India's bad loans problem, which peaked in 2018, with large corporates accounting for the bulk of it, has spawned a new academic course. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) will launch the Graduate Insolvency Programme in the first week of February, The Economic Times reported, and preparations for the same, spearheaded by a six-member working group, are at an advanced stage.
"IBBI has conceptualised the Graduate Insolvency Programme, one-of-its-kind in the world, to groom world class insolvency professionals and intends to [introduce] it from the coming academic year," IBBI chairperson MS Sahoo told the daily.
The bespoke 27-month degree course will create a pool of 45 bankruptcy professionals annually and the delivery of the course will be outsourced to an eligible institution. The insolvency regulator has already sought expression of interest (EoI) for the same.
Currently only professionals with long work experience are considered eligible to become insolvency professionals but the Graduate Insolvency Programme will open the field to those with little or no experience. The course is expected to set global benchmark for insolvency professionals, and once the first batch of this new course passes out, experts believe that India - for the first time - will even be able to export talent in this niche area.
Here's all you need to know about the new course:
What to expect from the course?
The course module will reportedly have about three to five segments, including on-campus class room training as well as domestic and foreign internships. It's not going to be easy, for sure. According to the daily, it will be similar to those graduating with top honours from the likes of the Indian Institutes of Management or Indian Institutes of Technology.
Who can apply for the programme?
Chartered accountants, cost accountants, company secretaries, law graduates and post graduate degree holders in economics, finance, management or commerce with qualifying marks can sit for the elimination exam to be considered for the course. While most of the seats are reserved for Indians, five seats would be kept aside for foreign nationals.
What to expect from the entrance or elimination exam?
The entrance exam for the Graduate Insolvency Programme is expected to be along the lines of the Common Admission Test (CAT) - the popular aptitude test for management courses - in anticipation of tough competition.
What are the current selection criteria for insolvency professionals in India?
Currently only CAs, company secretaries, cost accountants and advocates boasting 10 years of experience, or graduates with 15 years of managerial experience are considered eligible to become an insolvency professional. The next steps are to pass the Limited Insolvency Examination and submit an application for enrolment with an Insolvency Professional Agency (IPA) within a year. You also need to register with the IBBI in the same time frame.
What will be the course fees for the new course?
The course fee is expected be in the range of Rs 7-10 lakh annually, but it is reportedly yet to be finalised.