situation and the future of the Covid-19 cannot be predicted. We can only make sensible decisions at this juncture. The Government of India is also doing the same and yesterday and guidelines for Unlock 1 were issued by The Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India.
2. This is to inform you that the said Unlock -1 has not provided any dates for the opening of educational institutions, schools, coaching Institute and simply deferred the decision on Phase 2 of the Unlock in July 2020. You are requested to reconsider your decision in the above reference that our Institute is dependent on the school premises for conducting our examinations. Further, there are numerous rights in the hand s of state Governments, Local Governments and district administration to place their restrictions on the travel of the people and to grant permission for conduct of any activity at their localised area. For your reference, a clause as provided in the notification is as follows. “Phase II Schools, colleges, educational/ training/ coaching institutions etc., will be opened after consultations with States and UTs. State Governments/ UT administrations are being advised to hold consultations at the institution level with parents and other stakeholders. Based on the feedback, a decision on the re-opening of these institutions will be taken in July 2020. MoH FW will prepare SOP for these institutions. Further, The Home Secretary in his letter to all the Chief Secretaries of the state and the administrators have specifically mentioned monitoring the clause related to the opening of schools, colleges and Educations Institution.
3. As per information available as given by the reputed news agencies with experts opinion that coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases are projected to rise through June and July, enforcing the use of masks and social distancing norms and isolating everyone with cough and fever is the only protection against infection. Community participation in the enforcement of masks, self-quarantine and isolation of everyone with symptoms of Covid-19 even without testing is the way forward.
4. We are having limited Centres across India and fewer centres at Outside India. The students are from the various parts of the country and spread over to the villages, towns & municipalities. Our student has to travel for exams days to the nearest cities. They may have to travel the cities by crossing state borders. At present, there is a mechanism of Quarantine of the people crossing the sate boundaries. Further student stays with their relatives and uses local transport. Is it possible in the present scenario to visit any relative home to write the papers?
5. The Unlock -1 has opened up the Unrestricted Movement of Persons and Goods and marked that there will not be any restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods and no separate permission/ approval/ e-permit would be required for such movements. However, if a State/ UT, based on reasons of public health and its assessment of the situation propose to regulate the movement of persons, it would give wide publicity in advance regarding the restrictions to be placed on such movement, and the related procedures to be followed.
6. The increasing number of COVID-19 patients also warrant rethinking a decision to go ahead with the exams. Today, with the highest single-day spike of 7,964 cases, India’s Covid-19 tally crosses 1.73 lakh. Neither this figure neither is good nor can be ignored. There will a surge of disease Covid-19 in the coming months so why are we ignoring the writing on the wall.
7. With the Unlock -1, increasing mobility and more cases will be identified which calls for an urgent consideration at your part. Don’t rely on the Government move of unlocking, it is forced and accommodative because of lockdown fatigue, people fed up and don’t seem to be bothered about the infection spreading. The numbers will spike. The concept of Dekha Jayega can apply to one Individual mind but certainly, it should not be routed through a prestige institution like ours.
8. At a social place, the students, invigilators will be requiring to have a mask on their faces. The masks are also having their medical complications and wearing a mask for a time of three hours will affect the mental and physical stage. It’s certainly, not an easy job to wear a mask and to write for the exams for many hours.
9. Your attention is drawn towards the AIIMS director Dr Galleria. As per him’ “ With most modelling studies saying the pandemic will peak in India in late July or mid-August, protection measures must be closely followed for protection. “I think it’ll (pandemic peak) probably be a little earlier, I would say July, but most of the mathematical predictors have pushed it to August,” Further such views are subject to many permutations and combination of many factors such as individuals immunity or population infected, asymptomatic transmission, and other unknowns human behaviour.
10. The Institute, as well as the schools providing the examination facilities are requested to go through the clause by clause provisions of the Disaster Management Act 2005 having penal provisions to attract irresponsible conduct.
11. The November Examination will be in schedule and it will be quiet impossible to declare the results by that the time of Registration/ Application forms for November 2020 exams. In any case, a distance between August Exam and November exam will be very short and will only add stress for the students.
12. We must concentrate on the health and safety of our students and affiliated Schools around the Country and should look. The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) the outbreak remains a very fluid situation, and please be assured that we are monitoring the effects on health, safety, and travel mobility.
13. I request you to take decisions prioritizing the health and safety of everyone fairer and equitable. At least a thousand members will also take an active part in conducting such an examination. It is prayed to merge the May 2020 exam with November exams and initiate the remedial measures of providing options of students to their chosen groups etc. Further in a stressful and trying situation, and I look forward to your understanding to make decisions in a timely and well-informed manner.
Thanking you in anticipation,
CA Amresh Vashisht, FCA
Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for information purposes only and does not constitute an advice or a legal opinion and are personal views of the author. It is based upon relevant law and/or facts available at that point of time and prepared with due accuracy & reliability. Readers are requested to check and refer relevant provisions of statute, latest judicial pronouncements, circulars, clarifications etc before acting on the basis of the above write up. The possibility of other views on the subject matter cannot be ruled out. By the use of the said information, you agree that Author / TaxGuru is not responsible or liable in any manner for the authenticity, accuracy, completeness, errors or any kind of omissions in this piece of information for any action taken thereof. This is not any kind of advertisement or solicitation of work by a professional.