A former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) official involved in the launch of the latest series of Indian currency notes after demonetization has shed light on the Rs 2,000 note, which has since been withdrawn. Sudhakar Kaza, the former managing director of Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Private Ltd, revealed that the note was intended as a transitory measure to address the value lost during demonetization. In addition to this revelation, Kaza provided insights into the theme selection and design process of the new series, which showcases UNESCO World Heritage Sites across India.
The Introduction of New Currency Notes:
Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of demonetization in November 2016, the RBI introduced new currency notes to replace the discontinued Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. The new series featured denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 2,000, as well as notes of Rs 10, 20, 50, 100, and Rs 200. Each note in the series highlights a different UNESCO World Heritage Site in India, representing the country’s rich cultural heritage.
The Selection Process for the Theme:
Kaza explained that in 2013-14, the government and RBI jointly decided to adopt UNESCO World Heritage Sites as the theme for the next-generation currency notes in India. With a vast array of potential sites to choose from, the selection committee aimed to represent different regions of the country while avoiding repetition of historical periods. Kaza emphasized the importance of representing India’s diverse religious faiths and ensuring a comprehensive representation of the country’s heritage.
The Unique Design Elements:
The new series marks a departure from previous designs as it features wholly Indian-designed banknotes. Until 2016, India’s banknotes were designed abroad, and many security features and materials were imported. However, the present series is entirely designed by the RBI’s in-house design studio in Bangalore, with input from designers from prestigious Indian art colleges such as the JJ School of Art. Kaza proudly described this series as the first truly Indian note, showcasing the nation’s artistic and design talent.
India’s Exclusive Themed Banknote Series:
The uniqueness of India’s banknote series lies in its complete thematic focus on UNESCO World Heritage Sites. While other countries may have a single note or two highlighting heritage sites, India’s series stands out as the only one entirely dedicated to this theme. Kaza made this observation during an exhibition featuring over 30 currency notes from G20 member nations, including the European Union. The exhibition highlights the efforts of G20 countries to preserve and protect cultural heritage through their currency designs.
The revelations made by former RBI official Sudhakar Kaza offer valuable insights into the genesis and design inspiration behind India’s Rs 2,000 note and the overall themed series of Indian currency notes. The transitory nature of the Rs 2,000 note was designed to address the immediate requirements following demonetization, while the entire series pays homage to India’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The fully Indian-designed banknotes signify a shift toward greater self-reliance in currency production, highlighting the talent and expertise of Indian designers. This unique series of banknotes exemplifies India’s rich cultural heritage and serves as a reminder of the nation’s commitment to preserving its historical treasures.