My thoughts on July 2020 Exams

I understand Students are in problem. Actually, they are in confusion. So, the big question here is whether ICAI should conduct exams in July end or not?

I received 100s of emails and messages from students, I am just trying to find all the problems and the best possible solution to it. I have included excerpts from emails of all the students in this article.

Students have messaged me the following issues.

  1. No proper place for studies.
  2. They are not afraid for themselves, but they are afraid and worried about their families, especially the elders in the family or people having a medical history.
  3. They are worried about what safety precautions ICAI will take for conducting exams. (Sanitization, Social Distancing etc.)
  4. How students will commute to the examination centre?
  5. If the exam centre is in a different city, where they will stay?
  6. What if a student is confirmed to be COVID positive on the 5th paper, everyone in the centre will have to be isolated for 14 days compulsorily. What about the remaining papers of all those isolated students in that centre?
  7. What if a student has got fever after giving 2 or 3 exams? Will he be allowed to give exams?
  8. What if during the exam, someone in the family got affected and the entire family is home-quarantined. There may be a case positive case in a student’s society/apartment, in this case, the whole apartment will be sealed and complete lockdown will be imposed.
  9. Students (Especially who are doing Articleship) are also concerned about leaving this attempt because they won’t get leaves for next exams.
  10. For CA IPCC May 2020 was the last attempt and for CA Finals Nov 2020 was the last attempt, so what will happen to old course students.
  11. Students are also asking, why ICAI is itself doing webinars not seminars.
  12. One more question is there, why the campus is being conducted online?
  13. The biggest concern of students is there is no proper communication channel from ICAI’s side. Vague tweets from CCMs and Not so clear notifications from ICAI. No replies of the email (I have myself sent an email for some corrections in Study Material, reply received after 10 days!)
  14. Since Lockdown 5.0 is going on till 30-June-2020, some offices have started in Mumbai and other places from 8th June 2020. And articles who have gone to their home town during this pandemic are unable to return to work as hostels have not opened yet. Even after all these CA firms are marking articles on leave from 8th June 2020, even when working from home as possible.
  15. CA Students are also worried about getting notices from ICAI for sharing tweets, emails, screenshots etc relating to ICAI exam cancellation etc. Because of this fear they have created fake accounts to hide their identities, taking advantage of this, some anti-social elements are also making fun of ICAI and CCMs, they are using foul language and whatnot.
  16. Students are also worried by the response from CCMs
  17. Some of the parents will not allow their kids to go for exams at all, while some parents are saying that students are using the situation to hide their inefficiencies.
  18. Now, the issues are also becoming political, as some teachers deliberately involved the political parties in it by requesting them to tweet in their favour. A particular teacher started it, later, the situation got out of his control.
  19. There is one segment of student who is also in favour of conducting exams, although very small in numbers (as observed from twitter polls etc.)
  20. Students are also fighting students with abusive words and writing things like “May you family die with corona”
  21. Students are also being brainwashed to tweet and make fake accounts, they are appreciated in personal messages when they write against a specific person (CCM or any Member)
  22. The Students also want to know भाई तू अपना stand बता?

 

I think I have covered all the issues above.

 

What do I think about all these?

I think we all agree on one point, 2020 is not a usual year. We all are confused and in chaos, although the degree of confusion and chaos is different depending upon resources and support, we have, most importantly the kind of mental state and maturity we have.

In a situation in like this, conducting exams is the worst-case scenario, if ICAI takes a call to conduct exams, I will suggest all my students please avoid if you can, I know and truly understand the worth of an attempt in CA student’s life at the same time I also understand the worth of life and being healthy, most importantly, the health of family members. The clear-cut stand is this, no exams should be conducted in this state of confusion and chaos. Period.

 

If you say no exams must be held? Why are you not supporting on twitter?

I already said the same thing in videos, but people don’t watch all the stuff, they just come after a push given by some anti-social elements who are my confused lovers.

Moreover, I will definitely tweet about this once ICAI notifies that it is going to conduct exams.

