Museum

Republic India Issues

Throughout history, the right to Coinage and Currency and issues of sovereignty have been curiously conjoined, emotionally if not rationally. These issues stimulate debate even today.

The transition of currency management from colonial to independent India was a reasonably smooth affair. Midnight, August 14, 1947 heralded Indian independence from colonial rule. The Republic, however, was established on 26th January, 1950. During the interregnum, the Reserve Bank continued to issue the extant notes.

Government of India brought out the new design Re. 1 note in 1949.

Government of India - Rupee One

Government of India - Rupee One

Symbols for independent India had to be chosen. At the outset it was felt that the King's portrait be replaced by a portrait of Mahatma Gandhi. Designs were prepared to that effect. In the final analysis, the consensus moved to the choice of the Lion Capital at Sarnath in lieu of the Gandhi Portrait. The new design of notes were largely along earlier lines.

Rupees Ten - King's Portrait

Rupees Ten - King's Portrait

Rupees Ten - Ashoka Pillar

Rupees Ten - Ashoka Pillar

In 1950, the first Republic India banknotes were issued in the denominations of Rs. 2, 5, 10 and 100. There was slight variation in colour and design in case of Rs. 2, 5 and 100 notes. The ship motif on the reverse of Rs. 10 note was kept intact for the sake of continuity.

Republic of India - Rupees Two

Republic of India - Rupees Two

Republic of India - Rupees Five

Republic of India - Rupees Five

Republic of India - Rupees Ten

Republic of India - Rupees Ten

Republic of India - Rupees Hundred

Republic of India - Rupees Hundred

In 1953, Hindi was displayed prominently on the new notes. The debate regarding the Hindi plural of Rupaya was settled in favour of Rupiye. High denomination notes (Rs. 1,000, 5,000, and 10,000) were reintroduced in 1954. High denomination notes were once again demonetised in 1978 for the same reasons as the 1946 demonetisation.

Rupees One Thousand - Tanjore Temple

Rupees One Thousand - Tanjore Temple

Rupees Five Thousand - Gateway of India

Rupees Five Thousand - Gateway of India

Rupees Ten Thousand - Lion Capital, Ashoka Pillar

Rupees Ten Thousand - Lion Capital, Ashoka Pillar

The small denomination of Rs. 2 and 5 of the early series depicted the fauna motifs such as tiger, bucks and doe, Sambar deers and gazelles. In 1975, a collage of motifs explaining India’s agricultural endeavour towards attaining self-sufficiency in food production found represented on Rs. 100 note depicting the activities of farming and plucking of tea leaves.

Bust of Tiger facing right on Rs. 2

Bust of Tiger facing right on Rs. 2

Standing Tiger on Rs. 2

Standing Tiger on Rs. 2

Bucks and Doe on Rs. 5

Bucks and Doe on Rs. 5

Sambar Deer on Rs. 5

Sambar Deer on Rs. 5

Gazelles on Rs. 5

Gazelles on Rs. 5

Agricultural endeavour on Rs. 100

Agricultural endeavour on Rs. 100

The lean period of the early sixties led to considerations of economy and the sizes of notes were reduced in 1967. In 1969 a commemorative design series in honour of the birth centenary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi was issued depicting a seated Gandhi with the Sevagram Ashram as the backdrop.

Mahatma Gandhi Centenary Issues – Re. 1

Mahatma Gandhi Centenary Issues – Re. 1

Mahatma Gandhi Centenary Issues – Rs. 2

Mahatma Gandhi Centenary Issues – Rs. 2

Mahatma Gandhi Centenary Issues – Rs. 5

Mahatma Gandhi Centenary Issues – Rs. 5

Mahatma Gandhi Centenary Issues – Rs. 10

Mahatma Gandhi Centenary Issues – Rs. 10

Mahatma Gandhi Centenary Issues – Rs. 100

Mahatma Gandhi Centenary Issues – Rs. 100

Cost benefit considerations prompted the Bank to introduce Rs. 20 denomination notes in 1972 and Rs. 50 in 1975.

Rupees Twenty

Rupees Twenty

Rupees Fifty

Rupees Fifty

The 1980s saw a completely new set of notes issued. The motifs on these notes marked a departure form the earlier motifs. The emphasis lay on symbols of Science & Technology (Aryabhatta on the Rs. 2 note), Progress (the Oil Rig on Re 1 and Farm Mechanisation on Rs. 5 and Hirakud dam on Rs. 100) and a change in orientation to Indian Art forms on the Rs. 20 and the Rs. 10 notes. (Konark Wheel, Peacock, Shalimar garden).

