Embossed with images of gods and goddesses

create a PDF

In newsDelhi Prime Minister Arvind Kejriwal recently called for images of Hindu deities to be printed on Indian banknotes to “improve the country’s economy.

History of the Indian monetary system-

    • India has a long tradition of minting coins with images of gods and goddesses.
  • The beginning of ancient Indian coinage can be traced back to the 7th to 6th centuries BC. date.
  • Stone Age: In the Indian context There is no significant evidence that Stone Age people used currency.
  • That Indus Valley Civilization: It seems to have a wide network of extensive trading. Although they traded mainly under the barter system. The Harappa people used seals and metals such as silver with a fixed weight for trade and other activities.
  • The Vedic period: There are implicit and vague indications from which it cannot be concluded that people used coins at that time. For example the Rig Veda refers to Nishka (gold) and Nishka Greeva (gold ornaments).
  • Punched Coins:
    • The first documented minting began with “Punch Marked” Coins minted between the 7th and 6th centuries BC and the 1st century AD.
    • The minting technique of these coins gave them their name “Punch Marked”. These coins were mostly minted with silver and bore symbols.
    • Punched coins were popular until the first century AD, ie about 700-800 years.
    • These minted coins gradually evolved into four types: The Taxila-Gandhara type, the Kosala type, the Avanti type and the Magadhan type.
    • The Magadha Empire grew in importance and its type of coinage replaced all other types.
    • During the Mauryas, two kinds of metalssilver and copper – were used to mint coins with royal coinage.
  • The earliest of the dynastic coins imply the Indo-Greeks, the Saka-Pallavas and the Kushans.
  • Saka Coins: While the Saka coins of the western Kshatrapas are probably the earliest dated dynastic coins. The dates given in the Saka era started in AD 78.
  • Kushan:
    • According to historians the kushans, who came from Central Asia and ruled until the 3rd century AD, were the first to use the image of goddess Lakshmi along with Ardochsho, the Iranian goddess of wealth, on their coins.
    • The Kushans also depicted Oesho (Shiva), the moon deity Miro and Buddha in their coinage.
    • They were the first to mint gold coins on a large scale.
  • Satavahanas: Once ruled between the Godavari River and the Krishna River, their coins were printed with motifs of elephants, lions, bulls, horses, etc.
  • The Gupta embossing:
    • Between the 4th and 6th centuries AD They followed the Kushan tradition and depicted kings, deities, etc.
    • The earliest Gupta coins can be traced back to the times of Samudragupta, Chandragupta II and Kumaragupta. These coins were called ‘Dinara’ and have been refined.
  • After the Gupta Empire, between the 6th and 12th centuries, several dynasties issued their currency according to the traditional rules.
  • Harsha (7th century AD), Kalachuri of Tripuri (11th century AD) and early medieval Rajputs (9th-12th centuries AD). Gold coins were rare during this period.
  • Apart from these there was several dynasties that used symbols and motifs on their coins that represented the signature of their empire, for example the boar (Chalukya)Bull (Pallava), Tiger (Chola), Fish (Pandya and Alupas), Bow and Arrow (Cheras) and Lion (Hoysala) etc.
  • Early Islamic rulers:
    • The Arabs conquered Sindh in AD 712 and established an independent rule in the 9th century. They also started minting their own coins.
    • The coins depicting the goddess Lakshmi were issued by Mohammed bin Sam, known to us as Mohammed Ghori, after defeating Prithviraj Chauhan at the Battle of Tarain in 1192 AD
  • Sultanate of Delhi:
    • Almost 3 centuries later, the Turkish Sultans of Delhi made a distinction and replaced the Arab coinage of the time with calligraphic coins in the 12th century.
    • During the Delhi Sultanate, coin standardization was attempted between 1206 and 1526 AD. During this time there were coins made of gold, silver and copper. In this system, the equation of gold and silver was 1:10.
    • That Khiljis issued coins with titles. For example, Alauddin Khilji minted “Sikandar al Sani” on the coins of his day.
    • At the time of Lodhis or Lodis, Coins consisted exclusively of copper and billon.
  • Mughal & Sur Dynasty:
    • Coins during the Mughal Empire The Mughal period in India began when Babur declared victory over Ibrahim Lodi (also known as Lodhi) in 1526.
    • Her most significant step was to Bringing uniformity to coinage in the Empire.
    • Interestingly the Trimetallic coin system that prevailed during the Mughal Empire was not even started by the Mughals.
    • Sher Shah Suri, 1540–1545, an Afghan who briefly ruled Delhi silver coins and named it ‘Rupiya’. This weighed 178 grains and can be described as the forefather of today’s Indian rupee.
  • Vijayanagara Kings:
    • That Vijayanagara kings used coins depicting Hindu idols. Harihara-II (1377-1404) introduced coins that had Brahma-Saraswati, Vishnu-Lakshmi and Shiva-Parvati.
    • The Vijayanagara coins remained in circulation after the kingdom was wiped out in 1565, demanding a premium when the French traveler Tavernier visited the region.
  • The British Period: The British East India Co. in the Madras Presidency minted coins referred to as the Three Swamy Pagodashowing Lord Balaji flanked by Sridevi and Bhudevi on either side.
  • The tradition of minting coins to gain the trust of the locals continued when the French and Dutch minted coins showing Vishnu between 1715 and 1774 and the goddess Kali in the late 17th century.

