ICSI join hands with colleges to mould new-gen company secys

KPM Basheer Kochi | Updated on January 23, 2018 Published on August 16, 2015

‘Earn an extra professional qualification while doing undergraduate course’

In an effort to woo youngsters to the profession, the Institute of Company Secretaries of India will tie up with 100 colleges across the country so that undergraduates can get an extra ‘professional degree’ even while they do their regular college course.

“We are lining up about 100 commerce colleges where the ICSI can give lessons in company secretary course to regular students for two or three hours a day,” Atul H Mehta, President of the ICSI, said.

“We are structuring the course in such a way that by the time the student finishes his college studies, he can also become a qualified company secretary,” he said.

Ideally, the colleges could provide classroom space in the afternoons. Already, Mehta said, two colleges have signed up in Chennai.

Job opportunities

This was part of the institute’s efforts to catch-them-young for a career that offered abundant job opportunities. Mehta said the Companies Act 2013 was bringing in huge opportunities for qualified company secretaries apart from causing drastic changes in the job profile and responsibilities of the company secretary.

The Act insists that every company that has a paid-up capital of ₹5 crore or more should have a full-time company secretary. This means, according to Mehta, “100 per cent job guarantee” for company secretary students for several years from now.

The Act also stipulates that all large listed companies with a paid-up capital of ₹50 crore and a turnover of ₹250 crore should get a secretarial audit of their accounts, thus increasing the role and scope of the company secretary.

Mehta noted that the company secretary now doubled up as an ‘in-house corporate lawyer’ who vetted the decisions and deals in accordance with the new Company Law and several other laws that impacted on corporate affairs (90 per cent of the course related to corporate laws).

The status of the job has gone up too, because the ‘duties, responsibilities and liabilities’ of the company secretary were inbuilt into the Act.

Critical role

In the new scheme of things, Mehta said, the company secretary has a critical role in keeping a company away from legal troubles and conflicts with the norms and guidelines of Securities and Exchange Board of India.

“The SEBI penalties for non-compliance of its guidelines are huge,” Mehta noted. Clean corporate governance is a crucial issue now.

He pointed out that gender profile of company secretaries was also undergoing drastic changes. Of the 4 lakh students signed up with the ICSI, more than a half were females.

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Published on August 16, 2015
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