In a sudden, surprise move, ASI has decided to change its syllabus in line with that of Institute of Actuaries, London. ASI will be holding a special examination this May for the benefit of its existing students, to pass the
course under the current syllabus.
Starting this November, ASI will be conducting its exams only under the new
syllabus. The new curriculum also contains subjects that are relevant to the general insurance industry. Like Introduction of Property and Casualty Insurance and Non Life Reserving, Accounts and Reinsurance.
Responding to the query whether the switchover to the new syllabus is to
pre-empt IIM-Bangalore, which is planning to introduce an insurance course,
K.P. Narasimhan, president, ASI, says, "The switchover is mainly to keep
pace with the changes that are happening in the domestic insurance industry." He adds, "The proposed syllabus is recognised by the Institute of Actuaries, London, and those who have passed our Fellowship exam will be exempted from writing the corresponding papers while taking the UK actuaries exams." Similar reciprocity is expected from actuaries institutes of Canada, Australia, America and others.
The sudden change over to new syllabus took the entire ASI's student
community unawares. Agreeing with that, Narasimhan justifies the move citing
the entry of foreign insurers into the domestic market and the urgent need of ASI to meet the emerging situation, as reasons. According to him, ASI has taken care to see that there is sufficient content in the new curriculum to take care of situations that are peculiar to India.
What he says is true. IRDA is in favour of allowing foreign actuaries to hold the position of Appointed Actuary in a new insurance company. And that will naturally be at the expense of the qualified Indian actuaries. Though IRDA's move has invited the ire of some domestic actuaries, there is a catch that may work in favour of local professionals. It is now learnt that IRDA will insist that those foreign actuaries who come to India after November 2000, become a Fellow of Indian Actuaries Institute after writing an exam, to become eligible for accepting the position of Appointed Actuary in an Indian insurance company.
Interestingly, given the pace at which the liberalisation process of the
insurance industry is moving, private players will be licensed only after November, says an industry official.