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Develop currency-identifying app for visually challenged: HC to RBI

The Bombay High Court Tuesday asked the Reserve Bank of India to think about developing a mobile phone application that could help visually challenged persons identify the denomination of various currency notes in India.

A bench of Chief Justice Naresh Patil and Justice NM Jamdar also directed RBI to expedite its ongoing project to develop a hardware-driven device that will help the blind identify Indian currency denominations.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by the National Association of the Blind (NAB), claiming that the new currency notes and coins were difficult to distinguish by touch, and sought directions to include distinctive features in the new coins and currency notes.

The RBI, however, informed the court that the new currency notes in India of the denomination of rupees 100 and above, already had “tactile markers and embossments” to help the visually challenged ascertain the denominations of such notes.

It also submitted that it had already issued tenders for the hardware-driven device.

But the bench suggested that the authorities examine currencies of western nations to check the features included in them to help the visually challenged.

“What about mobile-based software applications? America has some such apps. You can look into developing something similar,” the bench said.

It has now granted four weeks to RBI to look into its suggestions.

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