The Nature of the Elective Papers in the CS Professional Exam
Choose the right ones.
It’s always nice to hear the term ‘elective’ isn’t it? It’s always nice to have a choice especially when it comes to exams. In this blog, we’re going to take you through the elective papers in the CS Professional Exams and how you can attempt to take these exams.
Be wise and careful while choosing your electives and committing yourself to them. It will impact the direct of your career. While all options are equally good in the grand scheme of things, the choice of which paper to select depends on you and your interests. To make an informed decision, you will need to know what each paper contains. And the nature of these elective papers.
For starters, you should know that these elective papers are open-book exams which can work both to your advantage and disadvantage. We will go into details of that a little later, but for now, let’s look at the exam papers and what to expect.
Nature of the Elective Papers in the CS Professional Exam
There are 7 elective papers in the CS Professional exam. Each of these is worth 100 marks. These are:
- Paper 9.1 - Banking - Law & Practice
- Paper 9.2 - Insurance - Law & Practice
- Paper 9.3 - Intellectual Property Rights - Laws & Practice
- Paper 9.4 - Forensic Audit
- Paper 9.5 - Direct Tax Laws & Practice
- Paper 9.6 - Labour Laws & Practice
- Paper 9.7 - Valuations and Business Modelling
Now let us see what each paper contains.
The objective of this elective according to the ICSI is “to develop a robust knowledge base pertaining to significant facets of the Banking Sector among those students who wish to pursue a career in the Banking”. In this paper, you will go through all the following topics in detail.
- Overview of Indian Banking System
- Regulatory Framework of Banks
- Control over Organization Of Banks
- Regulation of Banking Business
- Banking Operations
- IT in Banking
- Payment and Collection of Cheques and Other Negotiable Instruments
- Case Laws on Responsibility of Paying Bank
- Case Laws on Responsibility of Collective Bank
- Various Government Schemes
- Consumer Protection
- Loans and Advances
- Securities for Banker’s Loans
- Calculation of Interest and Annuities
- Calculation of YTM
- Foreign Exchange Arithmetic
- Non-Performing Assets
- Final Accounts of Banking Companies
- Risk Management in Banks and Basel Accords
The objective for this paper according to ICSI is, “To impart knowledge on insurance related concepts to the students with the aim of broadening professional opportunities in the arena of insurance” and will broadly contain the following subjects in its syllabus.
- Concept of Insurance; Risk Management
- Regulatory Framework of Insurance Business in India
- Life Insurance – Practices
- Life Insurances – Underwriting
- Applications of Life Insurance
- Life Insurance – Finance
- Health Insurance
- General Insurance – Practices and Procedures
- Fire & Consequential Loss Insurance
- Marine Insurance
- Agricultural Insurance
- Motor Insurance
- Liability Insurance
- Aviation Insurance
- Risk Management
- Corporate Governance for Insurance Companies
This elective paper according to the ICSI aims for students to learn, understand and analyze the Laws and Relations relating to Intellectual Property Rights in India along with the glimpse of International practices”. In this paper, you can expect questions from the following syllabus.
- Types of Intellectual Property – Origin and Development: An Overview
- Role of International Institutions
- Indian Patent Law
- Patent Databases & Patent Information System
- Preparation of Patent Documents
- Process for Examination of Patent Application
- Patent Infringement
- Recent Developments in Patent System
- Industrial Designs
- Geographical Indications
- Layout Designs of Integrated Circuits
- The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights
- Protection of Trade Secrets
- Key Business concerns in Commercializing Intellectual Property Rights
- Case Laws, Case Studies and Practical Aspects
The objective of Forensic Audit according to ICSI is to “To understand and analyze the concept of Corporate Fraud and Forensics Audit in the contemporary world along with the legal mechanism to counter the corporate fraud and understanding Forensic Audit and its methods”. The following is what the syllabus contains:
- Fraud and Audit
- Audit and Investigations
- Forensic Audit – Laws and Regulations
- Forensic Audit and Indian Evidence Law
- Cyber Forensics
- Case Laws, Case Studies and Practical Aspects
Through this paper, instructors at ICSI aim to “provide advanced knowledge on practical application of Direct Tax Practice” and will teach the following as part of the syllabus.
