Next time you come across a ‘different looking’ 500-rupee note, don’t think you have been conned. The visually impaired have been struggling with notes of various denominations, as there is no other means for them to count money besides the varied sizes of the currency. To overcome this, the Reserve Bank will issue Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 bank notes with 3 additional features to aid the visually impaired in identification.
RBI has been now circulating Rs 500 bank notes with numerals in ascending size from left to right in number panels but without bleed lines and enlarged identification marks (circular-shape in ? 500 and diamond in ? 1000). So the first three alphanumeric characters are constant in size, which is a visible security feature in the bank notes.
Rs 500 denomination bank notes will also have five angular bleed lines in three sets of 2-1-2 lines on the obverse in both, the upper left and the right hand edge of the notes. Here is an image that showcases the changes made in the currencies.
Improving security features of Indian bank notes has been important, so that it will make it easier for the public to distinguish between fake notes and the real ones. “It has now added two more features to aid visually impaired in easy identification of bank notes apart from securing them against counterfeiting,” RBI said in a release.
This move of the additional security features will help bringing a stop on the fake currency trading. National Investigation Agency has been made the nodal agency for FICN (Fake Indian Currency Notes) cases as the government treats it as ‘economic terrorism’, a term which Indians are now fighting with, as this money is none other’s than of the tax payer’s.
The flow of Indian fake currency was not just limited to smuggling from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal now. It had moved quite ahead to central Southeast Asian countries. They have now emerged as important transit points. Malaysia, Thailand and Oman, frequented by Indians, have emerged as the new centres for stocking FICN and then circulating it across India.
The new changes to the currency are much welcomed so that we could tackle the issue of pumping of fake currency notes.