KOCHI: The November cycle of the CA examinations which began on Saturday amid strict Covid-19 protocol witnessed thin attendance across the state. Of the 12,000 candidates who had registered for the examinations, being conducted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), only 60 per cent were in attendance. “Each classroom at allotted centres was arranged to seat 10 candidates. However, only five students turned up for the exam in my classroom,” said an examinee, who wrote the examination at Aluva. The situation was almost the same in all centres.
Another student said the exams were held in strict compliance with Covid-19 guidelines. “The students were screened and given sanitisers at the entrance gate. From there, they were led to the classrooms where each bench was exclusively reserved for a single person. The bags, usually kept outside the classroom, were placed in another room,” the student said. Babu Abraham Kallivayalil, chairman, Expert Advisory Committee and Committee for Members in Entrepreneurship and Public Service of ICAI, said the decision to set another cycle in January 20201 for those who could not attend the examinations owing to Covid-related exigencies could have led to the attendance at the centres.
“ICAI has been very particular in ensuring the safety of the candidates appearing for the examinations,” he said. According to him, the first cycle of the examinations normally takes place in May. “However, the pandemic forced ICAI to cancel it and merge it with the November cycle. Also, the number of examination centres was scaled up this year,” he said. This was to ensure that not more than 200 students appeared for the examination at a single centre, he added.
“Unlike last year, when one centre each was allotted in Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Kannur, Kollam, Kottayam, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Palakkad, Thiruvananthapuram and Thrissur, this year, the number was increased to 54. In Ernakulam alone, there are 10 centres,” said Babu. Centres were been allotted to Idukki, Pathanamthitta and Wayanad this time.
ICAI issues stern notification
Following threats from certain candidates to a few examination centres outside the state, the ICAI has issued a strict warning to the offenders. The letter, on the ICAI official website, made it clear that it had issued comprehensive guidelines to the exam centres, functionaries and candidates. “The guidelines are in compliance with the Centre’s Covid norms, with a focus on social distancing, thermal scanning and sanitisation. ICAI has also created a Google Form for students to raise any issue related to the exam,” read the letter.