The deadline for induction of woman director expired on March 31."At least 180 companies out of 1,456 NSE listed companies that have to comply with the rule of having a woman director have failed to fulfil the requirement," Pranav Haldea, managing director, Prime Database informed.

The company operates in the database space pertaining to the primary capital market, covering fund raising by Indian corporates."Perhaps next week, the SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) shall come out with its order on companies that have not complied with the woman director norm," he said.

Supreme Court advocate and insurance, company, competition law expert D. Varadarajan said  "Simply put, every listed company or every other public company having a paid up capital of Rs.100 crore or more or a turnover of Rs.300 crore or more should have a woman on its board.

"A company and every officer of the company who is in default shall be punishable with fine which shall not be less than Rs.50,000 but which may extend to Rs.500,000 under the company law, Varadarajan said.

"This is a positive move to include women in the mainstream of corporate governance," said Rajshree Pathy, chairperson, Confederation of Indian Industry-southern region (CII-SR). Pathy is also the chairperson and managing director of the Coimbatore-based Rajshree Sugars and Chemicals Ltd.

"Speaking at a training programme for woman directors, organised by Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ranjana Kumar, former chairman and managing director of Indian Bank, said "Be assertive and do not get overawed by the company size or other personalities in the board.

She told the gathering to remember that independent directors represent the share holders. Kumar also urged aspirants to go through in detail not only the board meeting agenda papers, but also the minutes of previous board meetings.

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