Constituted under the Company Secretaries Act, 1980, the Institute of Company Secretaries of India is a statutory body, recognized by the Government of India to promote and regulate the profession of Company Secretary in the country. The institute gives certificates to the candidates who qualify for the ICSI membership.
The Government of India, under Section 383 A of the Companies Act, 1956, has prescribed the companies, who have a paid-up share capital of Rs Two crore and more, to appoint a full-time Company Secretary, whose designation would be that of an officer in a company. A Company Secretary’s role includes interacting, coordinating, integrating and cooperating with other functional heads in a company, thus enhancing the management of the company. A Company Secretary has to guide the company in all legal matters, mergers, acquisitions, joint collaborations etc.
Soon the need was felt for an institute which could provide all the basic skills and knowledge to an company secretary aspirant so the Company Law Board launched a diploma course in Company Secretary Ship in 1960 which was recognized by the Government of India. When more and more students started taking up the course, the Government of India in October, 1968 decided to upgrade the ICSI(Institute of Company Secretaries of India) under Section 25 of the Companies Act and gave the ICSI the authority to conduct company secretary ship examination.
The ICSI(Institute of Company Secretaries of India) was made a statutory body on January 1, 1981 under the Company Secretaries Act, 1980. At present, the Institute has around 20,000 members. The Education Ministry of the Government of India recognizes the ICSI(Institute of Company Secretaries of India) courses and its membership, as a result ICSI(Institute of Company Secretaries of India) members can be appointed for senior posts in the Government.
Headquartered in New Delhi, the Institute of Company Secretaries of India is run by a 20-member Council of which five members are nominated by the Government of India and the remaining are elected. The Council is headed by a President, followed by Vice-President and Secretary/CEO. The Institute has four regional offices in New Delhi for north region, Mumbai for western region, Kolkata for eastern region and Chennai for south region. These regional councils have different state chapters within its control.
A candidate wanting to become a member of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India has to go through three levels of courses and a rigorous training schedule.
After the final course is completed, the candidate has to go through training for one to two years in a company or under an independent Company Secretary practitioner before being made the member of the ICSI(Institute of Company Secretaries of India).
A member of the ICSI(Institute of Company Secretaries of India) can take up a government job or a job in the corporate sector or even start his/her own independent practice after getting a Certificate of Practice from the ICSI(Institute of Company Secretaries of India).