To create awareness and understand the importance of Ethics in Governance, the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI), in collaboration with National Institute of Securities Markets (NISM), in its series of conferences on the subject, organized a Conference on the theme ˜Ethics and Governance™ at Mumbai yesterday. Shri U. K. Sinha, Chairman, SEBI was the Chief Guest for the occasion.
Shri S N Ananthasubramanian, President, ICSI, in his Welcome Address, threw light on the initiatives of ICSI in the area of corporate governance viz. Centre for Corporate Governance, Research & Training (CCGRT), Corporate Governance Award, Corporate Governance Assessment Model, PMQ in Corporate Governance etc. and highlighted the transition of Company Secretaries to Corporate Governance Professionals. Speaking on Ethics and Governance, he pointed out the need to go beyond the letter of law.
Shri U. K. Sinha expressed his delight over the contents of the conference which encompasses the academicians™, practitioners™ and regulators™ perspective on ethics and governance. He felt that mostly, corporate governance is looked into as a letter of law rather than the spirit behind it. In larger society, enhanced demands for social causes are arising from unexpected people and similar demands can be expected from corporate side. What is therefore required is comprehensive and continuous evaluation. Consequently, higher sense of responsibility and lack of tolerance have come into existence recently; more deterrents are now in public domain and penalties are levied on individuals rather than corporates. Discussing about SEBI™s initiatives in the area of corporate governance, Shri Sinha made it clear that whatever the regulator does, there is a need for active participation of shareholders, directors & other stakeholders as well in this direction. In conclusion, he assured that recommendations arising out of such conferences would be seriously considered by SEBI and also informed that Clause 49 of Listing Agreement is soon being brought out as Regulations by SEBI.
The conference witnessed a galaxy of eminent speakers during 3 technical sessions viz. 1) Academic Perspective, 2) Practitioners™ Perspective and 3) Regulatory Perspective. The conference was a confluence of thoughts between practitioners, academicians and regulators, which identified critical governance and ethical issues in the Indian corporate sector.