Independent Directors: Exemption from online proficiency self-assessment test – Companies (Appointment and Qualification of Directors) Amendment Rules, 2021

The MCA has notified a new set of Rules to amend the existing Companies (Appointment and Qualification of Directors) Rules, 2014 which shall come into force on the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.

Independent Directors - 3d man, person to an office and a laptop

Sr. No. Amendment Comments
1 Substitution: Rule 6(4) first proviso clause (B)

in the pay scale of Director or equivalent or above in any Ministry or Department, of the Central Government or any State Government, and having experience in handling—

(i) the matters relating to commerce, corporate affairs, finance, industry or public enterprises; or

(ii) the affairs related to Government companies or statutory corporations set up under an Act of Parliament or any State Act and carrying on commercial activities.

By this amendment, the scope of exemption from passing the online proficiency self-assessment test for inclusion of name in the data bank of Independent Directors is widened.

Existing Provision: “(B) in the pay scale of Director or above in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs or the Ministry of Finance or Ministry of Commerce and Industry or the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises and having experience in handling the matters relating to corporate laws or securities laws or economic laws”

2 Insertion: after Rule 6(4) second proviso

Provided also that the following individuals, who are or have been, for at least ten years:

(A) an advocate of a court; or

(B) in practice as a chartered accountant; or

(C) in practice as a cost accountant; or

(D) in practice as a company secretary, shall not be required to pass the online proficiency self-assessment test.

This is a welcoming change as with the advent of this amendment even Advocate/ PCS/PCA/PCMA who have an experience of at least 10 years in Practice shall be exempt from passing the online proficiency self-assessment test.

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