Prelims Quiz – Gandhiji and Currency Notes

Find the answers and explanations at the end of the post:

Q.1 – Which of the codes given below represents the correct order of the following events in chronological order: (1) First ‘demonetization’ of Independent India; (2) Picture of Gandhiji appeared for the first time on Indian currency; (3) Reserve Bank of India launched the ‘Mahatma Gandhi series’ of currency notes.

a. 3-2-1

b. 2-3-1

c. 2-1-3

d. 1-2-3


Q.2 – Which of the following is the largest ever demonetised currency note released by the Reserve Bank of India:

a. Rs. 2000 note

b. Rs. 5000 note

c. Rs. 10,000 note

d. Rs. 8000 note


  • It was about half a century ago when the image of Mahatma Gandhi first appeared on the commemorative currency note of rupees 100 on the occasion birth centenary of the father of the nation (1969).
  • Although after the Independence in 1947, it was felt that the British King’s portrait ought to be replaced by a picture of Mahatma Gandhi, it took quite some time for the government of the day to reach a consensus on the issue.
  • In the meantime, King’s portrait was replaced by Lion Capital at Sarnath in lieu of the Gandhi Portrait. The Reserve Bank in 1969 came out with a commemorative note of Rs 100 showing Mahatma Gandhi seated in the backdrop of the Sevagram Ashram.
  • But the portrait of the father of the nation made its regular appearance on currency notes only in 1987 when the series of rupee 500 currency notes showing a smiling Gandhi was launched in October that year.
  • Since then Mahatma Gandhi’s portrait has been used regularly on currency notes of different denominations.
  • In 1949 the then government brought out the new design Re 1 note with Ashoka Pillar. In 1953, Hindi was displayed prominently on new notes. The debate regarding the Hindi plural of Rupaya was settled in favour of Rupiye.
  • High denomination notes (Rs 1,000, Rs 5,000, Rs 10,000) were reintroduced in 1954. The Rs 1000 currency note displayed the motif of Tanjore Temple, Rs 5000 Gateway of India and Rs 10,000 Lion Capital, Ashoka Pillar. These high denomination currency notes were, however, demonetized in 1978. (Demonetization also took place before independence in 1946).
  • The emphasis was on symbols of Science & Technology (Aryabhatta on the Rs 2 note), Progress (the Oil Rig on Re 1 and Farm Mechanisation on Rs 5) and a change in orientation to Indian Art forms on the Rs 20 and the Rs 10 notes (Konark Wheel, Peacock).
  • With the advancement of reprographic techniques, traditional security features were deemed inadequate. The RBI came out with additional features and a new ‘Mahatma Gandhi Series’ was introduced in 1996. These included changed watermark, windowed security thread, latent image and intaglio features for the visually handicapped.

Source: Economic Times.