Q1.Tell me something about the career of company secretary?
A1.The use of the word secretary in the name of this specialisation is a bit misleading for one who is new to the concept. A Company Secretary has nothing to do with regular secretarial work. A Company Secretary is a professional whose role in a corporate set up is that of an advisor for legal matters. As per the Companies Act, a statutory requirement is that companies with a paid up share capital of a minimum of Rs 50 lakh are required to appoint a Company Secretary. A Company Secretary is a very important member of the company’s management.
Q2.What is the role of "The Institute of Company Secretaries of India " ?
A2.The Institute of Company Secretaries of India is constituted under the Company Secretaries Act, 1980, to develop and regulate the profession of Company Secretaries in India. The origin of this profession can be traced back to 1960, when the Company Law Board started a course in Company Secretaryship leading to a Government Diploma in Company Secretaryship. A tremendous growth in the number of Company Secretaries led to the formation, in 1969, of The Institute of Company Secretaries of India under Section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956. The Institute of Company Secretaries of India has been converted into a statutory body under the Company Secretaries Act, 1980.
Q3.What does a Company Secretary do?
A3. The range of services that a Company Secretary is trained to carry out is wide. In actual practice, it will depend upon the size of the company he or she is working with. The nature of activities that the company is engaged in will also affect the type of services that a Company Secretary is required to provide. Functions of a Company Secretary A Company Secretary has been recognised by law as one of the principal officers of the Company. The knowledge that he or she acquires during training makes him or her versatile enough to carry out functions in various areas like finance, accounts, legal administration and personnel division. Training as a Company Secretary equips a person to provide the following services. Handling legal aspects that need to be covered for incorporation, formation, promotion, amalgamation, reorganisation or winding up of a company, are the responsibilities of a Company Secretary ¨ If a company goes public, then management of the public issue falls under the ambit of a Company Secretary's responsibility. ¨ All legalities involved with inter-corporate investments and loans are looked after by a Company Secretary. ¨ All responsibilities attached to meetings of Board of Directors are attached to the Company Secretary. He or she is responsible for scheduling them in consultation with other members of the management team, conduct the meetings and maintain all records related to the meetings. ¨ Depending upon the needs of the company that he or she is working for, a Company Secretary is required to handle matters related to central/state sales tax, excise laws, labour laws and corporate laws. ¨ Looking into the details of processing applications for management appointments and their remuneration is also the responsibility of a Company Secretary. ¨ A Company Secretary handles matters related to obtaining institutional finance. Responsibilities in this regard would include getting project approvals, obtaining relevant licences and permits, zeroing in on all requirements under the MRTP (Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act) and FERA (Foreign Exchange Regulation Act) and any other relevant legislation. ¨ The Company secretary is authorised to sign the annual returns of the company, as also represent the company when a situation demands it. The above-mentioned duties are just a broad guideline of what is expected of a Company Secretary.
Q4.Who can become a Company Secretary?
A4.The minimum eligibility required for the foundation course for training as a Company Secretary is 10+2 or an equivalent examination. Graduates or post-graduates in commerce, or any other discipline except fine arts, are allowed to skip the foundation course and enrolled directly for the intermediate examination. 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. For better prospects one may opt for the Company Secretary course after having completed either the Cost and Works Accountancy course or the Chartered Accountancy course or both. The course The Institute of Company Secretaries of India conduct examinations for different levels of competencies. Those who clear these examinations are granted membership to the Institute.
Q5.Where are the centres of the institute?
A5.The Institute has headquarters at New Delhi. Offices at Calcutta, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai, four regional councils and thirty-six chapters of the Institute in various cities provide the infrastructure through which the Institute functions. This course is a mixture of postal tuition and optional coaching classes. Study material is provided to the students at the time of admission. On completion of postal coaching and contact classes, if the student has opted for it, he or she is eligible for appearing for the examinations conducted by the Institute. Registration for each examination needs to be done at least nine months before the month in which the examination is held. The examinations are held in June and December every year. Examinations are held at thirty-six centres.
Q6.What is the procedure for becoming a Company Secretary?
A6. It is as follows: Pass 10+2 or equivalent examination Enrol with the institute for foundation course Complete the compulsory postal coaching Pass the foundation examination Register with the institute for intermediate course. Graduates and those who have passed out of the Institute of Cost and Works Accountancy or the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India can enter straightaway at this level. Complete the compulsory postal coaching for the intermediate course. ¨ Pass the intermediate examination. Enrol for the final course ¨ Complete the compulsory postal coaching for the final course. During this period the student is also required to undergo management training or apprenticeship with a company recognised by the Institute or with a recognised practising company Secretary. The duration of the training may vary from 12 months to 24 months, depending upon whether it is done on a full time or part time basis. Pass the final examination. ¨ Undergo practical training for four months. Now a student qualifies for membership of the Institute On admission as an Associate member, he or she is entitled to use the descriptive letters "ACS" after his name. Senior members in the profession are eligible for admission as Fellow Members, and on admission as Fellow Members they are eligible to use the descriptive letters "FCS" after their names.
Q7.What are the places where examinations are held?
A7.The Institute has its headquarters at New Delhi and four regional offices of Calcutta, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai. The Institute has four Regional Councils and under their jurisdiction there are thirty-six Chapters: Eastern Region: Bhubaheshwar, Guwahati, Jamshedpur, Patna, Ranchi Northern Region: Chandigarh, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Jaipur, Kanpur, Ludhiana, Lucknow, Modinagar, Noida (U P), Shimla, and Udaipur Southern Region: Bangalore, Coimbatore, Cochin, Hyderabad, Madurai, Mangalore, Mysore, Pondicherry, Tiruchirapalli, Thiruvananthapuram, and Vishakapatnam Western Region: Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Dombivli, Goa, Indore, Nagpur, Pune, Surat, and Vadodara. In addition the Institute has 16 Satellite Chapters, which are located at Agra, Allahabad, Gurgaon, Jodhpur, Meerut, Beawar, Yamuna Nagar, Varanasi, Bhilwara, Bareilly, Dharwad, Kottayam, Thrissur, Vijayawada, Nasik, Raipur.
Q8.What are the prospects for employment ?
A8. Today's global scene shows a focus on the development of the corporate sector. Growth automatically translates into the involvement legalities of various kinds. And this falls under the purview of a Company Secretary. Companies need advice from a person with a thorough knowledge of all relevant laws. This service is provided for by the Company Secretary. So the employment potential in the corporate sector is very high. Openings are also available in government sectors, in bodies like the Bureau of Public Enterprises, government financial institutions and stock exchanges. Other government openings are the Accounts branch of the Central Government Law Services; the finance, law, accounts and merchant banking divisions of nationalised banks. An option for the academically inclined is as lectures in universities. A combination of experience and expertise can lead to appointment at top level positions like chairman, directors and managing director, in reputed organisations.