Latest Expert Exchange Queries
sitemapHome | Registration | Job Portal for CA's | Expert Exchange | Currency Converter | Post Matrimonial Ads | Post Property Ads
 
 
News shortcuts: From the Courts | News Headlines | VAT (Value Added Tax) | Service Tax | Sales Tax | Placements & Empanelment | Various Acts & Rules | Latest Circulars | New Forms | Forex | Auditing | Direct Tax | Customs and Excise | ICAI | Corporate Law | Markets | Students | General | Indirect Tax | Mergers and Acquisitions | Continuing Prof. Edu. | Budget Extravaganza | Transfer Pricing
 
 
 
 
Popular Search: Central Excise rule to resale the machines to a new company :: list of goods taxed at 4% :: empanelment :: ICAI offer Get Windows 7,Office 2010 in Rs.799 Taxes :: form 3cd :: TDS :: ACCOUNTING STANDARD :: cpt :: VAT Audit :: due date for vat payment :: VAT RATES :: TAX RATES - GOODS TAXABLE @ 4% :: ACCOUNTING STANDARDS :: ARTICLES ON INPUT TAX CREDIT IN VAT :: articles on VAT and GST in India
 
 
News Headlines »
 Is government tapping your phone?
 Income tax department to use analytics to look for discrepancies in bank accounts
 GST Council fails to break deadlock over indirect tax regime, next meet on Dec 11 and 12 to hammer out differences
 Invoking Writ Jurisdiction For Income Tax Matters
 How to file income-tax returns online
 How Income Tax Returns Are Scrutinised
 All About New Income Disclosure Scheme to make Demonetisation successful
 Your deposit may draw income tax notice
 Accepting payment under IDS 2016
 New disclosure scheme could see 50% tax and 4-year limit on cash use for unaccounted deposits
 Pay 50% tax on unaccounted deposits, or 85% if caught, says Modi government

Remembering India's first woman CA
July, 27th 2006

R. Sivabhogam (1907-1966)

The year, 1930. Fresh after the release from Vellore prison, a 23-year-old wondered what the future held for her. Her mind was full of patriotic feelings but her family compulsions were different. She boards a train to Taliparramba, a remote place in Kerala, where her eldest sister lived. The issue before Sivabhogam was whether to get married, sacrifice her personal life to fight for the country's freedom, or pursue a career.

A difficult proposition indeed for a person who was already a graduate and jailed for participating in the Civil Disobedience movement. These two aspects themselves were sufficient for marriage proposals to be rejected those days. One proposal was rejected on the ground that she was physically challenged. This upset her.

Her dilemma was compounded by the powerful words Swami Vivekananda she had read while in prison: "Faith in Yourself". She held discussions with her sister and with her mentor, the legendary Sister Subbalakshmi, and finally took the bold decision of pursuing a career in accounting, primarily dominated by men at that time.

People around her were surprised and advised her against the decision, as the general feeling was that it is a tough exam and very difficult to pass (a situation no different even today). However, she stuck to her decision and with the able support of her sister created history. R. Sivabhogam became the first woman chartered accountant of India.

After passing the examination, yet another person helped her was C. S. Sastri, who took her on as an apprentice. After completing training, she took on the British again this time it was a different fight. She filed a writ petition to squash the then prevailing law, that is, those who have undergone imprisonment cannot register for practice. She won the appeal and started practice.

Sivabhogam later became the Chairperson of the Southern India Regional Council (SIRC) of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (the then Madras Council). She is the only woman so far to have held this position, that too for a continuous period of three years. Sivabhogam practised for almost three decades.

During her chairmanship, the SIRC had a galaxy of freedom-fighters, patriots and eminent scholars as chief guests for its Annual General Meetings. Notable among them are Dr S. Radhakrishnan, Sir C. P. Ramasamy Iyer, A. S. P. Iyer, Chakravarthy C. Rajagopalachariar, C. Subramaniam and K. Santhanam.

During her practice of over three decades, Sivabhogam carried out a number of audits. Her forte was Reserve Bank of India audit, in which she was an authority. However, her mind was more on conducting audits of charitable institutions. She concentrated on the same in the last three years of her life.

She also motivated quite a few youngsters to take up the chartered accountancy course, and provided coaching classes by putting together an erudite faculty. She was keen that girls join the CA course and instituted a prize for the best women candidate in the Final examination.

From the formation of the ICAI in 1949 till 1990, of the 15,173 members, the number of women CAs in the southern region was a mere 525 (3.4 per cent).

However, in the last 15 years, there has been a steady growth. Of the 18,954 members during this period, 3,754 (20 per cent) were women. At this rate, half the number of CAs in the next three decades will be women.

A true patriot, Sivabhogam wore khadi through out her life and travelled only by bus. Sivabhogam died on June 14, 1966. It is indeed a befitting tribute to her that her centenary year is being celebrated by the SIRC of the ICAI. An endowment in her name is being created for awarding scholarships to economically weak women students desirous of pursuing the CA course.

R. Sivakumar
(The author, a chartered accountant, is a grand-nephew of R. Sivabhogam.)

 
 
Home | About Us | Terms and Conditions | Contact Us
Copyright 2016 CAinINDIA All Right Reserved.
Designed and Developed by Binarysoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
Binarysoft Technologies - Contact Us

Transfer Pricing | International Taxation | Business Consulting | Corporate Compliance and Consulting | Assurance and Risk Advisory | Indirect Taxes | Direct Taxes | Transaction Advisory | Regular Compliance and Reporting | Tax Assessments | International Taxation Advisory | Capital Structuring | Withholding tax advisory | Expatriate Tax Reporting | Litigation | Badges | Club Badges | Seals | Military Insignias | Emblems | Family Crest | Software Development India | Software Development Company | SEO Company | Web Application Development | MLM Software | MLM Solutions