Company Secretary is a person who is a member of Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI)[i].He is appointed in a company to perform the duties mentioned under the Companies Act. Company Secretary can be described as the stem of a tree which supports and helps the plant to grow higher because he performs large number of duties prescribed specially for him under various Acts like Companies Act,Income Tax Act,Foreign Exchange Management Act etc.,A Company Secretary is a Key Managerial Personnel (KMP) and he is responsible for statutory compliances of a company since he is obviously an expert in Corporate laws and Corporate governance.
Scope of Company Secretary-ship :
We always heard people saying that they have done various courses relating to Engineering,Law,Medicine,etc., How many of us know about Company Secretary-ship ? If we are able to answer this question,then only we can move towards the next one ‘What is the scope of Company Secretary-ship ?’ Company Secretary-ship is a course offered by Institute of Company Secretaries of India which is a statutory body operating under the jurisdiction of Ministry of Corporate Affairs, to those who want to become Company Secretary.The guidelines are available in their official website[ii] and it is pretty informative because it clearly states the procedures,the schedule of classes that are going to be conducted,the period in which the examinations would commence,the fees structures for different stages of the course,etc.,
Company Secretary-ship course :
As stated before,Company Secretary holds huge responsibility on their shoulders and he has to play the role of Administrative Officer,Executive Officer,Financial Officer and sometimes responsible authority in respect of the contracts made on behalf of the company.And this CS course shall provide him a platform to develop various skills such as Time Management skills,Communication skills,Organisation skills,Leadership skills,etc.,which will guide him to deliver his performance efficiently.To pursue the Company Secretary-ship course a person has to pass following three stages otherwise known as exams:
- Foundation Programme
- Executive Programme
- Professional Programme
Foundation Programme has four papers,Executive Programme has seven papers which has been divided into Module I and Module II (New syllabus w.e.f 01.02.2013) and Professional Programme has three Modules (New syllabus w.e.f 01.09.2013).
A person has to finish Foundation Programme which can be pursued in eight months duration,so that he can enter into the next level of CS course ‘Executive Programme’.Only a person who has cleared Foundation and Executive Programme can go for Professional Programme.
How to join CS course ?
The Admissions for Company Secretary-ship course is open throughout the year whereas examinations will be conducted twice in a year (June and December) and students can register themselves for the course in online through the official website of ICSI, according to their convenience.The students can also avail online learning programme through E-Learning portal of ICSI which includes Web Based Training (WBT),Video Based Training (VBT) and Live Virtual Classroom (LVC).In addition to this, ICSI along with Centre for Corporate Governance,Research and Training (CCGRT) offers full-time Integrated Company Secretary Course which is of three years duration including practical training for the eligible students.
The fees for different Programmes may differ according to the economic status and academic merit of the students.Physically handicapped students also have fees concession upto the limit fixed by ICSI. Students must undergo certain training programmes to obtain practical experience for such period as mentioned by the regulations of Institute of Company Secretaries of India.Once the student gets qualified in Professional Programme and training then he will be enrolled as Associate Member of ICSI and he can use the title ‘ACS’ after his/her name.
Scope of law in CS :
We have seen the purpose of studying Company Secretary-ship in the above paragraphs.Now let us come to the point,what is the scope of law in Company Secretary-ship ? Do they serve better job opportunities for the persons who possess law degree along with Company Secretary-ship ? Let us see the scope of law in CS in following words.
If a person gives a glance to the syllabus of Company Secretary-ship,then he will definitely comes to know how much scope the law carries in the field of Company Secretary-ship.Yes,the entire syllabus falls under two major domains – Accounting & Management and Law.When we look at the syllabus of Executive Programme we can clearly see that five papers are from law domain out of eight.And it is very easy for a person who has law degree to complete this course since he can understand the concept easily than the others do.
Regarding job opportunities,the Institute of Company Secretaries of India provides various placement opportunities for its members through Campus Interviews who has completed the course with merit.The members of ICSI will get direct access to top management positions as they possess such high managerial and analytical skills.Since ICSI has made many Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with different institutions of different countries,it facilitates its members to get placements in foreign companies also.Apart from the job opportunities offered by the companies they can use this qualification for their self employment and teaching profession too.
Law degree holders may get placements in companies as legal advisors or legal executives and if they possess additional qualification of Company Secretary-ship,then it will be double treat to employers to get such employee since an employer can fill two jobs/positions with a single person.
Now we got a good idea about the Company Secretary-ship course from the above information.It is a great opportunity for the persons who want to get placed in higher position in a reputed company.Especially for law degree holders,it provides peculiar path of career which is completely different from practicing law in Courts.This course offers great exposure to a person to different domains such as Accounting, Management, Financing, Law, Auditing,etc.,Above all, this course holds perennial job opportunities in domestic as well as foreign companies.To be precise,Law with Company Secretary-ship is undoubtedly a great option for the students who need a course which yields knowledge with fair remuneration and in this way it stands perfect for this generation.
Edited by Pragash Boopal
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje
[i]Companies Secretaries Act,1980, S 2(1)(c).
[ii]ICSI,Career as Company Secretary, https://www.icsi.edu/student/career-as-company-secretary/.