Students can now pursue the fast-growing secretarial profession even on their mobile phones. The professions regulator, the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI), will soon introduce virtual classrooms, which could be accessed through internet-enabled phones.
With this facility, one could access the virtual classroom and interact with the faculty from anywhere using a mobile phone and a headset, ICSI president Priti Malhotra said. Students can enrol for the programme online.
However, one has to go to any of the 70 examination centres in the country for attending final test. Eventually, when online security systems become fool-proof, the institute will provide for attending the final exams too online. ICSI wants to reach out to potential students in far-flung areas using technology as the demand for professionals grow in a booming economy, she said. ICSI has tied up with gurukulonline, a firm specialising in e-learning, for software support.
The institute has also revamped the curriculum so that students who pass the intermediate level test are qualified for the large number of emerging job opportunities in secretarial offices of companies. With the compliance requirements of stock exchanges (clause 49), registrars of companies (mandatory electronic filing of documents) and competition law going up, the demand for semi-qualified secretarial professionals is set to increase significantly. Those who have passed the executive programme, but could not appear for the final (professional) programme, can look forward to these opportunities, she said.
For becoming a company secretary, one has to pass the final test, now renamed as the professional programme. A 12th passed candidate need to appear for a foundation course first while a graduate can directly enrol for intermediate, now called the executive programme.
Now about 20,000 company secretaries are employed in various companies, while about 4,000 are in individual practice. The Institute expects the number to double in two years due to the on-line training programme. Advisory services by individual professionals is also expected to see a major boost with the emergence of a bullish small and medium enterprises (SME) segment.