Will Indian currency see the images of Tagore and Kalam imprinted on them? Here's the latest from RBI

(This article is authored by Alar, a freelance content writer)

In the midst of nationwide speculations over the possible new faces on the Indian currency notes, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has on Monday- June 6 officially divulged whether any such plan is in the making. The plan was on the table and it was expected that the images of Indian icons Rabindranath Tagore and APJ Abdul Kalam will be imprinted on the currency notes.

Days after such speculations were rife, India's top bank has cited that the plan will less likely be executed.  On Monday, RBI has affirmed that there is no such proposal, of using photos of Tagore and Kalam on the currency notes, with the bank under consideration. The clarification by the RBI was issued after reports claimed that the RBI was considering changes to the existing currency and banknotes by replacing the face of Mahatma Gandhi with that of others. 

In an official statement, the RBI has denied reports and said, "It may be noted that there is no such proposal in the Reserve Bank." However, earlier, the Union Finance Ministry and RBI were also reportedly considering using the watermark figures of Tagore and Kalam on a new series of banknotes of some denominations. The RBI and the Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India (SPMCIL), which is under the Finance Ministry, are learnt to have sent two separate sets of samples of Gandhi, Tagore, and Kalam watermarks. 

These watermarks were sent to IIT Delhi Emeritus Professor Dilip Shahani and he was asked to choose from the two sets and present them for final consideration by the Union government. It has been reported that the design of the three watermark samples had official sanctions but a firm decision is yet to be made. Now, the RBI has claimed that the bank has no such proposals for imprinting new faces on the currency notes. 

It is worth mentioning that in 2017, an RBI committee, which was formed to recommend new security features for a fresh series of banknotes, had submitted its report in 2020 proposing that besides Gandhi, the watermark figures of Tagore and Abdul Kalam should be developed for inclusion in all currently notes barring the Rs 2,000 note for which the printing was stopped.