Yesterday on 8th of November, 2016, Indian Prime Minister Sh. Narendra Modi had declared the currency notes denomination of Rupees 500 and Rupees 1000  as demonetized.  Since then there are rumours on WhatsApp, Facebook and Internet about the New Currency Notes of 500 and 2000 denomination having NGC (Nano GPS Chip ).  Recently RBI ( Reserve Bank Of India ) released images of new currency notes, are showing no sign of any GPS chip.

What are NGC ( Nano GPS Chips)?

epson_infineon_gps_chipA nano GPS chip is a small device which can be used for tracking any item geographically. But the smallest GPS chip ever made cannot be embeded to a currency note. If our Govt has discovered such a device then it is in itself a million dollar invention.  It is really not practical implementing such device on a currency note because of the following reasons:

  • Cost of a single note will rise considerably and it’s not be feasible for the govt to produce such high costing currency note.
  • A GPS chip always need a power source to send signals and there aren’t any batteries implemented within currency notes.
  • GPS Currency note will not be durable like normal currency notes. peoples are addicted on sitting up on wallets with notes in it and you know rest of the story.

So this Nano NGC chip rumour looks like hoax. and it’s not possible currently to implement the GPS chips on papers.

So, if there’s anything like this on new Indian currency notes what it could be? The possible answer is RFID Chips. RFID chips can be embedded on papers and can be detected using scanners

What are RFID (Radio-frequency identification) chips?

20131005155220As per Wikipedia, a Radio-frequency identification chip uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects. The tags contain electronically stored information. Passive tags collect energy from a nearby RFID reader’s interrogating radio waves. Active tags have a local power source such as a battery and may operate at hundreds of meters from the RFID reader. Unlike a bar-code, the tag need not be within the line of sight of the reader, so it may be embedded in the tracked object. RFID is one method for Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC).

These RFID chips can be seen on tags for products and sealed packages and on documents like European Union Passports etc to store information related to a person/object etc. RFID chips are having integrated circuits sometimes built in with integrated antenna. To Identify the RFID Information a scanner/reader is used to view the details of the product. There are different kinds of RFID chips available along with sort of RFID readers.

But Like I mentioned above RBI had released the photo and features of new currency notes and it shows no sign of any RFID chip or NGC. Checkout this recent tweet by RBI twitter handle showing no sign of any NGC or RFID device:

I’ll list the features quickly here

On the obverse:

  • See-through register with denominational numeral 2000
  • Latent image with denominational numeral 2000
  • Denominational numeral २००० in Devnagari
  • Portrait of Mahatma Gandhi at the centre
  • Micro letters ‘RBI’ and ‘2000’ on the left side of the banknote
  • Windowed security thread with inscriptions ‘भारत’, RBI and 2000 on banknotes with colour shift. Colour of the thread changes from green to blue when the note is tilted
  • Guarantee Clause, Governor’s signature with Promise Clause and RBI emblem towards right
    Denominational numeral with Rupee Symbol, ‘2000’ in colour changing ink (green to blue) on bottom right
  • Ashoka Pillar emblem on the right, Mahatma Gandhi portrait and electrotype (2000) watermarks
  • Number panel with numerals growing from small to big on the top left side and bottom right side

For the visually-impaired:

  • Intaglio or raised printing of Mahatma Gandhi portrait, Ashoka Pillar emblem, bleed lines and identity mark
  • Horizontal rectangle with ‘2000’ in raised print on the right
  • Seven angular bleed lines on left and right side in raised print

On the reverse side:

  • Year of printing of the note on the left
  • Swachh Bharat logo with slogan
  • Language panel towards the centre
  • Motif of Mangalayan
  • Denominational numeral २००० in Devnagari

 

So concluding my article saying this was really a masterstroke by our respected Prime Minister Sh. Narendra Modi. But I fear the new notes will not make much of the difference only difference will be that currency hard black money holders will suffer heart attacks when they see their stored money is going to be be just papers.

Written by Deepak Oberoi
Deepak Oberoi is a technical blogger.