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Company secretaries are one of the best career options for students pursuing a professional career in the commerce sector. Especially students with commerce background and other professional courses such as CA or CMA value legal knowledge. Whether on the job or in practice, CS is constantly confronted with company law and other laws, and new horizons demand much more than that.

The CS position in the company is one of the main employees who acts as a seeker of the company’s legal compliance. CS is considered as the company’s internal legal advisor. Most companies, however, entrust CS not only with secretarial duties, but mostly with parts of the financial, tax or legal system that must be identified together.

The Institute of Company Secretaries of India is a statutory body for the development and regulation of the business secretarial profession. As ICSI aims to be a global leader in promoting good corporate governance and developing highly qualified professionals to enable good corporate governance, the curriculum is designed to focus on compliance and governance. The diverse career opportunities that CS courses offer will turn you into a corporate supernova, CS again.

In this blog we have tried to collect all the general information about CS course. Let’s start: 


The CS course structure has seen significant changes recently, most notably the February 2020 changes which resulted in several changes including the introduction of CSEET and dispensation of Foundation programmes.

Currently the CS course consists of 3 levels, namely;

1. CSEET (CS Executive Entrance Test)

2. CS Executive Program

3. CS Professional Program

CSEET has completely replaced the Foundation program and entry into the Foundation program has been suspended. Instead, CSEET will be the entry point for CS courses.

Exceptions to CSEET are made only for the following categories:

  • Students who have cleared the CS Foundation.
  • Students who have completed the final course of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India
  • Students who have completed the final course of the Institute of Cost Accountants in India


The new training structure and new development program finally introduced a uniform training structure and removed the ambiguity that existed before. The previous structure had different training duration depending on the exams completed (e.g. 1 year after passing the Professional Program, 2 years after passing the Executive Program and three years after enrolling but not passing the Executive Program).

The new structure simplifies all these unclear application criteria and defines a simple structure within which students must complete the following education and training programs:

  • Executive Development Program (EDP), which takes place one month after passing the Executive Program exam;
  • Twenty-one months of practical training upon completion of the Full Time Executive Development Program during normal working hours,
    • in companies that have a company secretary throughout their work.
    • Under the direction of a practicing company secretary who meets the criteria set out by ICSI.
    • in other companies, companies or institutions or organizations or companies that meet the criteria set by ICSI;
  • After passing the examination for the professional program, Corporate Leadership Development Program (CLDP) for a minimum of thirty days, but not more than sixty days, as determined by the institution.


A student who has got the advanced practical knowledge and skills equivalent to a development program and practical training may apply for a pass exemption under the criteria. ICSI may grant full or partial exemptions, or conditional exemptions, or refuse them after reviewing the application.


CS Executive entrance test (CSEET)

CSEET is a computer based online test. It consists of MCQ and Viva Voce. The CSEET duration is 135 minutes (120 minutes for the MCQ test and 15 minutes for the Viva Voce). The goal is to take an entrance exam that is equivalent to other professions such as medicine, engineering and others. CSEET takes place four times a year in May, July, November and January. The CSEET curriculum includes:

  • A computer test for 120 minutes, consisting of four parts of 50 points, ie.
    • Business communications;
    • Legal skills and logical motives
    • Economic and business environment &
    • Current affairs; and
  • 15 minutes Viva Voce on “Presentation and Communication Skills”

Students must receive a total of 50% and at least 40% of marks in each subject to qualify for CSEET. A great relief for the students was that there would be no negative scores.


The Executive Programme comprises 8 subjects under 2 modules as tabulated below.

Module – 1 Module – 2
1.Jurisprudence, Interpretation & General Laws 5. Corporate & Management Accounting
2. Company Law 6.Securities Laws & Capital Markets
3. Setting up of Business Entities and Closure 7.Economic, Business and Commercial Laws
4. Tax Laws 8. Financial and Strategic Management


The Professional Programme comprises 9 subjects under 3 modules as tabulated below.

Module – 1 Module – 2 Module – 3
1. Governance, Risk Management, Compliances and Ethics 4. Secretarial Audit, Compliance Management and Due Diligence 7.Corporate Funding & Listings in Stock Exchanges
2. Advanced Tax Laws 5. Corporate Restructuring, Insolvency, Liquidation & Winding-up 8. Multidisciplinary Case Studies (The examination for this paper will be open book examination)
3. Drafting, Pleadings and Appearances 6. Resolution of Corporate Disputes, Non-Compliances & Remedies 9. Electives 1 paper out of 8 papers 9.1 Banking – Law & Practice9.2 Insurance– Law & Practice9.3 Intellectual Property Rights– Lawsand Practices9.4 Forensic Audit9.5 Direct Tax Law & Practice9.6 Labour Laws & Practice9.7 Valuations & Business Modelling9.8 Insolvency – Law and Practice(The examination for this paper will be open book examination)

Tushar Pahade Classes offers CS Executive online classes for a new curriculum. This online CS course will help you prepare for CS by staying in the comfort of your home or even getting ready while you work because you can watch our videos over and over again from anywhere, on-device, at any time. Call us today for consultation!

Author Bio

CS Tushar Pahade (B.Com. M.Com. L.L.B.) is renowned faculty for CS, CA and CMA courses in India. He is the former Chairman of the Nagpur Chapter of WIRC of ICSI and practising CS for 10 years. Through Tushar Pahade Classes, he provides online coaching for CS, CA and CMA. His unique teaching styl View Full Profile

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May 2024