WHO HAS THE POWER TO DESIGN/ISSUE BANKNOTES?
Under the provisions of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, the Reserve Bank has the "sole right to issue banknotes in India". Section 25 of the RBI Act states that 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 the Central Board of RBI."
WHO HAS THE POWER TO CHANGE BANKNOTES?
According to the master circular issued by the RBI, the Reserve Bank is the sole authority to issue banknotes. However, The Government of India is responsible for the designing and minting of coins in various denominations as per the Coinage Act, 2011. There are also provisions under the RBI Act and the Coinage Act for "special currency" series to be released. Under this provision, "commemorative coins" have been issued for various purposes.
The Department of Currency Management in the RBI is responsible for such design changes and the printing of currency.
While there is no published policy in place, sources say that as a general procedure, the Department of Currency Management may create a Concept Note for the design of new currency, which is sent from the DCM to the Governor. It may also go before the RBI Central Board for approval. The Finance Ministry can also consult with the RBI and take a policy decision to change the design. Consultation regarding the design and security features may also be done with the RBI press prior to final approval.
RELIGIOUS SYMBOL ON CURRENCY NOTES/COINS
The RBI's note refund policy clearly says that any note that "carries any extrinsic words or visible representations intended to convey or capable of conveying any message of a political or religious character or furthering the interest of any person or entity," will not be refunded or exchanged by banks.
"In the recent past also, the government of India has issued commemorative coins to mark landmark events such as 300th anniversary of Gurta-Gaddi of Shri Guru Granth Sahibji in 2008, 1000 years of Barihadeeswara Temple in 2010, birth centenary of Mother Teresa in 2010, birth centenary of Saint Alphonsa in 2009 and Bhagwan Mahavir in 2002.The commemorative coins have been issued under relevant provisions of the Coinage Act, 2011.
The series of notes released after 2016 included images of religious and cultural heritage sites, including the Konark Sun temple and the Sanchi Stupa.