ICSI-NSE Pact Soon To Certify Digital Signatures

New Delhi, January 21: | Updated: Jan 22 2003, 05:30am hrs
The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) will shortly enter into an agreement with the National Stock Exchange (NSE) for certifying digital signatures required in online financial transactions and annual filing of returns. Members of ICSI will soon have to register with NSE.ITthe agency for certifying digital signatures. The initiative has been taken to cater to the requirements of online filing of documents by companies.

In an interview to FE, the new president of ICSI Pawan Vijay said, Online filing of documents require pre-certification by company secretaries and each company has to submit four documents. The step will improve compliance regime of Department of Company Affairs (DCA).

Outlining his vision for ICSI which has 61 chapters and 16,000 company secretaries as members, Mr Vijay said, ICSI would take up programmes during the year to transform company secretaries from compliance officers to strategic corporate planners.

ICSI will organise a compulsory 25 hours knowledge upgradation programme for its members on April 1. Coupled with this, an online test would be held on the lines of National Certification in Financial Market (NCFM) which was conducted by NSE for market intermediaries, Mr Vijay said.

The objective is to prepare a panel of eminent company secretaries, who can serve as independent directors on company boards. We will post this information on our website and write to corporates offering the services of our members as independent directors/members of audit committee, Mr Vijay stated.

Alternatively, Mr Vijay said that members from the panel could be hired as consultants for independent directors. The practice area for company secretaries is expanding, he added.

Mr Vijay said that apart from upgrading the profession, he would emphasise on pro-active research during his tenure.

The Centre for Corporate Research and Training (CCRT) set up by ICSI will come up with a proposal for a new company law, Mr Vijay said and added that the present companys act has undergone many amendments and is restrictive in nature. The mandate of the research is to focus on growth-oriented procedures, disclosures and penalties commensurate with the loss suffered by the stakeholders.

The CCRT will also work in the areas of securities law, banking, NBFCs transformation of cooperative societies into companies, international trade and development and compile a database of research done on corporate law, Mr Vijay stated.