In India, Company Secretary is a ‘more legal than finance’ profession under administrative control of Ministry of Corporate Affairs. The profession represents middle class of professions against Doctors, Lawyers and Public Accountants. Naturally, among its practitioners, there is a natural thrust to improve and update and not expertise in some particular fields. Same time, majority of its members represent economic middle class of society, where education is over emphasized constituent of life. Alas! Indian education system is not an education system at all but a degree distribution system, where we want to distribute degree to all and sundry without actually educating them. This is whole scenario, I want to discuss in detail here.
There is a basis question, members and students of this profession ask? Should we add Law Degree with Company Secretary one and how?
What else should I add?
My basis answer, there is no need to add one more zero to my existing zero. Because if I want to add something more to my existing platter means I am not satisfying existing one because it is not cooked well. Otherwise, I will eat my existing platter first than I will go for some desert not for main course again. One the other hand, if I have more appetite, than I will look for batter cooked food not for something silly. Now, I explain.
In this materialistic world, we go to education for materialistic enhancement only. The basic aim of professional degree is to gain knowledge of applied aspect of nature, science, law, justice and human behaviors etc. This will increase our chances for batter job and handsome salary. But professions are not about education only but approach.
When we opt for additional law degree; we, generally, have on normal graduate degree in our hand and either completed our professional course or about to complete it. At this stage, members have either join some salaried job or some mandatory training. When we are doing some full-time job or training, we could not join a full-time education programme. So, ideally we must join either part-time course like run by Indian Law Institute, New Delhi or some correspondence course like run by Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi. These are not easily approachable because of either their test requirement or course fee. We ask for sasta, sundar Tilaau (Cheap, pretty and durable). Simply, we opt of LL.B.; a degree admired world over, associated with one of the most renowned profession, leadership, society and success.
But; here is the trap, a life threatening trap.
All over the world, LL.B. is a full-time i.e. regular course. This course governed by Rule of Legal Education, 2008. One can find these rules at http://www.barcouncilofindia.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/BCIRulesPartIV.pdf.
Rule 6 reads, “No student shall be allowed to simultaneously register for a law degree program with any other graduate or postgraduate or certificate course run by the same or any other University or an Institute for academic or professional learning excepting in the integrated degree program of the same institution.” Further Rule 12 reads, “No student of any of the degree program shall be allowed to take the end semester test in a subject if the student concerned has not attended minimum of 70% of the classes held in the subject concerned as also the moot court room exercises, tutorials and practical training conducted in the subject taken together.”
There are several tout, who misguide students (and alas professionally qualified members also) that there is no requirement of attendance in such and such law school or there will never be any class in such law school. One person, have gone to the extent that even if, regular classes will be there, we will manage attendance. One smarter fellow told me, once, we admitted in examination, no one will question that we have not attained any class. I humbly accept all arguments, no cross.
My humble submissions are hereunder:
- Bar council of India regularly derecognise degree courses of many universities and universities and law schools near all major metros top these lists.
- The company secretary is a professional practising in area of legal and regulatory compliances, governance and ethics.
- How the professional demanding secretarial and legal audits could stand on its feet if he is not a person of good standing in his own life.
- We should check whether person pursing professional course like company secretary can attain law degree course same time under Rule 6 of these rules.
- The law school may have no record and a prudent person assumes your required attendance but then you may have falsified your training record or attendance. (Something is wrong and you are answerable).
- If you have training certificate or form 32 duly filed in your name, you could not plead innocence regarding our law school attendance.
- If your office location and school location is different, you prima-facie put your integrity in question and no ethical company will consider your credentials.
- One last point on my part, if you are not educating yourself under proper guidance of best teachers/coach, you are adding less than a zero to your selling points.
I would share two interesting incidences;
- I very reputable Additional District Judge was forced by government for retirement (in 1980s) after someone complaint with pay
slips that he was in Job while doing LL.B. (in early 1060s). (His claim: company was of some relative and salary was an entry no actual employment).
- One student was kidnapped, accused produced attendance register of School. No charges could be proved even after police proved mild encounter. Proxy attendance by so many innocent classmates and loving/caring teachers.
I hope; (a) there will no enemy to complaint against our wrongs during education, (b) all HR executive oversight our resume, particularly such clash of periods, and (c) we gain more than some zeros to our knowledge and expertise.
Please, look some alternate course like B.L. or B.G.L. of Madurai Kamaraj University, or M.B.L. of National Law School of India University.
[A slightly different version of this article was published in 97th Edition of e – Newsletter (February 2012) of Mysore Chapter of Institutes of Company Secretaries of India. This newsletter is also available on official links: http://www.icsi.edu/mysore or http://www.esnips.com/web/icsimysore.]