Mobile app to help visually impaired identify currency: RBI to HC

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Friday told the Bombay High Court that it was in the process of developing a mobile application to help the visually impaired identify the denomination of currency notes.

RBI's counsel senior advocate Shyam Mehta told a bench of Chief Justice Naresh Patil and Justice N M Jamdar that the RBI had constituted a four-member expert committee last month to develop such software.

The submission was made in compliance with a previous order of the court.

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 seeking directions to include distinctive features in the new coins and currency notes.

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

However, since such marks often fade with use, the new software, which will be available on most mobile devices free of charge, will be of much help for the visually impaired, the RBI counsel said.

The bench also suggested that authorities examine currencies of western nations to check the features that are included to help the visually challenged.