The sudden ‘Surgical Strike’ against Black Money carried out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is actually the third time in Indian history that high currency notes have been demonetised, after January 1964 and again in 1978.
The highest value currency note printed by the Reserve Bank of India was the Rs 10,000 note printed in 1938 which was demonetised in January 1946, then brought back again in 1954 and finally discontinued in January 1978, according to RBI data.
Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 10,000 bank notes were in circulation prior to January 1946. Higher denomination banknotes of Rs. 1,000, Rs. 5,000 and Rs. 10,000 were reintroduced in 1954 and all of them were demonetised in January 1978.
The Rs. 1,000 note made a comeback in November 2000. Rs. 500 note came into circulation in October 1987. The move was then justified as attempt to contain the volume of banknotes in circulation due to inflation.
However, this is the first time that Rs. 2,000 currency note is being introduced.
While announcing currently circulated Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes as invalid from midnight tonight, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said new Rs. 500 note and a Rs. 2,000 denomination banknote will be introduced from November 10.
Bank notes in Ashoka Pillar watermark series in Rs. 10 denomination were issued between 1967 and 1992, Rs. 20 in 1972 and 1975, Rs. 50 in 1975 and 1981 and Rs. 100 between 1967-1979.
The banknotes issued during this period contained the symbols representing science and technology, progress and orientation to Indian art forms.
In the year 1980, the legend Satyameva Jayate — ‘truth alone shall prevail’ — was incorporated under the national emblem for the first time.
In October 1987, Rs. 500 banknote was introduced with the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi and Ashoka Pillar watermark.
Mahatma Gandhi (MG) series banknotes – 1996 were issued in the denominations of Rs. 5, (introduced in November 2001), Rs. 10 (June 1996), Rs. 20 (August 2001), Rs. 50 (March 1997), Rs. 100 (June 1996), Rs. 500 (October 1997) and Rs. 1,000 (November 2000).
The Mahatma Gandhi Series – 2005 bank notes were issued in the denomination of Rs. 10, Rs. 20, Rs. 50, Rs. 100, Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 and contained some additional/new security features as compared to the 1996 MG series.
The Rs. 50 and Rs. 100 banknotes were issued in August 2005, followed by Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 denominations in October 2005 and Rs. 10 and Rs. 20 in April 2006 and August 2006, respectively.