RBI Wants Rabindranath Tagore, APJ Abdul Kalam Images On Currency Notes; Who Will Take Final Decision?
Update: RBI has denied such media speculation. In a statement, RBI said, “It may be noted that there is no such proposal in the Reserve Bank,”
The RBI may print banknotes with the images of some of the country’s greatest icons.
One of Bengal’s greatest icons, Rabindranath Tagore, and India’s 11th President, APJ Abdul Kalam, also known as the Missile Man, are reportedly in the running.
This is the first time it is considering some eminent personalities other than Mahatma Gandhi who presently features on all denominations of Indian currency notes.
IIT Professor Picked To Choose
The RBI and the Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India (SPMCIL) have sent two separate sets of samples of Gandhi, Tagore and Kalam watermarks to IIT-Delhi Emeritus Professor Dilip T Shahani.
The professor has been asked to choose from the two sets and present them for final consideration by the government.
Professor Shahani, who received the Padma Shri by the Modi government in January this year, specialises in Electromagnetic Instrumentation.
Multiple Faces On Notes In Future?
A final decision on picking one or all the three images will be taken at the “highest level.”
The designing of the three watermark samples had official sanction.
No firm decision has yet been taken, but in the future currency notes could feature watermarks of multiple figures.
Top government sources revealed that back in 2017, an RBI internal committee which was formed to recommend new security features for a fresh series of banknotes submitted its report in 2020.
The Story Thus Far
In this report, it proposed that besides Gandhi the watermark figures of Tagore and Kalam should also be developed for inclusion in all currency notes barring the Rs 2,000 note whose printing had already stopped.
Then in 2021, the RBI instructed Mysore-based Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Pvt Ltd and the SPMCIL’s Security Paper Mill at Hoshangabad to design their own sets of the watermark samples.
Finally, the RBI and SPMCIL sent their samples to Shahani for him to examine.
He then had several rounds of discussions with officials on the “finer aspects” of the samples.
India is not the only one featuring or at least considering multiple figureheads in various note denominations.
Different denominations of US dollars carry portraits of some of the Founding Fathers such as George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Alexander Hamilton and a few 19th century presidents, including Abraham Lincoln.