Students aspiring to become chartered accountants want more transparency in the checking of examination sheets done by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). The ICAI, which could lose its power to act as a watchdog of the auditing profession once the National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA) makes its way through, is also receiving criticism as an academic regulator. In response to an RTI, ICAI revealed that the revenue collected from revaluation, re-checking and inspection of evaluated answer scripts of CA examinations exceeded Rs 6 crore. The data for the last seven years shows a steady increase in the number of students filing for re-verification of marks, leading to an increased revenue for ICAI, even as the fees charged by ICAI for re-verification is comparatively lower than what other institutes charge. According to the data revealed in the RTI, for 2017-18 (till December 2017), ICAI had collected a sum of Rs 4,23,38,286, while in 2016-17, the amount was Rs 6,58,03,700. In 2015-16, the revenue in respect of re-verification of marks was Rs 5,86,54,825; in 2014-15, it was Rs 4,55,27,852; in 2013-14, it was Rs 3,52,15,500; in 2012-13, it was Rs 2,96,69,473 and in 2011-12, it was Rs 2,10,20,473. For re-verification, ICAI currently charges Rs 100 per paper for re-verification, a maximum of Rs 400 for all papers of a group and Rs 500 for inspection per paper. Manav Aggarwal, a final year CA student, said, “The system allows us to either get our answer sheets released or to get our marks re-verified. Often students who are confident about scoring good marks end up getting failed. The number of such students is high and we know that people cry foul, too, but there have been examples where the answer sheets revealed that in subjects like Company Law, marks were unfairly deducted.”

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