Debashis Mitra, the newly elected president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), said the institute is working on a revision of the CA curriculum this year after five years, as opposed to the 10-year standard and initial draft. of the revised version. The curriculum has already been sent to the government for review.
Mitra added that the institute is also monitoring digital initiatives as part of its 2022-23 action plan. Based on the suggestions of the government, the curriculum will be reworked and then placed in the public domain for 45 days to get suggestions from the stakeholders. The final curriculum will be introduced this year, Mitra said.
“One of the key areas of focus of the revised curriculum is application-based learning… We’re going to see how much of an open book system we can have and ask questions based on case studies. It will help us move away from rote memorization and go for mind application. When we developed the curriculum five years ago, GST already existed, but today it has stood the test of time. Therefore, the curriculum needs to be revised to meet the demands of the industry,” Mitra told biharengineering.in.
ICAI also aims to increase the number of information technology (IT) labs to integrate technology into the CA curriculum, he added. By the end of this year, the number of labs is expected to increase by 40 percent.
“We already have over 150 IT centers, labs as we call them, across India. At the moment these labs help students learn Tally and other skills, but we want to use them to further improve the technology upgrade of the students and see to what extent they (students) can learn artificial intelligence, blockchain and audit analytic tools.” said Mitra.
Recently, the CA Foundation exams have been postponed because the data clashed with the CBSE board exams. After this, CA intermediate students also requested a postponement. However, Mitra said there have been no discussions about moving the midterm exams.
The institute, Mitra said, aims to make general management and communication skills classes more than effective, “so students know how to really communicate and put forward their points of view.”
During his term as president, Mitra aims to improve the reading rooms managed by the regional council and departments. It is an initiative of the Students Skills Enrichment Board (Board of Studies-Operations) to provide students with a favorable reading climate.
“A lot of the students who join us are from tier-II, tier-III cities. They are not from Delhi and Ahmedabad. They must have access to knowledge even with limited resources,” he said. At present there are over 170 reading rooms/libraries across India. We also want to upgrade our video lectures and include more animations. When you have a lot of animations, it becomes very easy to understand and learning becomes a lot of fun,” added Mitra, who is also president of the ICAI research wing.
Mitra said the reasons behind the declining success rates could be changes in the paper pattern and more focus on application-oriented questions.
“The exams have not been tougher. We have multiple choice questions and make the questions more application oriented by asking more questions about case studies. So if students are in a position to set their minds on the subject, they will survive and do well. If they’ve just memorized the subject and show up for the exams, there’s a good chance they won’t pass,” he said.
In 2019, the overall pass rate of new and old courses for both grades 1 and 2 in CA final exams (November) was around 21 and 23 percent, respectively. In November 2020, that dropped to 14 and 5 percent. The CA final exam mark in December 2021 (old course) was less than 1.5 percent.