Even if ICAI says they are taking all the precautions, I will never send my child to sit in the examination centre in a situation like this (This was also clarified in my earlier videos). Life of any person and every person is important, be it your life, be it my child’s life. After all, we all are working hard just to make our family happy. Aren’t we?

Students also need to understand that if ICAI does conduct exams, we can’t do anything, and we can choose for ourselves and family. Yes, your attempt will be delayed, your dreams will be delayed, I can feel what you guys must be feeling, but at the same time, we all know that current time is not a time to achieve your dreams at least for students, this is a time to survive.

 

Trust me, I would have done the same thing if was in your shoes.

2nd point I want to make is, it is sure that we are not leaving CA Course. We will have to give exams sooner or later, so we should keep studying at all cost. I know and understand that for some, study place is an issue, for some, study environment and for others the basic requirements such as books, stationary etc. is an issue.

Well, you will never have a perfect time, perfect resources to do small things. Let us just focus on what we have and what can we do. If you can do 50% of whatever you were giving before this pandemic thing, believe me, you are a Rockstar.

We got approximately 3 extra months, Studying and performing 50% efficiency will be sufficient, even if exams are not happening, we must keep our rhythm and just keep on walking. As I have already this many time, even if you are in hell, keep on walking, एक दिन आएगा जब hell भी गुज़र जाएगा! लेकिन अगर रुक गए तो game over. Leaving your studies will be academic suicide. Like ICAI would be wrong in taking exams, you will be wrong in leaving studies.

 

I hope, we all are on the same page as far as the above two things are discussed. Just to summaries things till now

  • Students are facing genuine problems
  • Exams must be cancelled.
  • At the same time, let ICAI take a stand, then we should react.
  • If ICAI decides to conduct exams, no matter what, then we should take a call, skip this attempt considering the health of our families and ourselves.
  • Communication Channel Between ICAI and CA Students and other stakeholders.
  • This is the main reason of students and other stakeholders using social media to vent out their anger, anxiety and frustrations.
  • ICAI should take it very seriously, they should work as a private organization when it comes to communicating with students and stakeholders. It is not an exam-related problem; this is an inherent problem and needs to be taken care of ASAP. A proper CRM type of system must be there and agents in good number (Student care executives) must be hired to take care of students’ issues, there must be SLAs to solve the problems. CCMs must restrain themselves from sharing information related to result dates, result time, ICAI’s decision before the things are in the public domain.
  • ICAI should go for a high-end prebuilt CRM like salesforce etc. Building it inhouse will involve issues such as politics, favouritism etc.
  • The world looks up to CAs as governance professionals, as creators of Internal control process, enabler of new processes and systems in the organisations. We must apply the knowledge we have to our processes also.

 

Articleship issues

  • A clear-cut instruction must be sent to all the CA firms, we can’t leave this issue to firms and articles itself.
  • My opinion, Till the time lockdown is not over absence from office should not be considered as leave. Also, articles must give their best in work from home assignments.
  • Issues of leaves for November exams must also be considered and communicated to all the CA Firms. We created Accounting standards, Standards on Auditing for the sake of uniformity in working, why we can’t standardize it.

 

Involvement of Anti-Social Elements

  • Some people (a very small number) are trying to take advantage of these things and settling their personal scores with faculties and other members, by creating fake accounts and twitter handles.
  • I know at least one CA teacher is also involved in it. He also involved the political parties in this thing by requesting them to tweet regarding this issue.
  • They are also provoking students to write against ICAI, CCMs, other members and then appreciate them in person for doing this.
  • My opinion on this, let us just not give them attention, they will reap what they are sowing. Our core focus should be on Our health, Our Families Health and Our Studies. Try to avoid such people as much as you can, don’t argue with them, they can go to any extent. So just avoid them.

I have tried to cover everything in this. If something comes to my mind I will update the article. Please note that I cannot give answers to all of you individually, I will update this article and you will find your answer.

 

I will post this article on the following platforms

If any update, I will edit only on www.neerajarora.com.

I wish, peace and happiness for everyone. God bless you!

Regards

Neeraj Arora

सीखते रहे। क्यूँकि सीखना बंद तो जीतना बंद

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