The new Companies Bill to be adopted by Parliament would simplify the law and equate company secretary (CS) with the chief executive (CEO) and chief financial officer (CFO) of a company, said Vinayak S Khanvalkar, president, Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI), here on Saturday. At least two out of the 10 secretarial standards specified by ICSI would find place in the new legislation, he added.

Against the backdrop of the Satyam Computer Services episode, Khanvalkar said ICSI had constituted a core group to examine the aspect of corporate governance and made 25 recommendations to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. According to him, the institute investigated the role of the CS in the Satyam fraud case and found that “there was nothing against him”. He said the same CS, G Jayaraman, was continuing with the new management of Satyam.

ICSI would introduce two more Post Membership Qualification (PMQ) courses in competition law and, corporate insolvency and restructuring as a part of its efforts for capacity building of company secretaries in new and emerging areas, said Khanvalkar.

The courses, already approved by the institute’s council, would be launched within a year, he added. ICSI has already a PMQ course on corporate governance. Apart from these two courses, he said, ICSI would organise short-term courses and collaborative programmes to provide exposure to its members in diversified areas.

ICSI also conducted four training programmes for the independent directors of Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), Punjab National Bank (PNB) and Bank of India (BoI). The institute would conduct more such programmes to make independent directors aware of their liabilities and responsibilities, he said.

Khanvalkar said a core group of experts was working on ICSI’s Vision 2020 plan. The institute’s future plan includes strengthening of regional councils, going in for foreign collaborations and attracting more students into the CS professional fold.

ICSI past president Datla Hanumantha Raju said the institute was setting up an education research centre in Hyderabad over an area 1.26 acres. The project was estimated to cost about Rs 5 crore. ICSI also constituted a student welfare fund for which the institute’s annual contribution was Rs 25 lakh.

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