AAP wants Lakshmi-Ganesh on currency: who designs rupee notes, and how?

Source: The post is based on the article “AAP wants Lakshmi-Ganesh on currency: who designs rupee notes, and how?” published in Indian Express on 27th October 2022

What is the News?

Delhi Chief Minister has appealed to the Union government to print images of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesh on new currency notes for the country’s “economic prosperity.

Who decides what Indian banknotes and coins are supposed to look like?

Changes in the design and form of banknotes and coins are decided by the Reserve Bank of India(RBI) and the central government. 

Any change in the design of a currency note has to be approved by the RBI’s Central Board and the central government. Changes in the design of coins are the prerogative of the central government.

What role does the RBI play in issuing notes?

Section 22 of The Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, gives RBI the “sole right” to issue banknotes in India. 

Section 25 states that the design, form and material of banknotes shall be such as may be approved by the Central Government after consideration of the recommendations made by the [RBI’s] Central Board.

The RBI’s Department of Currency Management has the responsibility of administering the core function of currency management. If the design of a currency note has to change, the Department works on the design and submits it to RBI which recommends it to the central government. The government gives the final approval.

Printing of Currency Notes: Two of India’s currency note printing presses are in Nasik and Dewas. These are owned by the Government of India,

– Two other printing presses are in Mysore and Salboni. These are owned by the RBI through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Ltd (BRBNML).

What about the Minting of Coins?

The Coinage Act, 2011 gives the central government the power to design and mint coins in various denominations. In the case of coins, the role of the RBI is limited to the distribution of coins that are supplied by the central government.

The government decides on the quantity of coins to be minted on the basis of indents received from the RBI on a yearly basis. 

Coins are minted in four mints owned by the Government of India in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Noida.

What are the types of notes issued so far?

Ashoka Pillar Banknotes: The first banknote issued in independent India was the Re 1 note issued in 1949. It replaced the portrait of King George with the symbol of the Lion Capital of the Ashoka Pillar at Sarnath in the watermark window.

Mahatma Gandhi (MG) Series, 1996: All the banknotes of this series bear the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi on the obverse (front) side, in place of the symbol of the Lion Capital of Ashoka Pillar, which was moved to the left, next to the watermark window. 

Mahatma Gandhi series, 2005: They contain some additional/ new security features as compared to the 1996 MG series.

Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series, 2016: These new notes highlight India’s cultural heritage and scientific achievements. The first banknote from the new series — of Rs 2,000 denomination — was introduced on November 8, 2016, with the theme of Mangalyaan.

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