Oil Rig on Re. 1

Oil Rig on Re. 1

Aryabhatta on Rs. 2

Aryabhatta on Rs. 2

Farm Mechanisation on Rs. 5

Farm Mechanisation on Rs. 5

Peacock and Shalimar garden on Rs. 10
Peacock and Shalimar garden on Rs. 10

Peacock and Shalimar garden on Rs. 10

Konark Wheel on Rs. 20

Konark Wheel on Rs. 20

Hirakud dam on Rs. 100

Hirakud dam on Rs. 100

Management of Currency had to cope with the rising demands of a growing economy, together with a fall in purchasing power. The Rs. 500 note was introduced in October 1987 with the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi. The water mark continued to be the Lion Capital, Ashoka Pillar.

Rupees Five Hundred

Rupees Five Hundred

Mahatma Gandhi Series

With the advancement of reprographic techniques, traditional security features were deemed inadequate. It was necessary to introduce new features and a new 'Mahatma Gandhi Series' was introduced in 1996. A changed watermark, windowed security thread, latent image and intaglio features for the visually handicapped were amongst the new features.

The new series also witnessed the introduction of Rs. 1000 denomination on October 09, 2000. Subsequently, on November 18, 2000, Rs. 500 denomination note was issued in changed colour and incorporating colour-shifting ink in the numeric value at the centre as an additional security feature.

Rupees Five : Size 63 x 117 mm

Rupees Five : Size 63 x 117 mm

Rupees Ten : Size 63 x 137 mm

Rupees Ten : Size 63 x 137 mm

Rupees Twenty : Size 63 x 147 mm

Rupees Twenty : Size 63 x 147 mm

Rupees Fifty : Size 73 x 147 mm

Rupees Fifty : Size 73 x 147 mm

Rupees One Hundred : Size 73 x 157 mm

Rupees One Hundred : Size 73 x 157 mm

Rupees Five Hundred : Size 73 x 167 mm

Rupees Five Hundred : Size 73 x 167 mm

Rupees Five Hundred : Size 73 x 167 mm

Rupees Five Hundred : Size 73 x 167 mm

Rupees One Thousand : Size 73 x 177 mm

Rupees One Thousand : Size 73 x 177 mm

Security features enhanced

In 2005, the Mahatma Gandhi series notes witnessed enhanced security features such as wide colour shifting machine readable magnetic windowed security thread in Rs. 100 and above, denomination note numeric back to back registration in place of flower design as identification mark. No change was made to the ID mark in Rs. 5. Year of printing on the banknotes was introduced for the first time in 2005.

Rupees One Hundred with enhanced security features

Rupees One Hundred with enhanced security features

Star Series

In 2006, “Star Series” was introduced on the banknotes to avoid re-printing of the defective notes with same serial number to maintain the sequence.

Star Series

Rupee Symbol (₹)

In 2011, the Rupee symbol (₹), the identity mark of Indian rupee was introduced. The Bank and the Government of India together had formalised a unique symbol (₹) for Indian Rupee in 2010 and thus acquired a place in the select club of countries with a symbol for their currency. In 2011, the new Rupee symbol was incorporated in banknotes and coins.

Rupees One Hundred with Rupee symbol (₹)

Rupees One Hundred with Rupee symbol (₹)

Security features enhanced

Central banks worldwide adopt a standardised practice of periodic up-gradation of security features of banknotes to stay ahead of counterfeiters. In India, the last such up-gradation was done in 2005. In 2015, certain new features such as bleed lines on higher denominations and exploding numbers were introduced. The intaglio printing on the ₹ 50 and 20 was withdrawn in 2016.

Rupees One Hundred with enhanced security features

Rupees One Hundred with enhanced security features

Rupee One denomination re-introduced

In 2015, Re. 1 was re-introduced by the Government of India.

Rupee One : Size 63 x 97 mm

Rupee One : Size 63 x 97 mm

Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series

The Republic of India witnessed the second major monetary reforms in November 2016 when it withdrew the legal tender status of ₹ 500 and ₹ 1,000 denominations of banknotes of the Mahatma Gandhi Series issued by the Reserve Bank of India till November 8, 2016.

The new banknotes were introduced in the Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series, highlighting the cultural heritage and scientific achievements of the country. Distinct colours were used for different denomination and sizes reduced. Two new denominations viz. ₹ 2000 on November 08, 2016 and ₹ 200 on August 23, 2017 were introduced in the Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series.

Rupees Ten : Size 63 x 123 mm

Rupees Ten : Size 63 x 123 mm

Rupees Twenty : Size 63 x 147 mm

Rupees Twenty : Size 63 x 147 mm

Rupees Fifty : Size 66 x 135 mm

Rupees Fifty : Size 66 x 135 mm

Rupees One Hundred : Size 66 x 142 mm

Rupees One Hundred : Size 66 x 142 mm

Rupees Two Hundred : Size 66 x 146 mm

Rupees Two Hundred : Size 66 x 146 mm

Rupees Five Hundred : Size 66 x 150 mm

Rupees Five Hundred : Size 66 x 150 mm

Rupees Two Thousand : Size 66 x 166 mm

Rupees Two Thousand : Size 66 x 166 mm

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