Company Secretary is an important member of corporate management and acts as an advisor to the management of a company on legal and business matters.
Appointment of a full time Company Secretary by a company having paid-up capital of 50 lakhs or more is a statutory requirement under the companies Act. Also, all companies seeking listing on stock exchange are required to have a full-time Company Secretary. Membership of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India is the only prescribed qualification for appointment as Company Secretary in such companies.
Company Secretary is an indispensable professional in the efficient management of an organization, whose affairs are conducted by board of directors or a council or any other corporate structure. Besides, Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms of the Central Government empanels company secretaries for assignment to the developing countries of Asia Africa and Latin America.
A freshly qualified candidate may join a company as an Assistant Company Secretary, or Deputy Company Secretary depending upon the size of the company and rise to the level of Company Secretary/Financial Controller. By the virtue of their experience and academic background they can even reach the level of whole time directors in a company.
Membership of the Institute of the Company Secretaries of India, headquartered in New Delhi with regional offices at Calcutta, Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi, is the only prescribed qualification for entry into this profession. Membership is granted after clearing the preliminary or foundation, intermediate and final examinations conducted by the institute.
Students who have passed 10+2 in any discipline can enrol for the foundation course. However graduates in any discipline, other than fine arts, or those who have qualified the final examination of the Institute of Chartered Accountant of India (ICAI) or the Institute of Costs and Works Accountants of India (ICWAI) can directly enrol for the intermediate examination.
Admission to the foundation course is open throughout the year. The duration of the course is 8 months excluding the months of admission and examination. Students taking admission up to March can take the examination in December the same year. However those taking admission after March can take the examination only in June the following year. The fee for the foundation course is Rs 1200.
The institute imparts compulsory postal tuition. Students are provided with study material on each subject at the time of admission. In addition, students also have the option to attend oral coaching classes organized by the institute at select places through its regional councils and chapters on payment of extra fees. Only students who have successfully completed the postal/oral coaching are eligible for admission to the examination. A student has to register for each of the examination at least nine months prior to the month in which the examination is held.
Registration for the Intermediate Examination is open throughout the year. Minimum amount payable along with the application for registration is presently Rs. 2,250.Candidates seeking exemption from the Foundation examination are required to pay postal tuition fee @ Rs. 100 per subject in addition, for those subject (s) in the foundation course which they had not studied at the graduate or post graduate level. It is important to note that a candidate is registered for five years for the main course, and it is compulsory to clear the intermediate and final examinations within this time period.
The fee for the entire course is Rs 2250 for commerce graduates and Rs 2650 for non-commerce graduates. For the final examination sum of Rs 1500 is payable separately as postal tuition fee in addition to the exam fee @ Rs 350 per group.
Both the intermediate and final examinations are held twice every year in June and December. A student is admitted to the Final examination only after a minimum period of nine calendar months has elapsed since his passing the Intermediate examination. The last dates for receipt of enrolment applications for examination in the Institute are as follows:
(i) 25th March (up to 9th April with late fee of Rs. 100) for June examination
(ii) 25th Sept. (up to 10th Oct with late fee of Rs. 100) for December examination.
The study program for getting the membership of the institute also includes practical training, which has to be in one of the following areas. Chartered Accountants are however given exemption.
Apprenticeship under a practicing Company Secretary or with a Company Secretary firm for one-year full time or two year part time.
Three years of teaching experience in law, management or accounts.
Two years experience as an executive or three years experience as an assistant in secretarial, administration, finance, accounts, personnel or legal department in a firm with either paid up capital of Rs 25 lakhs or fixed assets of not less than Rs 50 lakhs.
Experience as a Gazetted Officer in the Central/State Government for three years.
Three years experience as an advocate in a high court having rendered services as counsel/advisor to a company of the size specified above.
In addition to the practical experience, a candidate while completing the final examination must undergo four moths training in the following departments of a firm having a paid up capital of Rs 25 lakhs.
One month in the secretarial department including the shares and legal department.
One month in the finance department including costing, management accounting, internal audit, taxation.
One month in the administration department.
Fifteen days secretarial training program designed by the institute.
Fifteen days training in a specialized agency such as stock exchange, or banking institution or management consultancy firm.
More details about institute and the examinations are available at the website www.icsi-india.com. Queries may also be posted at the firstname.lastname@example.org