According to reports, the Finance Ministry and the Reserve Bank of India are planning to propose adding the watermarks of one of India’s greatest poets (Rabindranath Tagore) and India’s Missile Man (APJ Abdul Kalam) on a new batch of banknotes in a few denominations.
Although, as per RBI, there are no plans in the works at the RBI to replace Mahatma Gandhi’s face with that of others on existing Indian currency and banknotes.
Let’s dive into some interesting facts about the Indian Currency (₹):
- Sher Shah Suri was the first to mint the rupee in India in 1540-45 known as rupiya.
- The first series of British India notes was the ‘Victoria Portrait’ Series, which was issued in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, and 1000 in 1861.
- On November 30, 1917, the Rupee One was introduced, followed by the exotic Rupee Two and Annas Eight.
- The Paper Currency Act of 1861 gave the government a monopoly on note issuance in India.
- The East India Company produced the first rupee coin at Kolkata in August 1757, and the Reserve Bank of India released the first paper currency in January 1938.
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was established on Monday, April 1, 1935, with its headquarters in Calcutta. It issues currency under the RBI Act 1934.
- Indian currency employs the decimal system introduced in 1957. The ₹ coin is nickel-plated. Its price is more than the worth of its metal. A ₹1 coin costs ₹1.11 to produce.
- Today, ₹2000 is the highest denomination currency note but in 1938 and 1954, the British governments introduced currency denominations of ₹10,000 which were demonetized in 1946 and 1978.
- The Mahatma Gandhi Series of banknotes has been in circulation since 1996, with denominations of ₹5, ₹10, ₹20, ₹50, ₹100, ₹500, and ₹1000.
- Only the Reserve Bank of India has the authority to print banknotes in India.
- Nepali is the only foreign language printed on Indian currency.
- Indian currency notes are created from a pulp containing cotton, balsam, specific dyes, and gelatin or polyvinyl alcohol, rather than being made of paper. They contribute to the notes’ longer life by increasing their strength.
- On Indian currency notes, 17 of these official languages can be found. The denomination of each note is inscribed in 17 different languages on a language panel on the front and back of each note.
- Due to the melting and smuggling of coins to turn them into razor blades, jewellery, pen nibs, and other items, a coin shortage in Kolkata in 2007 prompted retailers to acquire them for more than their face value.
- Indian coins are currently minted in four cities across the country: Mumbai, Noida, Hyderabad, and Kolkata. A diamond represents Mumbai, a dot represents Delhi, a star represents Hyderabad, and the Kolkata mint has no symbol at all.
- The current rupee sign (₹) was adopted in 2010. To choose the rupee symbol, the government-sponsored an open competition, which was won by D Udaya Kumar, an Indian professor and designer. The symbol is created by combining the Devanagari letter ‘र’ and the Latin letter ‘R’.
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) created the first-ever 75-₹ coin in 2010 to commemorate the country’s 75th anniversary. Rabindranath Tagore’s 150th birthday was commemorated in 2011 with the release of 150-₹ coins. In 2012, the first 1000-₹ coin was released to celebrate the Brihadeeswara temple’s 1000-year legacy in Tamil Nadu.
- Depending on where you are in the country, you may hear individuals refer to the rupee as upaya, roopayi, rubai, or ropa.
- Nepal and Zimbabwe are two countries that recognise Indian Rupee as legal tender. Nepal and Bhutan both have their currencies linked to the Rupee.
- According to a 2013 Financial Action Task Force (FATF) report, the Indian rupee was the ninth most counterfeited money in terms of value and the third most counterfeited currency in terms of the number of fake notes detected worldwide.
- Unlike the other denominations of notes manufactured by the Reserve Bank of India, one rupee denomination notes are printed by the Ministry of Finance (RBI). All other ₹ notes bear the signature of the RBI governor, but the ₹1 note bears the signature of the finance secretary as proof that it is the currency system’s base unit and an “asset” of the government. It doesn’t have an “I promise to pay the bearer” inscription because its value is similar to that of precious metal coins. The newly announced design incorporates the ₹ with a grain image, symbolising the country’s agricultural prowess.
Images on the back of Indian currency are as follows:
- ₹1 – Image of an oil exploration site
- ₹2 – India’s first satellite “Aryabhatta”
- ₹5 – Tractor, Farmer
- ₹10 – Konark Sun Temple (new), Wild Animals (old)
- ₹20 – Ellora Caves (new). Mount Harriet Light House in Port Blair (old)
- ₹50- Hampi with Chariot
- ₹100 – Rani ki Vav (new), Mount Kanchenjunga (old)
- ₹200 – Structure of Sanchi Stupa
- ₹500 – Historical Red Fort building
- ₹2000 – Mangalyaan space mission