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Bombay Stock Exchange appoints first independent woman Director Jayshree Vyas to board

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NEW DELHI: BSE, formerly known as the Bombay Stock Exchange, has finally appointed its first independent woman director Jayshree Vyas last week, though still late by at least a few weeks from the deadline of April 1 given to all top 500 listed companies based on their market capitalisation for appointing an independent woman director on their board. BSENSE -3.50 % already has two non-executive women directors namely Usha Sangwan and Rajeshree Sabnavis on its Board.

The delay happened as the country’s largest stock exchange was awaiting market regulator Sebi’s approval on the appointment, according to at least three persons who are privy to the development.

As of April 6, 51 of the top 500 NSE-listed companies by market capitalisation (including BSE) did not have independent woman director, according to run by Prime Database. In March alone, about 50 companies made a beeline to appoint an independent woman director.

“Sebi has approved the name of Jayshree Vyas as independent director of BSE last week,” said a spokesperson to an official response to an emailed questionnaire sent by ET last Friday.

“BSE is now compliant with the regulations,” said the spokesperson. Vyas is a professionally-qualified chartered accountant, working as the managing director of Shree Mahila Sewa Sahakari Bank, Ahmedabad, since 1986. She helped in launching the first financial literary programme in Sewa Bank in 2001.

“Top 500 listed companies had enough time to appoint an independent woman director. Many companies who do not have a single woman director are public sector enterprises,” said Pranav Haldea, managing director, Prime Database that tracks listed companies.

Among the other companies that did not have an independent woman director as of April first week include Indian Oil CorporationNSE -0.81 % Limited, General Insurance Corporation of India, Bank of India, Uco Bank, Indian BankNSE 0.00 %, Andhra BankNSE -1.66 %, etc.

The Companies Act of 2013 mandates a certain class of companies to have at least one woman director on board. Sebi, in compliance with the Companies Act 2013, made it compulsory to have at least one woman on a board from October 2014, as reported by ET earlier.