Students who qualify for Chartered Accountant (CA) and Company Secretary (CS) will now be considered equivalent to those who have completed their post-graduation degrees.
As a result, those who have completed CA and CS can appear for the University Grants Commission's (UGC) NET examination and will also be eligible for a PhD.
In a statement, the Institute of Company Secretaries of India said on Tuesday: "Acting upon the Institute's proposal, the UGC has accorded the status of a post-graduate degree to Company Secretary. The decision will benefit the company secretary profession everywhere in the world. We are grateful to the UGC for this."
The UGC has arrived at the decision upon the request of the Indian Chartered Accountants of India, the Institute of Company Secretaries of India and the Institute of Cost Accountants of India.
Talking about the decision in a letter, UGC Joint Secretary Surendra Singh said, "The UGC had received this application on behalf of CAs, company secretaries as well as cost accountants. In their request, they had sought a status at par with those having completed post-graduation degrees. After receipt of their application, the UGC constituted a special committee for the same. The application was accepted during the 550th meeting of the UGC."
In their proposal to the UGC, the nodal certification bodies had argued that students who have cleared CA and CS have already attained a high level of education. Compared to M.Com and MBA, the curriculum of ICWA students is much more elaborate. Despite this, such students are not considered at par with students having completed their post-graduation and not eligible for higher research.
Taking a positive decision in the favour of those having completed CA and CS degrees, not just has the UGC accorded them a status equivalent to PGs, but also provided them equal opportunities to pursue a doctorate in the form of a PhD. These students can also join the teaching profession after clearing the UGC NET exam.