Multidisciplinary Case Studies is one of the new subjects introduced in the CS Curriculum under the New Syllabus. This paper, as the name, suggests, consists of case studies covering every aspect that a company secretary is expected to be aware of in the industry. Multidisciplinary Case Studies is an open book examination paper that the students have to crack in order to get a CS professional degree. It is placed under the third module of the Professional Programme syllabus. In this article, you will find the preparation tips to cover this paper with ease.

Overview of the Subject

Multidisciplinary Case Studies covers a vast horizon of the legal field beginning from Corporate Laws and reaching out to FEMA, Insolvency Law, Competition Law and various other topics that bear a Company Secretary’s professional life. In the ICSI module, this subject is bifurcated into eight chapters:

  • Corporate Laws including Company Law
  • Securities Law
  • FEMA & other economic and business legislation
  • Insolvency Law
  • Competition Law
  • Business Strategy and Management
  • Interpretation of Law
  • Governance Issues

The relevance of the subject and the aim of ICSI:

To understand the relevance of this subject, it is most important to understand the relevance of case studies. So, the purpose of referring to case law is to enhance the interpretation skills of the student and to bring out the clarity and actual meaning behind any legal provision. This paper only deals in case laws and therefore the relevance of this paper is that it will bring out the clarity from other topics under the Professional Programme.

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Aim of ICSI: To test the students in their theoretical, practical and problem-solving skills.

Preparation Strategy for Multidisciplinary Case Studies

That it is an open book paper implies that the relevance of mugging up is zero. To crack an open book examination, you require developing certain skills some of them being- Time management, problem-solving and efficient planning skills. This paper itself has about 300 case laws, to make sure that you can attempt the entire paper, you must practice accordingly as per the following steps:

  1. Prepare a notebook: You must prepare a notebook for yourself covering every case law from the module but in a concise and clear manner so that in the exam it is easier for you to locate the relevant case law and attempt the question. To make things easier for you to start off by numbering every case law in the module chapter wise. And then use the same serial number and page number mentioned in the book. Also, in your notebook, while you prepare your notes so it is easier for you to refer the book if it is so required.
  2. How to prepare case laws in your notebook: For example, in case you want to prepare notes for the very first case law from lesson 1 in the ICSI module which is titled as Bacha F. Guzdaar vs. Commissioner of Income Tax, this is how you should prepare your summary notes:
  3. First, make three columns; the first column shall be titled Case Number. Here you must write the serial number allotted by you along with the page number of the case law in the ICSI module. The second column shall be the Case Title which shall contain the title of the case law along with the sections quoted in the case law. In case, no sections are quoted then the area of the dispute must be mentioned (in the first case, the area of dispute is the concept of divided: whether taxable or not). The third column must be titled Case Details. Remember, these are summary notes and therefore you shall not make them too long. Cover only that much of content that you will be able to replicate in the answer sheet. The focus shall be to cover the crux of the case law. In the third column, you must write the case, the sections quoted and the conclusion derived by the judicial authority or the deciding authority.
  4. Preparing these summary notes will help you save lots of time and will also help attempt your answers in the exam.
  5. Ignore the facts of the case: In most of the case laws, the facts are quite complicated. The relevance of these case laws is to enhance the understanding of the particular provision and therefore you must not dwell too much on the facts of the case. The focus shall always be on the conclusion drawn upon by the judicial authority and the reasons supporting the same. In your third column, don’t forget to write the facts provided by ICSI under every case title, which is generally written in bold covering three to four lines.
  6. Make sure you cover at least three case laws a day. There are about three hundred case laws in the module and covering three of them daily means that you need only a hundred days to finish the module which is roughly three and a half months. When you finish reading case law, summarise it in your notebook. Don’t procrastinate on that. So, make sure you highlight the key points in the ICSI module because when you refer the same in the examination hall, you don’t have to waste time searching for the important lines.

Structure of the Paper 

The Question paper shall be structured as follows:

  • Question 1 will be of 40 marks based on a case study comprising 1000-1500 words.
  • Question 2-6 will be of 12 marks, each preferably having a practical orientation.

Attempting the Paper

Always attempt to question 2-6 first and then move on to question 1 at last. The rationale behind it is simple, most of the students start with the first question. And end up spending too much time behind it because subconsciously the fact that it carries 40 marks makes them nervous. Remember, solve the entire question paper within 180 minutes. Spend only 25 minutes behind question 2-6. And that way you will have 55 minutes left to attempt the 40 marks question at the end. But for this, you need immense written practice to ensure your writing speed allows you to do the same and your summary notes will play a big part too. Such is the relevance of it from an examination perspective. Please do not reserve any time for revision in an open book paper as it makes no sense.

Some Relevant Points

  • Always stay updated with the changes ICSI makes for this paper. ICSI keeps on adding and removing case laws. So make sure you are updated with the changes relevant for your attempt.
  • ICSI has uploaded certain sample case studies along with their solutions. Make sure you get them printed out and carry them at your exam as they hold much relevance too.
  • The goal is always to attempt the entire 100 marks as this maximizes your chances of securing great marks.
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