Dear Professional Colleagues and Students,
Warm Greetings! At the outset I pray to almighty for the safety and health of yourself, family members and team in these unprecedented times of COVID-19 outbreak. As you are aware that the world is getting deeper into a serious life-threatening challenge, COVID-19, an infectious disease caused by a novel Coronavirus is exponentially spreading illness and causing deaths to citizens throughout the globe. The virus has not only swept over a hundred and ninety plus countries and taken more than 1 lakh of lives but also created paramount fear and alarm in the minds of one and all. A potent solution appears to be social distancing to contain the spread of the disease and leave the virus to die naturally. The Indian Government has also imposed lockdown in the country till 03rd May 2020, soliciting every citizen to download Aarogya Setu (Mobile App) to break the spread of the disease.
All the above challenges may confine our movement but could not confine our quest for knowledge. Inspite of all challenges, we professionals are always known for our fighting spirit may it be times when we were students or unprecedented situations like these. Your new Council which assumed charge on 12 February 2019 has initiated the various reforms to see the profession not only having inclusive growth but also to ensure that we assume the role of thought leaders at global landscape.
Dear Members and students, I feel privileged to interact with all of you through this communication as President ICAI of our esteemed profession. Since 12th February 2020, after assuming charge along with Vice President, CA. Nihar Jambusaria and all Council Colleagues, we endeavour to continue the spirit of profession before self and started various new initiatives in last 60 days. Some of them are being shared here through this communication:
1. ICAI has enriched Digital Learning Hub (DLH) with E-Book and Video Lectures on various topics. In the time of COVID -19 outbreak where we are in lockdown situation, continuous learning of Chartered Accountants is ensured through DLH along with provision of Structured CPE Hours. Needless to say, that there is no fee associated to access the DLH.
2. Started for the first time ever the Certificate course in online mode (virtual live classes) which will assist the members in –
- Anywhere learning. Members from smaller branches where physical batches could not be conducted or even members from overseas chapters may also join virtual classes;
- Recorded lecture available for revision; and,
- Pursue the course at much reduced cost.
(Launched Virtual Certificate Course on Concurrent Audit of Banks and FAFD)
3. Comprehensive response to COVID-19 Disruptions – We took the COVID – 19 lockdown as a challenge and ensured that the services and learning to Members and students should not have any interruptions. Few steps taken in this period are:
- Extended the various due date of statutory filing of forms with ICAI by Members and students.
- Extended the date for attending various mandatory classes like ITT/GMCS by students. Offered those classes online to enable membership. Date for registration for foundation course extended. Period of Lockdown for students (except for those who were already on Exam leave) will not be recognized for leave in regulatory requirements.
- Exams are postponed to start from 19 June 2020 instead of 02 May 2020.
- Issued advisory to guide the preparers and auditors on “Impact of Corona Virus on Financial Reporting and the Auditors Consideration” highlighting few important areas which require specific attention in respect of financial statements for the period ending 31 March 2020.
- Issued Advisory on use of Electronic Signature for Signing Audit Reports and Certificates.
- Organized more than 50 webinars/webcasts to skill development of members during lockdown.
- Pledged to contribute Rs. 21 Crore to PM-CARES/PMNRF in national interest.
- Members can learn and earn upto 10 Structured CPE Hours online through DLH without paying any fee. For Certificate courses, even upto 30 Structured CPE Hours are being provided based on course to course.
- For Connecting Members in Lockdown situation and motivating them to do some research work with remunerative activity, invited expression of interest to become developer of case studies, MCQ, contribute Research paper, Article for Journal or be an examiner.
- Organized special webinars for benefit of Members and students like,
- Global webinar wherein speakers/leaders from various Global and Regional Bodies addressed on impact of COVID-19 on Financial Statement and Assurance,
- Program on ‘Mind-Matters’ to assist handling the stress/anxiety for COVID Impact.
- Direct Interaction of members and students with Council, President and Vice President to discuss on the topic Profession for the future and taking up Queries.
4. Special impetus has been given for more outreach programs about ICAI Course. Focused approach for enhancement of Career Counsellors database with addition of 1100 Counsellors achieved.
5. Developed the comprehensive model of training on Forensic Tools by launching “L1 to L5 Model” -from Educational to Advanced level” for Members and students consistent learning.
6. Enabled the 10 Year Membership/COP fees payment in advance through SSP ensuring no escalation will hit member if paid in lumpsum for 10 years along with other auxiliary benefits.
7. Stakeholder Engagement – ICAI witnessed the kind presence of Hon’ble Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman ji along with CA. Piyush Goyal ji, Hon’ble Union Minister of Railways and Minister of Commerce & Industry addressed the members through webcast from ICAI on Vivad-se-Vishwas Scheme. Sh. Suresh Angadi ji, Hon’ble MOS for Railway visited ICAI to discuss on role of Professional in 5 Trillion US$ Economy and CA. Arun Singh Ji, Hon’ble Member Rajya Sabha on various Professional development. Also CA. Suresh Prabhu ji, Hon’ble Member Rajya Sabha and PM’s Sherpa to the G20 addressed ICAI Global Webinar on Economic development post COVID-19.
8. Initiated E-hearings through Video Conferencing of the Disciplinary Committee to sustain the process of expeditious disposal of cases. Started dissemination of judgment of disciplinary cases and cause list on the ICAI website.
9. Resolution of about 8400 Grievances of Members and Students through e-Sayahata and other Platforms of ICAI.
10. Inspiring Research – Various new research initiatives started like,
- Entered into Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with IIM Jammu for customized program to members and joint research activity.
- Launched Training program on Research Methodology.
11. Landscaping CA Profession Globally – Few initiatives taken are:
- Finalized Guidelines for Setting up ICAI Overseas Representative Offices with a vision to have 100 Chapters of ICAI by 2024 to become catalyst for members and student’s growth endeavors.
- Approval of MRA with ICA Nepal.
- ICAI approved the MoU with Service Export Promotion Council (SEPC) for enhanced global presence of Members and opportunity associated therewith.
- Group constituted for framing ICAI – Foreign policy.
12. Nurturing Skills – To enhance the skill set of future of our profession (Students) various initiatives started:
- Introduction of CPE Hours for Students in virtual/physical mode.
- Launching of dedicated portal for Industrial Training of Students.
- ICAI earmarked 100 Crores of fund to achieve consistency in granting scholarship to needy/meritorious/differently abled students. Portal for speedy disposal of scholarship request is in process.
13. We have also started sending the “Membership Kits” for newly enrolled members.
We solicit your feedback and suggestions on the above initiatives.
With best regards,