As the central bank of the country,
the Reserve Bank of India is the custodian of the country’s monetary heritage.
The RBI Monetary Museum aims at documenting, preserving and presenting India’s
monetary heritage to the public. The Museum is expected, over time, to serve
as the focal point for the Reserve Bank’s public education and outreach programmes.
The Museum will be open to public from January 2005.
On display are exhibits of money
ranging from neolithic axes to stored value cards. The displays are divided
into three main galleries. The first gallery introduces the visitor to concepts,
ideas and curiosities relating to money, including, how has money evolved from
barter to the present and the shapes and sizes it has assumed over the years.
On display are some of the smallest coins in the world, the nomenclatures they
have assumed down the ages, their metals, alloys, etc.
The second section traces the evolution
of coins from the 6th century BC to the present with exhibits of
representative coinage along with a chronology of events.
How did the transition take place
from coins to bank notes? How did banking evolve? These questions are addressed
in the third section on bank notes. This section, along with a tour of indigenous
banking, hundies and other financial instruments, gives a glimpse of the early
bank notes in India which evolved in the late 18th - early 19th
century down to the present. The visitor is introduced briefly to how the demand
and supply of currency is managed in the country and the security features of
bank notes. It also gives the visitors a glimpse of the functions of the Reserve
Bank of India.
For children, the Museum also has
interactive information kiosks that have games by playing which they can learn
various aspects of currency and coins. The kiosks also give more details about
the displays in the Museum.