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ASP-01: Secretarial Practice

ASP-01: Secretarial Practice

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2020-21

If you are looking for ASP-01 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Secretarial Practice, you have come to the right place. ASP-01 solution on this page applies to 2020-21 session students studying in BDP, BTS courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Solution

Assignment Code: ASP-01/TMA/2020-2021

Course Code: ASP-01

Assignment Name: Secretaria Practice

Year: 2020-2021

Verification Statu: Verified by Professor

Valid Until: December 31, 2021


Attempt all the questions:

1. How is a private secretary different from other secretaries? What are his/her desirable qualifications? Describe his/her duties also.

Ans) Private secretary is a secretary to an individual official, administrator or chief executive of a business firm. The main object of employing a private secretary is to shift some of his responsibilities and thus relieve himself of certain routine matters, such as arranging meetings, fixing appointments, handling mails, drafting speeches, preparing notes, making travel arrangements, etc. The work of private secretary is very confidential and intimate in nature which demands complete loyalty to the employer.


When an individual decides to have a private secretary, he looks for someone to whom he delegates some of his own routine duties, who can take care of his responsibilities whenever required to do so in his absence, to whom he can confide private and confidential matters, and who will be sufficiently tactful so as to maintain cordial relations with everyone he deals with.


The duties of the private secretary of a Minister will naturally be different from those of a Member of Parliament, or of n Business Executive, or of a solicitor, or of a College Principal. A private secretary who has to attend to the needs of the employer both at the latter's residence and office may be entrusted with a wider variety of work.



In most cases, a private Secretary is expected to have the following qualifications:


  1. A reasonably high standard of general education with a Bachelor's degree;

  2. Instruction and training in secretarial course run by a professional institution;

  3. Skill in stenography and typing work;

  4. Practical training in office practices and procedures including acquaintance of office equipment’s and machines;

  5. Reasonably good general knowledge;

  6. Knowledge of a foreign language if necessary;

  7. Personal qualities may include: 

  8. Sincerity and Cheerfulness;

  9. Resourcefulness Loyalty;

  10. Discretion Dependability;

  11. Tactfulness Orderliness; and

  12. Sense of proportion Punctuality;


The duties of the private secretary are bound to vary depending upon the employer's



The duties performed by a private secretary may be generalised and discussed under the following heads:

  1. Routine Office duties

  2. Receptionist’s duties

  3. Literary duties

  4. Financial duties

  5. Domestic and Social duties

  6. Duties relating to meetings

  7. Miscellaneous duties


The nature of these duties are as follows:


i) Routine Office Duties: They include taking shorthand dictation, drafting and typing of letters, handling incoming and outgoing mail, filing, and indexing of letters, maintenance of records, maintenance of books and registers, and operation of office appliances such as telephone, duplicator, fax, etc.


ii) Receptionist's Duties: These duties consist of handling inward and outward  telephone calls and keeping a record of the same, attending to visitors and their enquiries, answering enquiries over the telephone, fixing appointments and engagements, maintaining diary and memory aids for the boss.


iii) Literary Duties: These duties are drafting of routine letters, reports, speeches or statements on behalf of the employer, making precis and summaries of letters and reports, proof-reading and attending to printing of books, pamphlets and speeches, etc.


iv) Financial Duties: These include handling of employer's bank transactions, payment of bills, taxes, staff salaries, subscriptions, donations, records of the employer's investments, payment of insurance premiums, filing of insurance claims, renewal of policies, filing of Income Tax Returns, and Keeping expense records including travel expenses and preparing bills.


v) Domestic and Social Duties: They consist of looking after the household affairs of the employer, payment of wages and salaries of domestic staff, making arrangements for parties, sending invitations, making arrangements for tours, travel reservations, attending to needs of house guests, acknowledging letters, and messages of condolences, congratulations, and greetings.


vi) Duties Relating to Meetings: Preparing the agenda, issuing notices, making arrangements for holding the meetings, arranging documents and files to be needed in course of the meetings, making arrangements for voting, drafting minutes, preparing reports of the committees or sub-committees under the direction of the chairman, and following up the decisions taken in the meetings.


vii) Miscellaneous Duties: May include all such acts that build up the image of the employer and develop better public relations subject to the professional objectives of boss.



