We all deal with currency notes on a daily basis and take them by face value, as we believe that we will get the worth of amount which a particular note promises. But how much do we actually know about our Indian currency? Or for that matter, how aware are we about the information which is mentioned on currency notes.
Let’s begin with the smallest denomination note of Indian currency – the rupee one note.
Do you know that this is the only currency note which is not signed by the Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), but by the Finance Secretary to the Government of India?
The RBI was established in 1935 and was nationalised in 1949. While prior to 1949, all currency notes were issued on behalf of the Ministry of Finance, post RBI’s nationalisation, the apex bank was delegated the responsibility of issuing the currency.
While all denominations of currency notes are signed by the RBI Governor, only as a matter of convention the one rupee note continued to be signed by the Finance Secretary.
The one rupee note however went out of circulation after 1994 and was treated as token currency note.
Do you know that the highest denomination note ever printed by the RBI was the Rs 10,000 note in 1938, which was demonetised in January 1946. The Rs 10,000 note was again introduced in 1954. These notes were demonetised in 1978.
An interesting fact about the Indian currency notes is that the paper currently being used for printing of banknotes is made by using 100% cotton.
What is the meaning of the statement mentioned on each currency note signed by the RBI Governor, assuring to pay the said value of the note to the bearer?
The statement by the RBI Governor on the currency note is a kind of a promissory note which gives an assurance to the bearer that the currency being held by the holder is legal tender which is applicable for use in the country.
The person or party accepting the Indian currency is in a way honouring that assurance.
The promissory note is a kind of a promise by the RBI to the people that it is bound to pay them the amount of which that note is worth.
If any currency note does not carry the promissory note then any foreign national or institution will not accept it.