Move to change nomenclature of CS to Governance Proffessionals
President, The Institute of Company Secretaries of India S N Ananthasubramanian, who was on an official visit to Nagpur to inaugurate the Full-Day Seminar on Companies Act, 2013 scheduled on November 16, 2013 addressed the press meet on the eve of the Seminar.
The President outlined the major initiatives of ICSI made during the year as under:
Students Services– According to Ananthasubramanian, 400000 students across the country are undergoing through a progressive transition from Physical Delivery Model to Online Digital Delivery model. The examination enrolments have become fully online from October 2013 and 147000 students have enrolled for December examination.
Online Registration of Students has been made compulsory from January 1, 2014. Direct delivery of study materials to students, Study through videos/ online lectures etc are some of the novel measures taken by ICSI. Moving to Mass Online Open Courses (MOOCS) Training structure also is being revamped to provide for e-training/convenience learning mode through tie-ups. The New Syllabus for Executive Programme is operational from February and for Professional Programme from October. The Professional Programme containing Five Electives i.e. 1. Banking- Law and Practice, 2. Insurance-Law and Practice, 3. Capital, Commodities and Money Markets, 4. IPR- Law and Practice, 5. International Business-Law and Practice.
ICSI boasts of 35000 Members across the country and abroad. ICSI Primer launched by Minister of Corporate Affairs, at the 41st National Convention of Company Secretaries in Chennai on November 7, 2013. Primer contains 16 videos of experts from various disciplines covering various aspects of Companies Act, 2013. More than 300 seminars/ workshops have been conducted so far-Recognition under Maharashtra VAT Act for practising members to appear before Tribunals.- Two Workshops on Business Responsibility Reporting held with the support of NSE in Mumbai and Delhi and Guidance Note being brought out.
Thought Leadership on Indian Financial Code, and the Report of FSLRC
(Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission) which was set up by the Union Finance Minister in 2011 under the Chairmanship of Justice B.N.Srikrishna which was submitted to the Government in March, 2013. ICSI has conducted 5 Seminars so far at two of such Seminars, the Union Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram was the Chief Guest.
The Companies Act 2013 Passed: The Companies Act 2013 which was passed by the Lok Sabha on August 8, 2013 and received the President’s assent replaced the Companies Act of 1956. The Act is contemporary, transformative and aspirational. The Act is intended to make legislative process consultative, participative and operational through delegated legislation. The Companies Act confers special status to Company Secretaries making them on par with CEOs, CFOs, Whole-time Directors. Their functions have been defined as also their duties. They are expected to become custodians of corporate governance in companies. The Companies Act has recognised Secretarial Standards brought by ICSI by prescribing compulsory adherence. Standards on Board Meetings and Annual General Meetings have been prescribed for compliance. The concept of Secretarial Audit has been introduced for all listed companies and other companies which may be prescribed. The Secretarial Audit involves audit of non-financial information and places enormous responsibilities on Practising Company Secretaries in their transition from Attestation Professionals to Secretarial Auditors.
The Minister of Corporate Affairs while inaugurating the National Convention in Chennai had expressed a view that perhaps the nomenclature of Company Secretary does not fully represent the role played by a Company Secretary as a Governance Professional and that he would support any proposal brought by the Council of ICSI to change the name of the Institute. ICSI had set up a Committee headed by Justice B. N Srikrishna earlier this year to review the Company Secretaries Act, 1980 and suggest changes if any to reflect the current times and the Report is expected to be submitted soon to the Council which will consider the Report and the Recommendations. The decision to change the name will also be deliberated at the Meeting of the Council on November 22, 2013.
Major tie- ups with Indian Institute of Banking and Finance- Certified Banking Professional Course launched by Dr.K.C.Chakraborty, Deputy.Governor, Reserve Bank of India and Insurance Institute of India – Compliance, Governance and Risk Management Course launched by R.K. Nair, Whole-time Member, IRDA. These tie-ups are intended to make available employment opportunities in banking and insurance to Company Secretaries in future.
Corporate Compliance Executive Programme launched as a Bridge Qualification to those who have passed Executive Programme and undergo certain prescribed training modules so as to become eligible to be appointed in Companies which are not required to appoint Company Secretaries to take care of Compliance functions.
Tie-up with National Institute of Securities Markets (NISM) through which workshops on Ethics and Governance are being held- the first held in Mumbai when Chairman, SEBI U K Sinha, was the Chief Guest, the second one proposed in Kolkata on December, 11, 2013 and the third one in Chennai on December 27, 2013. The 13th ICSI National Award on Excellence in Corporate Governance scheduled to be held on December 21, 2013 at Kolkata.