28 June 2022 21:34
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Should ‘Gandhi’ accommodate Tagore and Kalam on Indian currency notes?

This move comes as the Modi government wishes to explore the possibility of including watermarks of multiple figures on currency notes. 

According to recent unsubstantiated reports in the Indian media, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is considering using images of two famous personalities Rabindranath Tagore and Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, other than Mahatma Gandhi on the banknotes.

RBI currency notes 1
Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and Rabindranath Tagore (Wikipedia)

This is the first time that the RBI and the Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India (SPMCIL), which is under the Finance Ministry, have sent two separate sets of currency samples using Gandhi, Tagore and Kalam watermarks to IIT-Delhi Emeritus Professor Dilip T Shahani.

Padma Shri awardee Prof. Shahani, who specialises in Electromagnetic Instrumentation, has been told to choose from the given two sets and present them for final consideration by the Modi government. 

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Modi government sources told the media that a final decision on picking one or all the three images will be taken at the “highest levels of the government”. 

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According to these sources, the design of the three watermark samples had already received official sanction. However, no firm decision has yet been made regarding this move as the government wishes to explore the possibility of including watermarks of multiple figures on currency notes. 

As per reports, RBI internal committee had submitted a detailed report in 2020, proposing that besides Gandhi the watermark figures of Tagore and Kalam should also be developed for inclusion in all currency notes. The committee also recommended that the Rs 2,000 note whose printing had already stopped should continue with Gandhi’s watermark. 

Indian Currency to have Gandhi, Kalam and Tagore; Image Source: @CANVA
Indian Currency to have Gandhi, Kalam and Tagore; Image Source: @CANVA

It is reported that Prof. Shahani has had several rounds of discussions with RBI and SPMCIL officials on the “finer aspects” of the samples.

Nobel Leuterate Rabindranath Tagore is West Bengal’s greatest icon and Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, popularly known as the Missile Man, was India’s 11th President.

Mahatma Gandhi was first featured on Indian currency notes in 1969 as the Congress-led government-issued notes honouring him on his 100th birth celebrations.

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The Australia Today could not independently verify the report.

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