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The Chronicles Of A Bank Note Author: Fintuned | Date: April 28, 2016

India is a land of writers. If the citations from history are to be believed, one would realize that India has produced more than a few unparalleled gems in the field of writing. To put this in right perspective, I am reminded of a quote by Mark Twain:

India is, the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grand mother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.”

Undoubtedly, some writers and creative artists have elevated India’s respect with their work. However, there remains a section and (a considerably huge chunk) that loves to write but at wrong places. From heritage buildings to currency notes, their creativity mostly finds a vent at inappropriate places.

At Fintuned, we love creativity but hate disrespectful and undesirable practices. Therefore, in this post, we take up a very grave issue that persists big-time in India – writing, drawing and soiling currency notes (it is more prevalent than you think).


(It looks cute on her with a notepad but ugly with you on a currency)

If you are not aware, the cost of printing a note varies from 66 paise to INR 3.15, depending on the denomination (INR 10- INR 1000). The lifespan of the INR 10 currency note is low as the circulation is high but that of the INR 1,000 note is high as its circulation is much less. It has been almost 15 years since the Clean Note Policy was issued, but the objective is yet to be realized.

To be absolutely clear, writing on currency notes is certainly not ‘illegal’. However, it is definitely undesirable and the RBI has reiterated time and again that writing or scribbling on banknotes works against its ‘clean note policy’ and has sought co-operation from public, institutions and others in keeping the banknotes clean by not writing anything on them.

Soiled banknotes are your banknotes that have become dirty and limp due to excessive use. See how they look like:

Soiled banknote

Mutilated banknotes are your banknotes that are torn, disfigured, burnt, washed, eaten by white ants, etc. Your double numbered banknote cut into two pieces but on which both the numbers are intact is now being treated as soiled banknote.

Mutilated banknotes

All banks are authorized to accept soiled banknotes across their counters and pay us the exchange value. They are expected to offer this service even to non-customers. All the designated branches of commercial banks are authorized to adjudicate and pay us the value in respect of mutilated banknotes, in terms of the Reserve Bank of India (Note Refund) Rules, 1975. The RBI has also authorized all commercial bank branches to treat certain banknotes in ‘two pieces’ as soiled banknotes and pay the exchange value to us

Here are some interesting images that will make you aware the amazing things we do.

** Viewer discretion is advised. Disciplinarians and reverent people may find the following images disturbing.

This is Indian currency:

But we use it for various purposes like:


Calculating on bank note

Finding a soul mate:

Finding girlfriend bank note

Testing our make-up skills:

Make-up banknote

Creativity is a boon but when used like this, it is definitely a bane. From now on, let us not write and stop others also from writing on currency notes as it looks ugly (read: disrespectful) and also reduces its life span drastically.

Instead, let us:

  1. Stop scribbling in any form and use notepad or a small diary instead.
  2. Do not put marks or apply any colors on notes either in the name of god or to display your creativity.
  3. Not fold notes too much or else it might get torn
  4. Not staple notes and avoid using rubber stamps on it.



Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of any agency, organization, employer, or any company. Fintuned Co. LLP shall not be held responsible in any manner whatsover, for any decision/action taken by readers on the basis of the content mentioned in the article. Readers are requested to exercise their best judgement before taking any decision/action. Fintuned Co. LLP shall also not be held responsible for any copyright infringement committed by the author in the process of writing and/or publishing this article and in the event any such offence is found, cooperate with necessary authorities to take remedial action


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