RBI Turns 87: Financial Literacy Comics at the Currency Museum, an Intro to What the Central Bank Does

The Reserve Bank of India, India’s banking regulator and government debt manager, wears many hats. But did you know that apart from these monetary policy functions, RBI spearheads many other initiatives? It runs the RBI Museum in Mumbai, periodically publishes financial education comics and films, and has six training institutes under its umbrella.

From its inception in 1935, initially as a private lender, until recently, RBI has evolved in many ways. He changed his headquarters from Kolkata to Mumbai, introduced new banknotes over the years and decided to call the rupee in Hindi as rupee and not rupiya. As the central bank turns 87 on Friday, April 1, here are the fascinating things India’s RBI is up to:

Spearheading economic reforms since independence

Established on April 1, 1935 under the Reserve Bank of India Act of 1934, RBI was not nationalized until 1949. But since then, RBI has been at the forefront of driving and managing reforms economy in the country. In 1991, when India was about to introduce Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization (LPG) reforms, RBI spearheaded it. And going back to recent times, RBI was at the forefront of managing the economically difficult COVID-19 pandemic, an unprecedented event that resulted in macroeconomic instability.

In its preamble, RBI states that its main function is “to have a modern monetary policy framework to meet the challenge of an increasingly complex economy”. The central bank has followed the preamble to manage the recent economic challenge induced by COVID-19. Recently, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said that all Covid-19 related liquidity measures announced by the central bank except interest rates have an expiry date. And so he has the liquidity under control.

Comics and Movies for Financial Literacy

Source: RBI

Did you know that a cartoon character called Money Kumar was introduced as part of the central bank’s initiative to provide financial education? From helping to understand the role of deposits in a bank to educating on the ease of conducting digital transactions, characters such as Money Kumar, Raju and many more have been featured by the central bank as part of its Financial Literacy Week series. On social networks, RBI has designated accounts where he from time to time informs about the suitability of money, how not to be fooled by financial frauds, etc. Besides comics, games, short films are also available on the RBI website and its social media handles to make information easy and simple for everyone.

Diversity of Indian Bank Notes, Gandhi’s Introduction

On a contemporary banknote, one would find up to 15 languages ​​such as Assamese, Punjabi and Urdu, on the reverse. Since independence, RBI has used minted banknotes to represent the sensitivities, initiatives and themes of that period. For example, in 1976, to celebrate the success of the Green Revolution, the Rs 100 note featured a collage of designs explaining India’s agricultural efforts to achieve self-sufficiency. It depicts the activities of farming and picking tea leaves. Lately, celebrating the success of the Mars Orbiter mission – Mangalyaan’s image was inscribed on the Rs 2000 note.

Source: RBI

The image of the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, first appeared on an Indian note in 1969. It was reintroduced 26 years later in 1996. The introduction of the new series was also made to replace the Traditional security features on note with new technology. For example, a modified watermark has been introduced.

Another new technique called color changing ink was introduced on banknotes in the year 2000. Today if you look at say a Rs 500 note, through this technique the color of the digit 500 will appear green when the note is held flat but would change to blue when the note is held at an angle. In this way, one can identify whether the note is counterfeit.

Winding the wheels of the evolution of money at the RBI Museum

In the city of Mumbai, the central bank has a Reserve Bank of India Currency Museum. The museum located in Fort, Mumbai is also where RBI established its first office in Mumbai, after leaving Kolkata in 1937. The RBI museum covers the evolution of money (from the barter system to the use cowries), the role in the economy and financial markets and the role of a consumer, buyer or trader in it. In the museum, one can learn about the history of gold, the most valued asset especially in times of crisis, through exhibits and modes such as an interactive exhibition on gold mining. gold.

Daniel K. Denny