2. What is a meeting? Classify meetings into different categories giving brief description of each. What are the requisites of a valid meeting? 

Ans) A meeting may be referred to as a gathering of two or more persons for mutual interaction, discussion, legislation etc. The purpose of a meeting may be to exchange ideas, or discussion of common problem, a deciding on a programme of action, or formulation of policies acceptable to the majority, or frame rules or pass laws and like. In a specific sense, a meeting may be defined as the gathering or assembly or coming together of two or more persons for the transaction of by lawful business of common interest.


Classification of meetings:



1. Public meetings: Public meetings are those which are attended by the public. For such a meeting, general invitation may be published in newspapers or displayed in posters or/and distributed as leaflets. Every one has a right to attend public meetings unless the right of admission is otherwise restricted. The purpose of these meetings is usually to disseminate information, or impart knowledge, or create public opinion for a cause belief, or some matters of general interest. Public meetings may be held to raise money, increase membership, arouse public interest, make spiritual or material appeal, or to educate the people. Such meetings may be held in a big

auditorium to accommodate large number of people, or in open grounds or public parks.


2. Private meetings: Private meetings are those to which admission is restricted to only the members of an association or society. These include meetings of companies, trade unions, clubs, and similar other organised bodies. These meetings are held to transact the lawful businesses of the respective organisations. It is, however, essential that a private meeting should not be held in a public place.


Private meetings may be further classified as: i) general meetings and ii) committee


i) General meetings:  General Meetings are called to discuss matters of common interest to

the members of an organisation. Every member of a company has a right to receive the notice of such meetings and to attend the same accordingly. Generally, such meetings are held once a year called Annual General Meetings which include:


  1. Electing members of the Board of Directors of a company, or of Managing Committee, and such other office bearers of an Association as may be provided in the bye laws.

  2. Consideration of the Auditor's Report and passing the accounts of the previous year.

  3. Appointing the Auditors for the next year and fixing their remuneration.

  4. Consideration and approval of the report submitted by-the Board of Directors of a company, or by the Managing Committee in the other cases.

  5. Preparing the budget for the ensuing year.

  6. Considering any other business of common interest.


ii) Committee meetings: A company is managed by the Board of Directors whose members are elected from the shareholders. Other associations are elected as per their respective bye laws. The meetings of such committees are called Committee Meetings. Committee Meetings are held from time to time to frame policies as per guidance given in the general body meeting and to take various decisions relating to the aims and objectives of the association.


Requites of a Valid Meeting:


In any organisation meetings are held to discuss and transact important matters related to the

objectives of the organisation.


These requisites can be described as follows:


  1. The meeting must be convened properly by the person duly authorised to do so.

  2. A proper notice should he sent, as per the bye laws, to all those persons who are entitled

    to attend the meeting and/or to vote at the meeting, otherwise the proceedings of the meeting will be invalid. Public meetings are convened through advertisement in newspapers, by posters, or by notices displayed in a prominent place.

  3. The meeting must be lawful. It must be held at a lawful place, that is a place not

    prohibited by any law, not against public policy or interest and must not disturb public peace and order.

  4. The meeting must have a quorum prescribed according to its rules and regulations. Where no quorum is prescribed, presumable, at least two persons must be present.  The quorum must not only be present in the beginning but must be maintained throughout the period of meeting.

  5. The meeting must always be presided over by a chairman. The chairman, in the case of

    a public meeting, is appointed by the conveners or by those who are present.

  6. Proceedings of the meeting must be regulated according to the law.

  7. Proper record of the proceedings at the meeting must be kept. The minutes of the proceedings should be duly written, signed and confirmed in accordance with established provisions.



Q3. Explain basic principles of business correspondence. What are the ten commandments of a good business letter?

Ans) To convey any message, effectively, business letter writing needs the application of certain

communication principles.

A business letter should be written keeping in view the following basic principles of business correspondence.


  1. Clarity: The clarity content is e most essential requirement of a letter. Difficult words requiring the use of dictionary, flowery expression and poetic language should be always avoided. The letter must convey to the recipient the exact meaning which the writer wants to communicate.  

  2. Coherence: The letter should be written in a logical manner and reflect consistence of thought. One thought should follow another in a proper sequence. An orderly arrangement of the subject is necessary and the same should be expressed in appropriate words.

