Kejriwal Wants Gods on Currency Notes; Here’s How Design Can Be Changed Legally


Two days after Diwali, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to introduce currency notes with images of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi on one side and Mahatma Gandhi’s picture on the other.

But, who actually changes the design of currency notes?

The responsibility of printing and management of the currency notes according to the Constitution is entrusted to the Reserve Bank of India. It is the RBI that can actually make the requisite tweaks to the currency notes.

As per Section 25 of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Act, 1934, “The design, form and material of bank notes shall be such as may be approved by the [Central Government] after consideration of the recommendations made by Central Board.”

What is the Central Board and who are part of it?

The Reserve Bank’s affairs are governed by a central board of directors. The board is appointed by the Government of India in keeping with the Reserve Bank of India Act.

The composition of the board is divided into two parts–

Official directors: Full-time– Governor and not more than four deputy governors

Non-official directors: Nominated by government– Ten directors from various fields and two government officials

Others: Four directors– One each from four local boards. As per Section 9 of the Act, a Local Board shall be constituted for each of the four areas specified in the First Schedule and shall consist of five members to be appointed by the Central Government to represent, as far as possible, territorial and economic interests and the interests of co-operative and indigenous banks.

While appealing to PM Modi to introduce currency notes with images of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi on one side and Mahatma Gandhi’s picture on the other, Kejriwal said, “If Indonesia can do it, we can do it too.”

He was referring to the picture of Lord Ganesha inscribed on the 20,000 rupiah note of Indonesia beside an inscription of Ki Hajar Dewantara, a celebrated Indonesian independence activist.

“Despite making efforts, sometimes our efforts do not fructify if gods and goddesses are not blessing us. I appeal to PM (Modi) to have photos of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi on our currency (notes)…If there is a photo of Lakshmi-Ganesha on our currency (notes), our country will prosper. I will write to (the) prime minister in a day or two on this,” he said.

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