Expecting company law reforms to get a push during the second half of the Budget session, the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) has charted a plan of action that includes popularising the company secretaries (CS) course among students, besides offering a host of refresher courses to help professionals meet industry demands.
The proposed company law reforms stress on self-regulation. These include aspects related to legal compliance, investor protection and expanding the scope of operation of company secretaries. "We foresee all these changes leading to a huge demand for company secretaries, besides opening up new areas of practice," said Ms Preeti Malhotra, President, ICSI.
At a press conference here, Ms Malhotra said it was now mandatory for any company with paid up capital of over Rs 2 crore to have a full-time company secretary. As self-regulation is made stricter, many smaller firms may also be end up hiring full-time company secretaries, she said.
The institute will launch an e-learning programme for the CS course in 2-3 months and plans to set up a dedicated 24-hour help line for students. It is also organising talks in colleges to make students aware of the course and its future prospects. The CS course can be undertaken after class 12 or graduation and involves three levels of exams clearing which it is mandatory to undergo a 15-month internship programme. The course exposes candidates to company law, securities law and other legal corporate compliance aspects.
The course syllabus is also being rationalised periodically to include international developments, Ms Malhotra said.