The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India(ICAI), the statutory body under an Act of the Parliament that regulates the profession of chartered accountants in the country, was looking at starting an Accounting Technicians course for creating a class of tier-II of accountants within the next three months.
The two years course will create a category of assisting CAs, said Ved Jain, president, ICAI.
There is a huge demand for such professionals in the country and the Institute has already sent a proposal for approval to the ministry of corporate affairs, Jain informed. Some amendments were required and the course was likely to be rolled out within the next three months.
ICAI was looking at enrolling around 50,000 students for the course in the first year.
It will be open to students of 10+2 qualification through the Common Proficiency Test(CPT).
After clearing the CPT, the student could either go for the CA course or the Accounting Technicians course.
A student qualified for the AT course could enroll for the CA course. Students not completing the CA course had the option of becoming at Accounting Technician. Currently, around 3.5 lakh students were pursuing the CA course all over India at all the three levels. The average pass-out rate in the CA finals was around 30 per cent. Around 1.25 lakh students now got themselves admitted for ICAI course now, from around 35,000 in 2001.
The number of CAs from the East had not grown much, Jain warned. Currently, there were 13,800 members from the Eastern region, only 10 per cent of the total members in the country.
One of the major reasons behind this was that the eastern region was Kolkata-centric, while the West and the South had quite a few important cities.
ICAI would not compromise on quality enrolled for the course.
It had brought down the frequency of CPT to twice a year now from four times a year earlier to ensure that only serious students applied. ICAI was looking at making the academic help line on the Gyandarshan channel toll-free. Students could now follow lectures delivered by professors live on television during stipulated times everyday.
This apart, the instiute had set up a chapter in New York in the US for greater international contact. ICAI had 20 chapters outside India in places like Botswana, Nigeria, cities in Saudi Arabia,Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Kuwait.
The New York chapter would be formally inaugurated in July this year. ICAI had around 10,000 members outside India now.
It was in talks with the accounting bodies of Canada, Singapore, UK and Australia to sign mutual recognition agreements (MRAs) that would allow Indian CAs to practice in these countries and vice-versa. The negotiations were at an advanced stage, claimed Jain.