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RBI plans app to help visually challenged identify currency notes

RBI says identification of banknote denomination key to successful completion of cash-based transactions by visually impaired persons. Its proposed mobile app to identify currency notes will benefit about 80 lakh blind or visually impaired people across India.

Press Trust of India
14th Jul 2019
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Reserve Bank of India, RBI

Image: AFP

The Reserve Bank of India will come out with a mobile application to help visually challenged people in identifying currency notes as cash still remains a dominant mode of transaction.


At present, banknotes in the denominations of Rs 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 2,000 are in circulation, besides Re 1 notes issued by the Centre.


The RBI said that identification of banknote denomination was key to successful completion of cash-based transactions by visually impaired persons.


Intaglio printing-based identification marks for helping the visually challenged in identification of banknotes denomination are present in notes of Rs 100 and above.


After demonetisation of old Rs 500/1,000 notes in November 2016, new banknotes in design and sizes have been put in circulation.


“The Reserve Bank of India has been sensitive to the challenges faced by the visually challenged in conducting their day-to-day business with Indian banknotes,” said the central bank while scouting for a vendor to develop the mobile application.



How the app works


The proposed mobile app would be able to identify the denomination of notes of Mahatma Gandhi Series and Mahatma Gandhi (New) series by capturing the image of the notes placed in front of a mobile camera, the RBI said while inviting bids from tech firms to develop the app.


The RBI had come out with a similar “request for proposal” from vendors but later cancelled it.


The app will also generate “audio notification”, intimating the currency note denomination to the user if image is captured correctly, else intimating the user to try again in case of image is not readable.


There are about 80 lakh blind or visually impaired people in the country, who are likely to benefit from this central bank initiative.


In June 2018, the central bank had declared that it would explore the feasibility of developing a suitable device or mechanism for aiding the visually impaired in the identification of Indian banknotes.


(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)







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