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ICAI plans to offer package degrees
December, 14th 2006
In talks with varsities to co-operate on a broader spectrum

Other proposals
Group insurance for CA students
Need-based scholarships, medical cover
`Study circle' for continuous professional learning

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) is in talks with Anna University, Indira Gandhi National Open University and others to offer joint degrees.

"Initially we are asking for reduction in certain course credits that students may cover through our CA programme,'' Mr T.N. Manoharan, President, ICAI, said.

"Eventually, we are looking at offering package degrees - CA course in combination with say B.Com," he said at a press conference here. He said that talks were on with the universities to co-operate on a broader spectrum.

The institute is also in talks with Life Insurance Corporation to provide group insurance for CA students. Through group insurance, a student can avail himself of insurance cover for life at a nominal cost. "We have suggested a one-time premium payment option," he said. The scheme is expected to be launched by January.

Besides group insurance, the institute would also offer need-based scholarships and cover medical expenses that economically backward students might incur during the four-year course.

The institute plans to start a `study circle' by January to promote the concept of continuous professional learning among students. Under this programme, weekly interactions would take place between students and practising CAs. This will help students develop communication skills, share practical experience and analyse case studies through group discussion, said Mr Manoharan.

The institute is also organising a three-day international conference for CA professionals here from January 11. The conference will discuss international accounting standards and international laws including sessions on standards for small and medium size CA firms and their growth prospects. About 1,500 delegates including speakers from the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and Singapore are expected at the event, he said.ICAI is in talks with accounting bodies in Australia to set up chapters at Melbourne and Sydney.

It is also in talks with accounting bodies in Singapore for a `mutual recognition agreement'. This would permit Indian chartered accountants to practise in Singapore.

Domestically, ICAI is working with the Ministry of Urban Development to format accounting standards for urban local bodies under the Jawarharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. "We are developing standard service level benchmarks for various municipal services," said Mr Manoharan.

The institute organised a training programme for Service Tax Department officers in Chennai on Tuesday. This would help officers understand financial statements and auditing techniques in related to service tax and central excise.

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