November 9, 2016: Prime Minister Narendra Modi shocked the nation as he unveiled one of the boldest steps against ‘black money’ by announcing on Tuesday that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes would no longer be legal tender. He also added that it will be replaced by new Rs 500 and Rs 2000 notes.
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But, this announcement was followed by a trail of rumours on WhatsApp that said the new notes would come with micro-nano GPS chip or NGC , which will allegedly help to track individual notes with the help of the satellite.
— Rosy (@rose_k01) November 8, 2016
Mainstream media, like this Zee News post, claimed, “the chip has been fitted in such a way that it can detect Rs 2000 notes even from 120 meters below the ground.”
That would have been really impressive, if it would have been true. But, it isn’t.
On Wednesday, the RBI dismissed all such rumours entirely saying that such a technology does even exist anywhere in the world.
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On Wednesday afternoon, RBI spokesperson Alpana Killawala told News18, “such a technology does not exist at the moment in the world, then how can we introduce such a feature?”
What’s new about the new notes and can they be tracked with the help of the satellites?
Apart from the colour, there are a few interesting elements that are added to the new notes. It will have a picture of Mangalyaan, Swachh Bharat logo with the slogan, and denominational numeral २००० in Devnagari.
Details about the currency does not say anything about NGC or any tracking features, which again presumably the RBI would not want people to know, even if they have had implemented such technology.
Rumours may also suggest that government may not want the citizens to know about the technology.
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Then again, even though the technology seems to be possible, how affordable it is to actually put it on the notes remain debatable.
– by Pinaz Kazi of NewsGram with inputs from various agencies. Twitter: @PinazKazi