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India: Reserve Bank of India invites Tech Solutions to help Persons with Visual Impairment Identify Currency

January 01, 2019

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is looking at a mobile phone-based solution to help the visually impaired easily identify Indian currency notes.

Currently, intaglio printing-based identification marks are present in banknotes of ₹100 and above for helping the visually challenged identify them. At present, banknotes of ₹10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 2000 are in circulation.

There are about 80 lakh blind or visually impaired people in the country, who will benefit from the initiative of the central bank.

In June 2018, the RBI announced that it will explore the feasibility of developing a suitable device or mechanism for aiding the visually impaired in the identification of Indian banknotes.

The RBI has now invited expression of interest from vendors for developing a ‘mechanism/device’ for the same. The device/mechanism should be able to identify the denomination of a banknote with hand-held operation, when the banknote is held either in front of it, near it, or inserted in it, within a few seconds (2 seconds or less) and read out in English/Hindi the denomination, said the tender document.

In case of a software-based solution, the document said, “The solution can be either be totally software-based capable of running on both mobile phones or hardware-driven.”

Source: Hindu Businessline

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