No change in existing banknotes: RBI on reports it may use Tagore, Kalam's pics

No change in existing banknotes: RBI on reports it may use Tagore, Kalam's pics

This is being considered so as to include the watermarks of multiple figures on currency notes, like it is in the US, the reports said.

The Reserve Bank of India on Monday clarified that there is no proposal by the bank to change the existing currency and banknotes by replacing the face of Mahatma Gandhi with that of others.

In a statement, the bank said, “There are reports in certain sections of the media that the Reserve Bank of India is considering changes to the existing currency and banknotes by replacing the face of Mahatma Gandhi with that of others. It may noted that there is no such proposal in the Reserve Bank.”

The RBI’s statement came after some news reports claimed that soon the central bank may start using the images of people that were never seen before on the Indian currency. The reports stated that the Ministry of Finance and the RBI are considering using the watermark figures of Rabrindranath Tagore and APJ Abdul Kalam on a new series of banknotes of some denominations.

This is being considered so as to include the watermarks of multiple figures on currency notes, like it is in the US, the reports said. In America, different denominations of dollars display the images of some of the Founding Fathers of the country like George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Alexander Hamilton and a few 19th century presidents, including Abraham Lincoln.

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It may be noted that the Calcutta HC in December 2021 has asked the Union Government to reply within 8 weeks to a petition which seeks directives on printing Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose's photograph on currency notes. The plea questioned why Netaji Subhash Chandra's picture cannot be printed on currency notes like Mahatma Gandhi's.

Similar PIL in 2017

A similar response was also sought by the Calcutta HC in 2017. The Centre had then answered that it will have to seek a response from the RBI on changing the design of notes and having images of other national leaders on Indian currency notes.

However, the Madras High Court had disposed of the petition in February last year. The court had observed that Netaji’s contribution to the Indian freedom movement was unparalleled, but said that the prayer by the petitioner could not be granted.

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