As per the Companies Act, 1956, every company with a paid-up share capital of Rs. Two crores or above has to appoint a whole time Company Secretary. The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) has developed and regulated the profession of Company Secretaries in the country.
ELIGIBILITY FOR COMPANY SECRETARY COURSE :
A candidate needs to clear 3 stages to qualify as Company Secretary and these are:
- 1) Foundation Course
- 2) Intermediate Course
- 3) Final Course
These are the three levels included in the courses on company secretary ship. The details are as follows:
The minimum eligibility to gain entry in the Foundation Course is a pass in 10+2 examination or its equivalent in any stream. The course is of 8 months duration.
A pass in the Foundation Course Examination of the ICSI/Graduation degree or a Master's degree/Pass in ICWAI, ICAI can allow you entry in the intermediate course. The course is of 9 months.
Final Course: Once you pass the Intermediate Course you automatically become eligible for admission to the Final Course.
One passing the Final examination of ICSI you will need to undergo a practical training after which, you will be completely eligible for the Associate Membership of the Institute.
COMPANY SECRETARY TRAINING :
On successfully clearing the Intermediate and Final Courses a candidate is required to serve a training period of 1-2 years with a Company or under a qualified and practicing Company Secretary. On completion of four months training thereafter the candidate becomes a member of the Institute of the Company Secretaries of India and is assigned a professional membership number and can use the suffix ACS after his / her name. A Fellow Member of the Institute who is normally a senior pro can use the suffix FCS after his / her name.
COMPANY SECRETARY INSTITUTES :
The headquarters of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India is situated at :
ICSI House, 22, Institutional Area Lodhi Road, New Delhi 110 003
The institute also has regional offices at Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai and Delhi besides having four regional councils and thirty six chapters in other important cities of India.
COMPANY SECRETARY COURSE SCOPE :
Scope in India : With the onward march of globalization in India remaining unabated the corporate sector has witnessed tremendous growth. Numerous companies from diverse fields have emerged on the Indian economic scene and with it the complexities involved in the running of an organization have also skyrocketed. It is here that the role of a Company Secretary is so important to an organization or business house, since he is competent to provide sound advice on corporate, legal, secretarial, administrative and even tax related matters. While a Company Secretary can aspire to get employment opportunities in government accounts or law departments, he can become a Chairman or Managing Director of a Company or be a part of the esteemed Board of Directors of a Company.
A budding and meritorious Company Secretary can hope to start his career with a monthly remuneration of Rs.20,000 - Rs.25,000. However, for an ordinary candidate, a monthly salary of Rs.10, 000 is almost guaranteed.
Scope In Abroad: Although Company Secretaries are in great demand in India, in USA, UK and other western countries the profession or the professionals do not find tailor made opportunities. This is because the Company Secretary course is based on the Companies Act 1956, which has its roots in the Indian legal and political system and does not have much relevance outside India. A qualified Company Secretary may however find employment opportunities similar to those available to Business Graduates in either USA, Australia UK or other European countries.