  3. Brevity: A good business letter should be concise and exact.  A long letter containing irrelevant matter gives a poor impression of the writer and of the business house. But for the sake of conciseness, completeness or clarity should not be sacrificed.

  4. Courtesy and Friendliness: The tone of the business letter should always be courteous and polite. While drafting a business letter bluntness should never be regarded as a sign of strength. On the contrary, only a poor image is bound to result from an offensive attitude conveyed through the letter. In other words, a business letter should reflect friendliness and due courtesy. Words like 'please' and 'kindly' always bring positive response. However, such words ought be used without sacrificing 'one's' self-respect and dignity.

  5. Simplicity and Natural Flow: A business letter should be clear, written in simple language with natural flow of words. The letter should not contain quotations, or words which are bookish, and which sound artificial. Effort should be made to give a personal touch to the message.

  6. Correctness: A business letter should be grammatically correct and factually accurate. The addressee may stop further dealings with the writer of the letter. In letters of enquiry, orders, complain &, references, etc.  If, for some reason, it is not possible to communicate the necessary information, the reason may be clearly stated in a polite language.

  7. Completeness: A business letter should be complete in all respects. It must not leave out any facts of information that the addressee needs to respond to the letter. An incomplete letter may compel the receiver to make further correspondence on the subject involving waste of time or prompt him to act according to his own judgement which way lead to disputes.

  8. Originality: Originality of form, expression and style are often necessary to make business letters more appealing. Appealing forms and expression and style of presentation of matters in business Letters have become the norm in our day. New phrases are used in place of old ones, in a conscious attempt to give a personal touch where necessary.

  9. Attractiveness:  A neat and tidy Letter, clearly typed or written makes a letter attractive to the reader. Any overwriting, rubbing or cutting of expressions, improper spacing between paragraphs etc. do not create a favourable impression. So, the appearance of the business letter should be

    impressive, neat and tidy to the maximum extent possible.

  10. Effectiveness: The Ultimate goal of the business letter is the desired response in a positive

    manner within a reasonable time. The time and stationery used in writing such letters involve

    wasteful expenditure. Thus, effectiveness should be regarded as very important in a business letter.


The ten commandments of a good business letter are as follows:

  1. Write you would talk.

  2. Be courteous and friendly.

  3. Be natural.

  4. Learn to visualise your reader and he helpful.

  5. Keep an open mind. Appreciate your readers point of view.

  6. Practice real diplomacy.

  7. Be willing to admit mistakes.

  8. Write clearly and to the point.

  9. Tell your readers what they want to know.

  10. Dramatize your letter and show them reasons.


Q4) What is a precis? What are the characteristics of a good precis? Explain briefly the method of writing a precis.

Ans) 'Precis' is a French word derived from "the Latin word 'Praecissus', past participle of

'Praecidere' which means to cut off, to be brief, and is connected with the English word 'Precis'.

A precis is a summary or the gist of the main ideas of written matter. Thus, precis writing means summarising. In order to make a summary of an article, a speech or a story, one has to read it carefully and grasp its meaning. Precis-writing forces one to concentrate on the material which is to be summarised.


In summarising a passage, though the length of the summary is not fixed, it is generally expected that the summary would be one third the length of the passage. The summary is known as precises and precis writing means summarising. It involves preparing a statement concisely to convey the essential Ideas contained in a longer passage or article. In other words, precis is the gist or substance of a lengthy passage. A precis is not a paraphrase. At the same time, the essential points of the main passage must be presented in the precis in such a manner that the reader may easily grasp the main ideas of the passage.


The characteristics of a good precis may be outlined as follows:

  1. A good precis is not merely a list of the main ideas of a passage. The ideas are to be organised and expressed in a logical sequence so that the precis reads like an original piece of composition.

  2. A good precis should contain all the essential ideas in the original passage, omitting non-essential detail, examples, etc. The ideas should be, as far as possible, in the same order as in the original. We should remember that in a precis one should not add anything that the original passage does not contain.

  3. The language of precis should be clear, brief and precis, maintaining at the same time the style and spirit of the original.

