“The issue was pending for a long time as the UGC had received requests from the three professional bodies, namely the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) and the Institute of Cost Accountants of India, to consider the qualifications being awarded by them as equivalent to postgraduate degrees. Since these professional bodies were following a rigorous academic process of training and evaluation, the UGC decided to grant equivalence status.
The move will integrate professional education with general education in sync with NEP 2020 that emphasises on flexible education,” Rajnish Jain, secretary, UGC, tells
Some universities and institutes in the past had declared CA, CS, ICWA courses as PG, but the official recognition by UGC will allow students to pursue PhD across all universities. “Earlier, most students would have to complete separate PG courses to do their PhD. There will be no such compulsion now for those looking for a career in academics,” Jain adds. “To encourage better linkages between academic and industry, the practising professionals can integrate their knowledge into the theoretical component of their PhDs to further facilitate applied research.”
Paving the path for CAs
“The recognition will open the gates for aspirants to appear in the National Eligibility Test (NET) conducted by the UGC and State Eligibility Test (SET). They will also be eligible for Junior Research Fellowship/assistant professor in the universities across India,” says CA Nihar N Jambusaria, president, ICAI.
The CAs can now pursue PhD in all the Indian universities across India as against 106 universities, 2 IITs and 7 IIMs which earlier recognised the chartered accountancy qualification for the specific purpose of registration to PhD programme. The equivalence will also open up various job avenues in the international market for ICAI members. “With the recognition, transcript agencies of different countries would also be able to recognise CA qualification, which will aid CA members in education and on the immigration front,” Jambusaria says.
How CS will gain
The ICSI members post the recognition will have an opportunity to pursue PhD in Commerce and Allied Disciplines, says Nagendra D Rao, president, ICSI. “This will not just leverage the Company Secretary profession across the globe, but will reaffirm the fact that with the increasing focus on good governance, the demand for Company Secretaries, as skilled professionals, is both ubiquitous and inevitable.”
The institute has a full-fledged academic and research wing wherein students and members are encouraged to undertake research in areas such as Corporate Governance; Company Law; CSR; Tax Laws; Securities Laws; Capital Market; Finance etc. “As a result, Company Secretaries are invited as guest faculty in universities/colleges/cademic institutes. The new recognition will also give CS members an edge while applying for student visas for pursuing higher education abroad,” Rao says.
Academia apart, the finance professionals will be eligible for appointment to various posts advertised by the UPSC, PSUs, State Public Commissions and other regulatory bodies where the eligibility criteria is a PG degree.