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The Actuarial Society of India, known as the ASI, is the sole professional body of actuaries in India, and was formed in September of 1944.
Registration of the ASI
In 1979, it was admitted to the International Actuarial Association as a member. On 14 December 1982, it was formally registered under Registration of Literary, Scientific and Charitable Societies Act XXI of 1960. A certificate of registration of the ASI under section XII AA of Income Tax Act was received on the 14 March 1984. ASI is also registered under Public Charitable Trust Act 1950
Educational and ethical goals of the ASI
- To prepare "actuaries of tomorrow" who are adequately qualified and competent in the global context.
- To keep the level of competence on a continuing basis for fully qualified Actuaries at a high in the global context through CPD (Continuing Professional Development) and other programs.
- To serve the cause of public interest through Professional Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures.
- Advancement of the Actuarial profession in India.
- Providing opportunities for interaction among members of the profession.
- Facilitating research, arranging lectures on relevant subjects.
- Providing facilities and guidance to those studying for the Actuarial exams.
The ASI was initially started as a non-examining body when Actuaries used to get qualified from Institute of Actuaries or Faculty of Actuaries of the United Kingdom. The actuarial profession in India saw a downward trend in the early years of nationalization of the Indian insurance industry. This led to a reduction of actuarial input in both life insurance and general insurance management, and insignificant input in other areas such as pensions, insurance regulations, and academics. The downward trend resulted in a reduction of number of students taking actuarial exams. In the last few years, the actuarial profession in India has experienced tremendous growth. The ASI has grown as well with around 3,000 student members joining the society. The current president of ASI is Mr. Kannan; who is also the appointed actuary of SBI Life.
ASI is founding member of the International Actuarial Association, the umbrella organization for all actuarial bodies across the world. The ASI is actively involved in the formulation of future education strategy of International Actuarial Association.
Who can become an actuary?
ASI has stipulated minimum standards to be met before a person can become its student member. These include graduation in statistics or mathematics, CA, ICWA, MBA etc. Also, any person with 85 or more marks in Mathematics at 10+2 level can also apply to become a student. Any person with minimum 18 years of age and having a high degree of aptitude for mathematics and statistics can take up this course and become an actuary. Generally, first class graduates or postgraduates in mathematics, statistics, or econometrics will be in a better position than others to qualify as actuaries.
Qualification in India
To qualify as an actuary, a candidate has to pass all examinations in the prescribed subjects. In addition, he has to comply with other criteria such as experience requirement and attendance at a professionalism course prescribed for the purpose.
Duration of the course of study
There is no fixed duration to complete the course. Since all the 16 subjects prescribed are to be cleared before one is awarded the Fellowship, continued and sustained effort is necessary to complete the course. Single minded devotion, total dedication and a systematic approach to problems are the qualities that will enable a person to qualify as an actuary within a reasonable time.
Actuarial educational model in India
The subjects for the examinations can be categorized in to four groups.
- The first group Comprises the CT ( Core Technical) series; these involve development of theory of actuarial science and applications of mathematics and statistics to actuarial applications such as life insurance, general insurance, employee benefits, investment and other areas. An introduction to economics, financial economics and financial reporting is also included at this stage. Although most part of the course is somewhat theoretical, the exercise and the question in the examination are practical in nature as they reflect real life situations of the area of work to which the subject is applicable. There are in total 8 CT series papers and all are compulsory.
- The second group comprises CA (Core Applications) series subjects. CA3 subject is mean to develop skills of communication of technical aspect of the CT series subjects in simple language to non-technical persons; here again the stress in examination question is demonstration of the skills of communications in real life environment. CA1 deals with the ideas underlying assets, liabilities and asset-liability management. Also there is a modelling course CA2. This is a practical course and hence does not involve written examination. CA series subjects are also compulsory. On completing CT and CA series students can get title of AASI.
- Next up are ST (Specialist Technical) series examinations. Here, students can opt for any 2 of the 6 subjects being offered. The aim is to ensure that the students gain expertise in their related fields.
- Finally , there is one SA (Specialist Application) series subject to be taken. Here again, there are 6 subjects to choose from.
The actuarial education model, therefore, is ingrained with work and application and therefore substantially these educations beyond CT series subjects takes place in work environment. The success through examinations is linked to corresponding work experience and insight, thus gained. The examinations given at CT series level take place, for most of the students in work environment.
Career progress is linked to progress in examination and it is very likely that by the time a student completes 300 series, he/she would be occupying management of level of responsibilities.
Graduates and postgraduates eligible to take up actuarial examinations are typically recruited by actuarial employers and placed as actuarial trainees.
With a view to emphasizing the kind of actuarial education model, it may be stated here that it is like educating medical doctors, where education needs to take place in work environment of a hospital.