  4. A precis should be written in indirect speech.

  5. A good precis should, as far as possible, be in the writer's own words.

  6. It should not exceed or fall short of the length prescribed by too




Method of writing Precis

To write a good precis of a passage one needs to practice a lot. The major steps to be followed while writing a precis are:


1) First of all, one should read the passage two or three times carefully to understand its general theme. In short, comprehension of the passage is the first step in precis-writing.


2) Secondly, it is necessary to write down the main points of the passage by picking out the essential ideas and leaving out the unimportant details. At this stage, compression or condensation of the passage takes place. Repetitions, illustrations and examples can be eliminated. Sentences and clauses may also be compressed into shorter by using, for instance, a word for a phrase, a phrase for a clause and so on.

The words and sentences of the original passage should be avoided to the extent possible. But one has to make sure that the sentences are linked up properly to show the interrelationship of the ideas in the passage. While being a summary of the original, the precis should be a piece of self

contained readable and continuous whole.


3) Next, write down a preliminary or a rough draft, keeping in mind the length of the precis.


4) If it is necessary to provide a title to the summary, a short title may he given which will express the ideas in the passage.


 5) While making the final draft, one should make sure that all the main points are included in the precis. One should also check whether the precis reads well and is within the Length prescribed. Give it a suitable heading.


If one can write a good precis, it is an indication of his or her ability to think clearly and to distinguish what is important and what is not.



Q5) Write short notes on the following:

a) Minutes of a meeting

b) Postal services

c) Publicity and public relations


a) Minutes of a meeting :

AnsThe minutes of a meeting are a written record of the proceedings including the business

transacted, decisions taken, and solutions arrived at. The object of keeping minute to preserve a clear, conscious and accurate record of the conclusions reached in the meeting of a constituted body which would serve as a reminder of the subject dealt with and the actions to be taken in future.



Minutes of meetings may be of two kinds:

  1. Minutes of Decisions; and

  2. Minutes of -Narration.


Minutes of decisions: Minutes of decisions are also known as minutes of resolutions. Here,

the details of the discussion held in the meeting are omitted and only the final decisions

taken on every item are made in the form of resolutions.


Minutes of narration: These are records of businesses covered in a meeting including the

discussions and arguments in favour or against a particular proposition, the number of votes

cast for and against a motion, etc. Minutes of narration also record the items like the number

of members present, the receipt of apologies for absence,



b) Postal services

Ans) It is impossible to run a modern business without the use of postal services. Letters of kinds are scent and received by every day. Moreover, dispatch of parcels, remittances of money and other postal services are also provided by this department proportionately at a nominal cost. The greatest advantage is that the delivery of Letters, parcels or money is done at the very doorsteps of the receivers. Mail order business is wholly dependent on the efficiency of the postal system,

c) Publicity and public relations

Ans) No business worth the name can run without publicity and public relations. Publicity and

public relations are very important to promote its business operations. As customer service

is the most important aim of any business concern, it should give its customer the feeling

that they have made a good purchase and should give them the psychological satisfaction.

Publicity and good public relation play an important role in this regard. A feeling of

importance should be created in the hearts of the customers that the seller cares for them and

it should be expressed by keeping constant touch with them.

d) Importance of reports

Ans) Reports have an important place in functioning of organisations. Reports are basic

management tools used in decision making. With the help of effective reports an

organisation can improve its goodwill and public relations.


The importance of business report can be summarised as follows:

1) Conveyor of information: Reports serve as conveyors of information throughout the organisation. It is by means of reports that the management can establish channels of communication through which ideas, opinions, suggestions, orders and commands flow in various directions. Timely flow of information helps an organisation to take decisions promptly.


2) Help management to review and evaluate office operations: Reports help

management to review and evaluate all office operations continuously. They help in

planning for future operations in a purposive way. Reports help in coordinating the

activities of different departments. They also help managers to monitor and control the

affairs of the firm in an effective manner.


3) A tool for measuring performance: Reports are useful tools for measuring departmental performance. The operational data from various departments are presented in a meaningful form. This helps management to assess the performance of each and every department.


4) Reports help in making desirable changes: Changes in business environment pose a

threat and challenge to business firms. Reports are prepared to analyse the factors

responsible for the changes. This helps in bringing desirable changes in business



5) Reports help in measuring the effectiveness of the organisation: Reports are prepared

to measure the effectiveness of departmental operations, employees and the

management This is also helpful in measuring the overall effectiveness of the



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