Company Secretary is a professional course administered by The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) under the Company Secretaries Act, 1980 to develop and regulate the profession of Company Secretaries in India. According to the Companies Act, companies with a paid up capital of Rs 50 lakh are required to appoint a Company Secretary. Company Secretary course gives you knowledge and understanding of the modern practice in corporate financial and legal affair. To become a Company Secretary, the candidate need to pass the Foundation Programme, Executive Programme, and Professional Programme that were earlier respectively known as Foundation Examination, Intermediate Examination and Final examination conducted by the institute and further, they need to undergo practical training to become eligible for the membership as a Company Secretary. A Company Secretary's service is very much important for a company’s management. The work of a Company Secretary covers a wide variety of functions- he acts as a vital link between the Company, the Board of Directors, shareholders, governmental and regulatory agencies. He is a compliance officer of the company as well as Corporate Planner and Strategic Manager. Apart from carrying out these functions he also looks after finance, accounts, legal, personnel and administrative functions. Company Secretary is required to handle matters related to central/state sales tax, excise laws, labour laws and corporate law. Company Secretaryship course is divided into three stages- Foundation Programme, Executive Programme and Professional Programme. This course is a mixture of postal tuition, optional coaching classes and regular examinations at specified centers. Candidates who have passed senior secondary (10+2) can apply for the Foundation Programme. Graduates, post-graduates (excluding Fine arts) and those who have passed final exam of ICWAI or ICAI or of any other accountancy Institution in India or abroad recognized by the Council of the Institute can directly enroll to the Executive Programme without doing the Foundation course. Candidates who have passed the Executive Programme can apply for the Final course. Registration for each examination should be done at least nine months before the month in which the examination is held. The examinations are usually held in June and December every year. Study material is provided to the students at the time of admission. In recent times, the rapid corporatisation has increased the demand for Company Secretary's in corporate functions. Eligibility The Company Secretary Course conducted by The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) has three sections -Foundation, Executive, and Professional. The minimum eligibility required for the Foundation course for Company Secretary is 10+2 or an equivalent examination. Candidates who have enrolled for the 10+2 examination can apply with the proof of passing the examination within 6 months. Candidates who have passed the Foundation Course, and are not less than 17 years of age can apply for the Executive programme. Graduates, post-graduates (excluding Fine arts) and those who have passed final exam of ICWAI or ICAI or of any other accountancy Institution in India or abroad recognized by the Council of the Institute can directly enroll to the Executive programme without passing the Foundation Examination. A registered student is required to complete the Intermediate and the Final examination within the registration period. After passing the Executive Programme examination, a registered candidate can apply for the Professional Programme. In essence, excellent command over English, both written and oral is important for a Company Secretary. At the same time, ability to understand, analyze complex and technical issues and exercise accordingly with tact and intelligence are other essentials. It is the moral responsibility of the Company Secretary to be loyal to his organisation on knowing their top level plans and important secrets.