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Should ICAI increase the Minimum Articleship Stipend Amount for CA Students?

Aishna Kukreja 
on 25 February 2021

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Articleship is one of the most important phases in a CA student's life. While on one hand, the practical experience gained by students during their articleship period is of utmost significance, the underlying problem that students face to make their financial ends meet during that 3-year long period, cannot be denied.

Currently, the articleship stipend as fixed by ICAI is as follows:

Should ICAI increase the Minimum Articleship Stipend Amount for CA Students

Classification of the normal place of service of the articled assistant

Stipend Payable per Month

During the First Year of Training

During the Second Year of Training

During the Remaining Period of Training

Cities/Towns having a population of 20 lakhs and above

Rs. 2000

Rs. 2500

Rs. 3000

Cities/Towns having a population of 4 lakhs and above but less than 20 lakhs

Rs. 1500

Rs. 2000

Rs. 2500

Cities/Towns having a population of less than 4 lakhs

Rs. 1000

Rs. 1500

Rs. 2000

Needless to say, with the current economic scenario, this stipend is inadequate to meet a student's travel expenses, let alone its monthly necessities.

With a recent Tweet by CA Dinesh Wadera, the forgotten conversation of a CA Student's stipend amount has once again taken the limelight. In the Tweet, Mr Wadera adequately points out why there is a dire need to increase the minimum stipend amount by ICAI, in order to raise the standard of a CA Practice.

Tweet by CA Dinesh Wadera

Rightly so, hundreds of students and professionals joined the conversation and pointed out the various difficulties faced by students due to insufficient stipend. Highlighting some of those reasons below:

 

A Twitter user wrote how the stipend amount did not cover his basic food expenditure and highlighted the grass-root difficulties faced by students.

Image 1

In another Tweet, a user wrote 'Despite giving years to hardwork, determination and nothing less, CA articles are underrated nowadays'

Image 2

Another user wrote, 'Under the guise of "training", there is an intelligent 19-20 year old that works for 8-12 hrs. a day for 5-6 days a week. How is 5k a fair remuneration? There is not 'training'. These kids are actually working! They need to be paid better than 20rs/hr'

Image 3

The other side of the spectrum

While hundreds of students agreed that the minimum stipend amount should increase, others felt that the stipend amount is actually at par with the amount of work done and there is no need to increase the same. Highlighting some of those arguments below:

A Twitter user wrote 'I'm a student and I don't buy this argument at all. Students are getting polluted for money. I don't think money should be a criteria. True students get into CA firms to LEARN work and NOT TO EARN money.'

Image 4

Another professional wrote 'Stipend is not salary and articles are not employees. Right from excel to Tally, we teach them from scratch. It's painful to teach. Plus we have to accommodate them for exams which we don't do for regular employees.'

Image 5

So which end of the spectrum are you leaning towards, in this argument? To increase or not to increase? Let me know in the comments section below!

 

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Aishna Kukreja 

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