Rs 200 note launched: Here’s a brief history of Indian bills post Independence

The Reserve Bank of India issued on August 25, 2017 ₹ 200 denomination banknotes in the Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series, bearing signature of Dr. Urjit R. Patel, Governor, Reserve Bank of India from select RBI offices, and some banks.

Modern paper currency in India traces its origins to the late 18th century when private and semi-government banks issued notes.

The Paper Currency Act of 1861 gave the government the monopoly of issuing notes. And it did till April 1, 1935 - when the Reserve Bank of India was established. The government continued to issue one-rupee notes till 1994.

Independence from the British rule meant currency management and design, too, had to transition. The government introduced the first new design of a Re 1 note in 1949.

The new Re 1 bank note introduced in 1949. (Picture courtesy: RBI)

There was a job at hand: replacing the king’s portrait on surviving notes, which were being used until the new designs were introduced. The government thought of Mahatma Gandhi’s portrait instead, but settled on the image of the Sarnath Lion Capital.

Comparison of Rs 10 notes during colonial rule and after Independence. (Picture courtesy: RBI)

1953: Notes displayed numbers and text written in Hindi.

A consensus was reached to call the Indian currency -- Rupaya -- ‘Rupiye’ in Hindi plural.

1954: High denomination notes of Rs 1,000, Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 were introduced.

Commemorative design series in honour of Mahatma Gandhi was issued in 1969. Sevagram Ashram is pictured in the backdrop. (Picture courtesy: RBI)

Rs 20 and Rs 50 notes issued in 1970s (Picture courtesy: RBI)

India’s first demonetisation in 1978: The government withdrew Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 currency notes from the economy. Then prime minister Morarji Desai banned all notes above Rs 100 to fight corruption.

 

1980s: Banknotes in this decade were issued with modern symbols of progress and science, and Indian art. There was Aryabhatta on the Rs 2 note, an oil rig on Re 1. The Konark wheel and peacock were other figures added to the currency (Rs 10 and Rs 20).

Rs 500 note issued in October 1987. The water mark was still the Lion Capital. (Picture courtesy: RBI)

Cash as we know it today

1996 saw the introduction of ‘Mahatma Gandhi series’, which featured a new watermark, windowed security thread, latent image and intaglio features for the visually challenged.

Rs 10 and Rs 50 notes today. (Picture courtesy: RBI)

The second demonetisation: Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on November 8 last year the abolition of all 1000- and 500-rupee bank notes from the next day in a dramatic move aimed at stamping out corruption and draining illicit cash from the economy.

Demonetised notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000. (Picture courtesy: RBI)

New notes of Rs 500 and Rs 2000 launched after demonetisation. (ANI Photo)

2017: The government announced in August the introduction of Rs 200 bank notes to increase availability of lower denomination in the economy.

The new Rs 200 note will be in circulation from August 25. (Picture courtesy: RBI)

The new bright yellow coloured note has windowed security thread, Sanchi Stupa motif and Denominational numeral in Devnagari.

Source: The Hindustan Times (Brief History of Indian Bills post Independence )

For Salient Features of Rs 200 denomination note please click on the following link: Salient features of Rs 200 notes

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