Amid the ongoing hearing in the Supreme Court in a petition over the CA exams 2021, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has submitted a note in the court saying that the decline in Covid-19 cases over the course of this month has given a chance for the conduct of exams in July.

The ICAI CA Intermediate, Final May 2021 exams were earlier deferred due to the worsening Covid-19 crisis. The exams will now be held between July 5 and 20 from 2.00 PM to 5.00 PM.

In its note submitted to the Supreme Court and reported by Livelaw, ICAI has said: “The Covid-19 spread is now at a substantially low level, therefore this is the opportune moment to offer the aspiring Chartered Accountants to further their professional careers. As on date, the number of Covid-19 cases are comparatively low and thus it would be in the best interests of the candidates if exams are held as per the schedule and not cancelled or postponed.”

Noting that other professional institutes like ICSI and Indian Cost Accountants of India are due to hold their respective exams in August-September, ICAI said many candidates appear for 2 or more exams and hence the schedule is made in a manner the dates do not overlap. “Therefore, since covid is dynamic in nature, the ICAI has got this very narrow window to hold the exams in July, 2021.”

The Institute also highlighted that the court had allowed it to conduct the November 2020 cycle exams when new daily cases were about 45,000, and the current average caseload is 48,000 and is declining.

Candidates eager to appear in the CA exam

The Institute also highlighted that candidates are eager to appear in CA exams as 2.82 lakh (as on June 27) out of 3.74 lakh candidates have downloaded their admit cards. The admit cards were released last week.

ICAI also argued that the conduct of CA exams has been done after “meticulous planning” and all necessary safety precautions with respect to Covid-19 norms will be undertaken for students, teachers and staff.

Opt-out facility for Covid-infected students

The Institute has already presented candidates with an ‘opt-out option’ for the upcoming CA exams in July in case they or their family member are infected with Covid-19. Such candidates who opt-out from May/July 2021 exam cycle will be allowed to appear in November 2021 session.

ICAI also told the top court that re-examinations will be held in places where exams could not be held due to State/Central Covid-19 restrictions. It has also requested the court to pass directions to the government to treat CA exam admit cards as e-passes for easier travel conditions for candidates.

847 exam centres, 10000+ rooms

The petition has sought an increase in the number of exam centres. To this, ICAI said the average number of examines in a hall will be 12 and they have arranged a total of 10,820 examination rooms in 847 centres. The CA exams will be conducted for 3,74, 230 candidates.

The average number of examines in an examination centre on any day is 115-132 while the maximum number of examines in a centre on any day is 312.