Over 1,000 Individuals Register With Independent Directors’ Databank
Independent directors of company boards have significant responsibilities under the Companies Act and are part of various committees, including those related to remuneration. (Photographer: Giulia Marchi/Bloomberg)

Over 1,000 Individuals Register With Independent Directors’ Databank

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More than 1,000 individuals have so far registered with the independent directors' database portal established under the Companies Act, according to an official.

The databank is expected to become a comprehensive repository of both existing independent directors as well as individuals eligible and willing to be appointed as independent directors.

The Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs, under the corporate affairs ministry, is maintaining the databank portal. The official told PTI that over 1,000 individuals have registered with the databank portal since it was launched in December 2019.

After registration, the individuals, except for certain categories, have to pass a basic online proficiency self-assessment test. The test would be available from March 2020 and has to be taken within 12 months.

The databank portal, launched on Dec. 1, is integrated with the MCA 21 portal -- which is used to submit requisite filings under the companies law to the corporate affairs ministry.

There is an annual fee of Rs 5,000 for registration with the databank portal. The official also said there are plans to introduce five-year and lifetime fee for individuals.

Independent directors have a substantial role in ensuring good governance practices at corporates. In recent times, many individuals have come under the regulatory lens in connection with irregularities at companies where they were serving as independent directors.

The databank portal has various e-learning capsules and videos for individual users. Besides, a number of value-added services are expected to be rolled out through the portal for capacity building of independent directors.

Under the Companies Act, 2013, there are provisions that a company can choose an independent director from a databank of persons who are eligible and willing to act as independent directors.

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