News Karnataka
Saturday, August 13 2022
Opinion

July 1st: CA Day and National Doctors Day – a coincidence?

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It’s an irony perhaps that the CA Day and National Doctors’ Day in India are celebrated on the same day – July 1st – the day after the completion of the first half of the calendar year. To all of us not of these professions, we know that one cannot do without the other and neither can we, given the rising lack of wellness (despite the personal trainers, gyms and Zumba parlours that have mushroomed across cities including tier II cities) and improvement in taxation and tax evasion detection methodologies’.

The theme of National Doctor’s Day 2019 is “Zero tolerance to violence against doctors and clinical establishment”. Every year the theme was announced by the Indian Medical Association. This year’s theme will raise awareness about the violence happening with doctors across India. The week of July 1 to Jul 8, 2019 will also be celebrated as ‘Safe Fraternity Week’.

Doctors are going through a tough time these days. Violent Attacks, low pay, rural postings, even joblessness, until they are highly specialized in one or the other parts of the anatomy and there are plenty there – we are indeed complex beings! And yet they are expected to deliver health and wellness in a jiffy. Death, once delivered into their hands is not an option that a sick society (pun intended) will or can endure. Violence results. Often there may be cause, but the effect will not restore life, only cause more death. But how could a doctor save a life when their subject knowledge comes from a syllabus that has not been changed in the last 21 years? The MCI has changed it this year I believe and that’s a blessing we must cheer for the next 21 years!

On one side is their safety, and on the other, they must, having put in so much effort and resources into obtaining that precious degree, make a living that that is enough for their children and beyond. It’s natural and necessary. Today, in order to do that, they must be technically savvy to deal with the technological advancements in their respective fields, privately be information gluttons to keep up with the advancements in medicine and disease management, have a high business acumen to serve their own entrepreneurial ventures in the health care space or the corporate hospitals they serve, and balance their EQ with their IQ to have a safe and healthy work-life balance. They also have competition from Google, Ayush, Homeopathy, homemade remedies and even Nadi Vaidyas. Indeed the competition is getting more attention these days. It is a stressful time for them and death at a young age cannot be ruled out. Naturally as a patient, one does feel for them, but the patient must be patient if he is to be healed.

But what’s changed perhaps are the values. “The doctor of the future will give no medication but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.” ? Thomas A. Edison. Has Thomas A. Edison’s prediction come true? Or is it just the opposite?

But is this debate necessary on Doctor’s Day? National Doctor’s Day is observed to honour the legendary physician and West Bengal’s second Chief Minister, Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy whose birth and death anniversary coincides on the same day. In 1991, the National Doctor’s Day was established by the Central Government to be recognised and observed every year on 1 July to pay honour Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy.

Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy

Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy was born on 1 July, 1882 and also died on the same date in 1962. On February 4, 1961, he was honoured with India’s highest civilian award Bharat Ratna. Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy was a highly respected physician and a renowned freedom fighter. He was the second Chief Minister of Bengal and remained around 14 years in his post that is from 1948 until his death in 1962. He is also considered as the great architect of West Bengal. The five cities of West Bengal were also founded by him namely: Durgapur, Bidhannagar, Ashokenagar, Kalyani and Habra. He was also a member of Brahmo Samaj. In the Medical College of Calcutta, he was the alumnus of the University of Calcutta. In his memory, the Union Government had also instituted an award. In 1928, he played an instrumental role in the establishment of Indian Medical Association (IMA) and also in the establishment of the Medical Council of India (MCI).

Chartered Accountants

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) was set up by an act of Parliament on July 1st, 1949. And naturally, the date is celebrated as the National CA Day.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India has a very strict code of ethics. Its official motto is a quote from the Upanishad which reads “Ya esha supteshu jagriti”. It translates as “the one who is awake in those that sleep”. Much like the Chowkidar, a very popular profession these days.

A CA is honour-bound to follow the ICAI’s regulations and to always be compliant and vigilant about their client’s transactions. Even when a client is lax about their taxes, it is the CA’s duty to help them become better tax-paying citizens of the country. But it goes beyond that, CA’s help businesses and individuals manage their money and assets better by giving them sound advice.

A CA has to always be on his toes, keeping up with the laws, their interpretations by the tribunals, the courts and the assessing authorities, to give the best advice they can give. In common with the Doctors, the CA’s face the challenges of keeping themselves up-to-date at their own cost, manage their health – they are desk-bound (but they are lucky as many of their clients are doctors!) and maintain a high level of integrity even as they seek to velvet glove the hand that feeds them.

The competition in the field is growing and there have been failures too, the IL&FS Saga is just a case in point. As competition for business grows, a business must grow, else, the results will be disastrous. It’s a cycle without brakes.

The ICAI

The ICAI counts itself among the oldest professional institutions in the country. It is the second largest professional accounting and finance body in the world in terms of members, with a current roster of about 2.5 lakh members. The ICAI is the sole licensing and regulatory body for the financial audit and accounting profession in India, and its recommendations are followed by everyone – from the National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA) to companies and accounting organizations. To be a part of the ICAI’s member list as a bona fide Chartered Accountant is a prestigious honour – one that is celebrated every 1st of July, as the ICAI Foundation Day or, the Chartered Accountants Day.

Before it became an act of Parliament, in 1913, the British government in India passed the Companies Act, which had a prescribed the list of books that every company registered under the Act had to maintain. The Act also provided for the appointment of an Auditor who had the power to audit these books. Five years later, the Government Diploma in Accountancy course was launched in Bombay (present-day Mumbai). This course had a pattern similar to today’s CA course, complete with a three-year training period. Those who completed the course could practice as an Auditor throughout India. In 1930, the then Government of India decided to maintain a register of accountants and proffered the title of Registered Accountant to those accountants whose name was entered into this roster.

However, even with all these practices, the accountancy profession remained unregulated until an expert committee created in 1948 suggested that an autonomous body should be formed, for enhanced regulation. By then though, many Indians had already become members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and were known by the term Chartered Accountants. Despite the controversy surrounding the term, it was retained as it was already widely used. Thus, when the Chartered Accounts Act of 1949 was passed and the ICAI came into being, the term Chartered Accountant became the preferred title instead of the previously used Registered Accountant. Since then, 1st July has been commemorated as the ICAI Foundation Day or CA Day in India.

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Brian Fernandes

Brian is an alumnus of Roshni Nilaya’s Post Graduate School of Social Work, HR Department and has 30 years of local and international HR and General Management experience. Journalism, poetry, and feature writing is a passion which he is now able to pursue at will. Additionally, he loves compering and hosting talk shows. He loves learning and imparting it; so, when time permits, he provides leadership facilitation and soft skills training to Postgraduate students and Corporates in Mangaluru and Bengaluru. Besides, he is an accomplished Toastmaster under the aegis of Toastamasters.org and a designated Distinguished Toast Master.

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