RBI ‘EYES’ Solution to read Denominations
03, Jan 2019
Prelims level : Economy Mains level : Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes.
- In a bid to help the visually challenged, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is scouting for a digital solution that can identify and read out the denomination of Indian currency notes to users.
- Coming in the backdrop of issuance of new currency notes, the plan is aimed at developing or authenticating a technology-based solution to achieve the task in a few seconds,
- The solution could be a device, software or a combination of both, to help not just the visually challenged, but also those who cannot read in poor lighting
- Following up on an announcement in June, the RBI recently called for an expression of interest (EoI) from entities for a mechanism or device that can detect and read out the denomination. The reason behind the RBI scouting for such solutions is because of the blurring of physical dimensions of the notes that thus far served as the main differentiator. In other words, unlike in the past, the size of the note need not be indicative of denomination. There are also certain Intaglio (raised) printing-based identification marks in currency notes of Rs. 100 and above. The RBI is sensitive to the challenges faced by visually challenged in conducting their day-to-day business with Indian banknotes.
- Noting that technological progress had opened up new vistas for making banknotes more recognisable for the visually challenged, the bank had announced its decision to explore the feasibility of developing a suitable device or mechanism for aiding them in the identification.
Foreign Experiences in Blind Friendly Denomination:
- The Australian dollar tackles the accessibility issue in a very simple method, by making larger denominations not simply larger, but longer. They also have strong colors and contrasts for the visually impaired
- The Euro banknotes were designed with heavy input from Blind organizations and have a very simple distinguishing feature: big bills are big; little bills are little. The notes have some intaglio printing, which gives them relief marks that can be felt. The €200 and €500 bills have special tactile marks on them as well, for added security and assuredness when dealing with such large amounts. Canada is the only other major currency other than the U.S. with banknotes that are all the same size. But our northern neighbors have built in tactile marks at the top right of bills. Like most other currencies, different denominations are colored differently to aid the visually impaired too.
- Japan uses special intaglio-printed tactile marks and each bill is a different size.
- Switzerland may not have joined the EU or the Eurozone, but its currency has a lot in common with the Euro with its different colors and sizes for its Francs. However, the Swiss go one stop further, adding intaglio marks and a perforated number that you can feel.