ICAI forms committee to look into exam process after students’ protest

Students of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) stage a protest outside its office near ITO over alleged improper eveluation of their answer sheets, in New Delhi. Photo: PTI File.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) on Thursday (September 26) said it has formed a committee to look into the examination process following protests from students who are demanding revaluation of their CA answer sheets.

In a press conference held earlier in the day, ICAI president Prafulla Chhajed said the examination process followed by ICAI ensures multiple levels of monitoring for quality evaluation of answer sheets.

Later in a statement, the ICAI said, “It has decided to constitute a high-level independent committee to look into the examination processes/regulations governing CA examinations including Regulation 39(4) of the Chartered Accountants Regulations, 1988 and suggest changes wherever required in the ICAI examination system.”

The convener of the committee will be PC Jain, government nominee to the ICAI council. The panel will include former Supreme Court judge Justice (retd.) Anil R Dave, former ICAI presidents Ved Jain and Amarjit Chopra, and educationist Girish Ahuja.


Rakesh Sehgal, acting secretary, ICAI will act as Secretary to this committee, the ICAI said in the statement.

The CA aspirants have been demonstrating outside the ICAI office here and demanded re-valuation of their answer sheets, alleging they have not been checked properly. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday (September 25) came out in support of the agitating students and said their demand for re-evaluation of answer sheets is justified and should be supported by all political parties.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has also supported their demand. The ICAI president said the institute is open to listening to the grievances of the students.

“We are considering to form an independent, high-level committee to look into the grievances of the students as well as to suggest the road map for the future. I will discuss the issue with council members before announcing formation of the committee,” Chhajed said in the press conference.

Accompanied by other office-bearers of ICAI council, Chhajed detailed the examination process and evaluation of answer sheets of examinees, claiming the entire system was “foolproof”.

“It’s a robust examination system in which utmost secrecy is maintained in preparing question papers and also during evaluation of the answer sheets,” he said.

The examiners are experienced professors and experts who are selected after passing an online test. Further, the examiners are regularly checked through a system of sampling in which they are sent 10-15 answer sheets to reveal their approach towards evaluation, he said.

The ICAI also has a system to ensure that the designated examiners evaluate the answer sheets by random online camera check for physical verification, he said.

“Digital evaluation of answer sheets and centralised evaluation are also in place to ensure a foolproof system,” he asserted. The ICAI received around 53,000 applications for showing answer sheets from around three lakh CA aspirants who undertook the exams conducted by the institute.

Also, around 150 requests were made by the examinees with complaints of denied stepwise marking, said ICAI office-bearers. Under the CA examination pattern comprising 16 papers, in eight papers there are 30 per cent multiple choice questions and remaining 70 per cent are descriptive in nature.

Chhajed said over 100 examiners have been removed based on the report of head examiner of the institute, for not being up to the mark and erratic in checking the answer sheets.