Credits - ET

The Reserve Bank of India has announced that it will launch a mobile application to help the visually challenged identify currency notes as cash still remains the dominant mode of transaction in the Indian economy. The denominations of ₹10, ₹20, ₹50, ₹100, ₹200, ₹500 and ₹2,000 are in circulation besides the ₹1 notes issued by the Centre.

Intaglio printing based identification marks is currently present in notes of ₹100 and above which helps visually challenged people to identify the notes. Various new design and sizes have been put up in circulation after the demonetization of old ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes in November 2016.

“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 inviting vendors to develop the mobile application.

The proposed application will 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 the camera of the smartphone. RBI is inviting bids from various technology firms to develop the mobile application.

The RBI came out with a similar “request for proposal” from vendors but later canceled it. The proposed mobile app will also generate an “audio notification” intimating the currency note denomination to the visually challenged user if the image is captured successfully. Else if the image is not captured correctly, it will intimate the users to try again.

There are more than 80 lakh blind and visually challenged people in the country who are likely to benefit from the initiative of the Reserve Bank of India. In June last year, the central bank declared that it is exploring the feasibility of developing a device for aiding the visually impaired in the identification of bank notes.


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