By Daniel Hunter

Some of India's top businessmen have been appointing their wives to their company boards to fulfil 'women on the board' quotas.

Five thousands Indian businesses listed on the country's two main stock markets were required to have at least one female on their board by midnight on Tuesday.

Hundreds failed to do so, but some business leaders just appointed their wives to fulfil the quota.

Mukesh Ambani, India's second-richest man, appointed his wife Nita to the board of Reliance Industries and Gautam Singhania named his wife Nawaz as a director of Raymond Group.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India announced the measure 13 months ago in an attempt to increase diversity in the boardroom and in business in general. A similar policy was implemented in the UK, although FTSE firms had a 25% quota.

Shriram Subramanian, head of corporate advisory firm InGovern, said: "It is the height of ridiculousness. It is impossible not to find the required number of qualified women from a billion people."