Who decides what Indian banknotes and coins should look like?

  • There are changes in the design and form of banknotes and coins decided by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the central government.
  • Any change in the design of a currency note must be approved by the RBI Central Board and the Central Government.
  • Changes in the design of coins are the prerogative of the central government.
    • The central bank is preparing a draft internally, which will be submitted to the RBI Central Board.
    • Section 22 of the Reserve Bank of India Act 1934 gives the RBI the “exclusive right” to issue banknotes in India.
    • Section 25 states that “the design, form and material of banknotes shall be such as may be approved by the central government after consideration of the central government’s recommendations [RBI’s] Central Board”.
    • The Currency Management Department of RBI – currently headed by Lieutenant Governor T Rabi Sankar has the Responsibility for managing the core currency management function. According to RBI, the The department deals with policy and operational issues related to the “design of banknotes; forecast of demand for banknotes and coins; ensuring a smooth distribution of banknotes and coins across the country and withdrawing unfit banknotes and obsolete coins from circulation; Ensuring the integrity of banknotes.
    • When a bill’s design needs to be changed, the department works on the design and submits it to the RBI, which recommends it to the central government. The government gives the final approval.
    • The Coinage Act 2011 gives the central government the power to design and mint coins in different denominations.
    • With coins, the role of RBI is limited to the distribution of coins provided by the central government.
    • The government decides the amount of coins to be minted based on drafts it receives annually from the RBI.
  • Coins are minted in four mints owned by the Indian government in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Calcutta and Noida.
  • The Reserve Bank, in consultation with the central government and other stakeholders, estimates the quantity of banknotes likely to be needed in a year by denomination and adds indentation to the various currency presses for their delivery.
  • Two of India’s banknote printing machines (at Nasik and Dewas) are owned by the Indian government; two others (in Mysore and Salboni) are owned by RBI through its wholly owned subsidiaryBharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Ltd (BRBNML).
  • Currently, Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 50, Rs 100, Rs 200, Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes are issued.
  • Rs 2 and Rs 5 notes will no longer be issued; however, older banknotes of this denomination, provided they are still in circulation, continue to be legal tender.
  • Re 1 notes, if in circulation, are also legal tender.

Can religious symbols be printed on banknotes?

  • RBI’s banknote refund policy clearly states that banknotes containing “foreign words or visual representations intended or likely to convey a message of a political or religious character or to further the interests of any person or entity” do not be refunded or exchanged by banks.
  • The series of notes released after 2016 contained images of religious and cultural sites, including the Sun Temple of Konark and Sanchi Stupa.

What types of banknotes have been issued so far?

Ashoka Pillar Notes:

  • The first banknote issued in independent India was the Re 1 note issued in 1949.
  • Keeping the existing design, the New banknotes replaced the portrait of King George with the lion capital symbol of the Ashoka Pillar in Sarnath in the watermark window.

Mahatma Gandhi (MG) Series, 1996:

  • All banknotes of this series bear the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi on the obverse (obverse).instead of the Ashoka Pillar Lion Capital icon, which has been moved to the left of the watermark window.
  • These banknotes contain both the watermark of Mahatma Gandhi and the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi.

Mahatma Gandhi Series, 2005:

  • The “MG Series 2005” notes were Issued in denominations of Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 50, Rs 100, Rs 500 and Rs 1,000.
  • They include some additional/new safety features compared to the 1996 MG series.
  • The Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes of this series were withdrawn at midnight on 8 November 2016.

Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series, 2016:

  • The “MGNS” notes Highlighting the country’s cultural heritage and scientific achievements.
  • Because these banknotes are smaller in size, they are more wallet-friendly and are expected to suffer less wear and tear. The color scheme is sharp and vibrant.
  • The first banknote from the new series – with a face value of Rs 2,000 was launched on November 8, 2016 with the Mangalyaan theme.
  • Subsequently, notes of this series were introduced in denominations of Rs 500, Rs 200, Rs 100, Rs 50, Rs 20 and Rs 10.
image_pdfcreate a PDF

Comments are closed.