RBI showcases rare currency notes

Taking the residents of Chandigarh in the pre-Independence era, the Reserve Bank of India is showcasing old currency at a four-day exhibition which is on in the city till April 30. The event also showcases Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 notes and tells why and when were they withdrawn.

Currency notes of Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 were introduced in 1938 but were withdrawn in 1946 to check flow of black money. They were reintroduced in 1954 but finally withdrawn in 1978. The exhibitors have also put on sale the specimen of Rs 5,000 as well as Rs 10,000 notes in the form of a postcard priced at Rs 10.

The specimens of the notes from all years have been displayed along with footnotes listing changes brought about at different stages. Taking visitors through the times of Kings to Ashoka Chakra, Mahatma Gandhi, introduction of security thread etc, the exhibition displays the changing faces of individuals on these currency notes.

After the establishment of RBI, the first ever currency note that was printed was that of Rs 5 and carried the side profile of King George V Emperor of India from May 6, 1910, through World War-I until his death in 1936. However, the then and the first Governor of Reserve Bank Sir Osborne Smith refused to sign the note and it was the second governor in 1938 who signed the notes.

The Rs 100 note then carried a picture of a roaring lion. Later it was during World War-II that lot of fake currency through Japan got into the market and the side profile of King George V had to be altered for security reasons and it was changed to the facade of the king.

Informing about the exhibition, Jasbir Singh, Regional Director RBI Chandigarh said, "The exhibition has been organised to let know the common man the facts about currency notes and their journey from years before Independence to the today's time. It would educate people on the history of currency notes and how and when the shapes and sizes of different currency notes were made."

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