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

 

Role of RBI 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 bank notes shall be such as may be approved by the Central Government after consideration of the recommendations made by the [RBIs] Central Board”.
  • The RBIs 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.

 

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.

 

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
  • Mahatma Gandhi series, 2005
  • Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series, 2016