The Company Secretary (CS) is a professional course which is conducted by The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI).
The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) is constituted under an Act of Parliament i.e. the Company Secretaries Act, 1980. ICSI is the only recognized professional body in India to develop and regulate the profession of Company Secretaries in India.
Company Secretary coordinates with various departments and ensures good corporate governance. They are experts in laws, related to companies such as Companies Act and Laws related to Capital Market. They advise the Board of Directors of a company and are responsible for all the regulatory compliance that the company has to adhere to.
Nowadays, these professionals are also entering the capital markets and financial services industry. Their role is getting extended into the administration, management, planning and general running of the company.
Termed as governance professionals, Company Secretaries are considered competent to provide sound advice on Corporate, Legal, Secretarial, Administrative and even Tax related matters within a company.
He is the eyes and ears of the Board, ensuring that the company remains within the right side of the law; a tough, but exceptionally rewarding profession. With more and more companies increasingly being listed on the stock exchange today, managements need to ensure greater transparency while adhering to high standards of responsibility.
"A robust system of compliance management as well as following the best global practices of Corporate Governance is a must for a corporate entity today. This is where the Company Secretary steps in."
With the growth in the corporate sector, the career of Company Secretary has also become more lucrative. Company Secretaries are specialized professionals for maintaining the link between the government bodies like the Department of Company Affairs, Company Law Board on one side and the Corporate Sector on the other side.
Main function of a Company Secretary is to act as the mediator between the Company and its Board of Directors. He also provides guidance to the Chairman and the Directors on how to make the best use of their responsibilities under various laws.
The role of a Company Secretary is that of an advisor for legal matters. If a company goes public, then the management of the public issue falls under the ambit of a Company Secretary. All legalities involved with inter-corporate investments and loans are looked after by a Company Secretary.
A Company Secretary can find employment in Government accounts or law departments or can become a Managing Director or Chairman of a Company and be a part of the Board of Directors of a Company.
A person can become a CS only after passing exams conducted by the Institute of Company Secretaries of India.
To become a Company Secretary, the candidates need to pass the Foundation , Executive and Professional Programme.
The minimum eligibility required for the foundation course for training as a Company Secretary is 10+2. Graduates or post-graduates in commerce, or any other discipline are allowed to skip the foundation course and enroll directly for the intermediate examination.
The Institute of Company Secretaries of India conducts examinations for different levels of competencies throughout the country. Those who clear these examinations are granted membership to the Institute.
This exemption is also extended to those who have passed out of the Institute of Cost and Works Accountancy or the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
The student who would like to join the Course after 10+2 pass or equivalent has to undergo 3 stages to pursue the Company Secretaries Course i.e.
Which is of 8 months duration & can be pursued by 10+2 pass or equivalent students of Arts, Science or Commerce stream (Excluding Fine Arts).
Executive Programme can be pursued by a Graduate of all streams excluding Fine Arts.
Professional Programme can be pursued only after clearing the Executive Programme of CS Course
The Student who would like to join the Course after passing the Graduation has to undergo 2 stages of the Company Secretaryship i.e.
Examination is conducted twice a year i.e. in June and December
The Institute allows facility to students to appear in examination in English as well as in Hindi. (Except Business Management, Ethics and Communication subject of Foundation Program)
A candidate is declared to have passed the Foundation / Executive / Professional examination, if he/she secures at one sitting a minimum of 40% marks in each paper and 50% marks in the aggregate of all subjects.