Dear Mentor:

What does Company Secretary qualify for in the US market?

My wife has done "Company Secretary" from India and now she has moved to the USA. I would like to know if Company Secretary from India is recognized here in USA and what courses one need to do for practicing the same in USA. Let me know the career options available. Also send the name of the organization in USA whom we can contact for further details. Thanks a lot.

CS's Hub, USA

Dear CS's Hub:

The US does not have any such programs of education. The Companies Act of India has little relevance in the US. The US as such does not have any legally required qualifications for the duties of the type performed by a CS. However, the basics of business are obviously of value. Your wife has two obvious courses of action: employment or further education. Unfortunately, the US companies are likely not to consider the CS qualification of much more value than a Bachelor's degree in Business. Thus, she would likely find herself qualified primarily for jobs that are open to US business graduates.

Further education such as an MBA may offer a substantial appreciation in her value to the business world in the US. For MBA program information, you can use the iMahal College Finder, and various other resources offered on iMahal. You may also find many earlier Dear Mentor: questions relevant to the MBA program.

About Company Secretary:
A person who has successfully completed the examination and necessary training as prescribed by the Institute of Company Secretaries of India set up as per Companies Act, 1980 (as amended from time to time) and the Regulations framed thereof is entitled to be called Associate (Associate Company Secretary) or Fellow Member (Fellow Company Secretary) of the Institute. A Member of ICSI can be in service or can have his/her own practice.

As per the Act, any company having a share capital of more than Rs.25 lakh or more should have a qualified person as its Company Secretary. A Company Secretary is the Principal Officer of the Company and is supposed to carry out various functions including the secretarial functions, i.e. issuance/transfer etc. of the shares/bonds/debentures, etc. of the company and also conducting and attending the Board Meetings, Annual General Meetings, etc. A member who wants to have his/her own practice can do so after obtaining Certificate of Practice from the Institute and is known as Licentiate ICSI.

There are three levels of examinations - Preliminary, Intermediate, and Final. If a student is a Commerce Graduate, he/she can take admission directly at Intermediate level. For 12th Class student or Graduate in any other stream, he/she will have to first clear the Preliminary examination. Every level of Examination is to be cleared to qualify for the first level. In the Intermediate and Final levels there are groups. A student can either take all the papers or appear in groups of exams. To qualify for a group or entire examination, aggregate marks scored should be 50% with not less than 40% in any particular subject. Exemptions for certain papers are available for Cost Accountants, Chartered Accountants, MBAs etc.

This is basically a commerce-oriented course with specific stress on the provisions of Companies Act, 1956 and the secretarial practices related thereto. The important papers of this Course are - Company Accounts, Principles of Law, Business Communication, Principles and Practice of Management, Financial Accounting, Costing and Management Accounting, Managerial Economics, Industrial, Labour and Economic Laws, Company Secretarial Practice, Conveyance Deed Writing, etc.

After completion of the examination, a student has to undergo practical experience and training requirements. After successfully completing the same a student becomes eligible for Membership of ICSI.

With increased industriliazation, the scope for Company Secretary is on the increase. The course requires lot of labor and hard work. This course is, more or less, on the same pattern as the Institute of Chartered Secretaries & Administrators, London. For more information, visit:

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