- An Overview of Income Tax Act, 1961
- Computation of Income under the head of Salary
- Computation of Income under the head of House Property
- Computation of Income – Profits and Gains from Business and Profession
- Computation of Income under the head of Capital Gains
- Computation of Income from Other Sources
- Exemptions/Deductions, Clubbing provisions, Set Off and/or Carry Forward or Losses, Rebate and Relief
- Computation of Total Income and Tax Liability
- TDS/TCS, Returns, Refund & Recovery
- Tax Planning & Tax Management
- International Taxation – An Overview
- Recent Case Laws
The objective of this paper is to “to acquire expert knowledge, understanding and application of Labour Laws. Broadly speaking, the following is the syllabus for this paper
- Constitutions and Labour Laws
- International Labour Organization
- Law of Welfare & Working Condition
- Law of Industrial Relations
- Law of Wages
- Social Security Legislations
- The Labour Laws (Simplification of Procedure for Furnishing Returns and Maintaining Registers by Certain Establishments) Act, 1988
- Labour Codes
- Industrial and Labour Laws Audit covering the above Acts and other Industry Specific Ac
This paper has two parts each of which has different objectives. Let’s look at what they are according to the ICSI:
Part 1: To develop a reservoir of knowledge on valuation which can assist the Company Secretaries in undertaking valuation assignments as a Registered Valuer under Companies Act, 2013 including for Mergers and Acquisitions, Issue of Shares, Winding up of Business and during Distressed Sale.
Part 2: To assist the student in comprehending the concept of Business Modelling, its vital components, steps involved in preparation of a Business Model and Business Models for varied magnitude of business organizations.
Part 1: Valuations (70 Marks)
- Overview of Business Valuation
- Purpose of Valuation
- International Valuation Standards of Overview
- Valuation Guidance Resources in India
- Business Valuation Methods
- Steps to Establish the Business Worth
- Valuation of Tangibles
- Valuation of Intangible
- Accounting for share-based payment (Ind AS 102)
- Valuation during Mergers & Acquisitions
- Valuation of various magnitudes of Business Organizations
- Valuation of Business during Distressed Sale
Part 2: Business Monitoring (30 Marks)
- Insolvency – Concepts and Evolution
- Introduction to Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code
- Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process
- Insolvency Resolution of Corporate Persons
- Resolutions Strategies
- Fast Track Corporation Insolvency Resolution Process
- Liquidation of Corporate Persons
- Voluntary Liquidation of Companies
- Adjudication and Appeals for Corporate Persons
- Debt Recovery and Securitization
- Winding-up by Tribunal
- Cross Border Insolvency
- Insolvency Resolution of Individual and Partnership Firms
- Bankruptcy Order for Individuals and Partnership Firms
- Bankruptcy for Individual and Partnership Firms
- Fresh Start Process
- Professional and Ethical Practices for Insolvency Practitioners
Tips on how to tackle open book exams
As discussed earlier, the CS Professional exam’s elective papers will be conducted through the open-book method. Now, it might sound easy but it can be argued that an open-book exam can be more difficult than the regular examination we are all used to. However, here are some tips that could help you ace your open-book elective exam:
- It’s just another exam: Consider this open-book exam just like any other examination that you would take or have taken in the past. Just because it is an open-book exam doesn’t mean you can memorize things in advance.
- Use a highlighter: Just like an ordinary exam, use your highlighter to mark the important points from the topics you expect might show up in the question paper.
- Don’t take it for granted: Instead of going blindly into the exam hall, try to understand what is being explained in the syllabus. It’ll help you flesh out the answers faster.
- Time yourself: Time is of the essence while taking any exam, but it is even more so while taking an open-book exam because there’s a good chance when you have the answer in front of you, you might get carried away while writing.
- Know the dos and don’ts: Ask your invigilators or instructors before-hand about what exam material you can and more importantly cannot take with you into the exam hall.
These are some pointers in the right direction to help you ace your CS Professional electives. You can learn more about the open-book exam method in our post, "A Sensational New Way to Tackle The CA Final Open Book Exam". While the focus of the blog post is on the CA Final exam, you can still use the methods outlined there to help you in the CA Professional exam.
At the end of the day, just treat this exam just like any other exam. You can get just as nervous taking these exams as well. Just ensure you get an adequate amount of sleep, eat well and unwind every now and then and engaging in an activity that helps you cope with stress.