Jaideep Shenoy

Move part of brand image creation for the profession

Proposal to reduce the duration of course sent to Centre for approval 250 hours of computer education made mandatory

MANGALORE: The next time a chartered accountant hands over a visiting card with "CA" prefixed to his/her name, do not be surprised.

They have been authorised to do so by the central council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), which took a decision to this effect last month, according to G. Ramaswamy, central council member of the ICAI.

Mr. Ramaswamy told The Hindu on the sidelines of a seminar here on Friday that the move to allow chartered accountants to prefix "CA" is part of a brand image creation for the profession. "The process has started and will percolate down the line," he said.

"While there are some reservations and hesitation on the part of professionals to accept such changes, we in the central council have taken the lead," he said.

On the move to reduce the duration of the chartered accountants course to 42 months from 60 months, Mr. Ramaswamy said the council has ratified proposals in this regard and sent it to the Centre for approval.

Students who complete their plus-two course will have to appear for a common proficiency test.

Successful candidates will join as an article clerk under a practising chartered accountant. They will then appear for intermediary examination and final examination at specified intervals. The council had made 250 hours of computer education mandatory, he added.

On various vistas of specialisation opening up within the profession, Mr. Ramaswamy said the ICAI is trying to promote specialisation through its e-learning initiative. "Students can download to course material through our website www.icai.org and appear for online teaching sessions as specified through an arrangement with Reliance Webworld."

He said the ICAI is actively involved in an effort by the Union Home Ministry in fine-tuning the Foreign Contribution Management Bill, which has been moved in Parliament to replace the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act.

"It is part of an effort of the Ministry to corporatise the functioning of non-governmental organisation in India," he said.