Making mobile app to help visually impaired identify currency: RBI to Bombay High Court

Senior counsel Shyam Mehta, representing RBI, told the court that a committee of experts was formed to explore the possibilities of developing a device to aid the visually impaired in identifying Indian bank notes. (File)

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday told the Bombay High Court that it is in the process of making a mobile application to aid visually impaired persons to identify Indian currency notes.

Chief Justice Naresh Patil and Justice N M Jamdar were hearing a petition filed by the National Association of the Blind (NAB), seeking directions to include distinctive features in new coins and notes for easier identification by the visually impaired.

Justice Jamdar told the lawyer appearing for the petitioner: "RBI is doing their work but meanwhile the association should also look for a software expert till then, it will serve the purpose. You should have your own private mobile application, why wait for RBI?"

Senior counsel Shyam Mehta, representing RBI, told court that a committee of experts was formed to explore the possibilities of developing a device to aid the visually impaired in identifying Indian bank notes. The committee has recommended for a mobile-based application, which will identify the notes and inform the person orally. The proposal was unanimously accepted by the committee. An affidavit was filed by Marut Behera, deputy general manager, RBI, stating that they have taken further steps and are in process of drafting the request for proposal for mobile based application.

Mehta told the court that they are looking for the software which will be free of cost. He added that the committee suggested the software in the mobile application because it will be easier for the visually impaired persons, for hardware they will have to carry a separate device.

Chief Justice Patil also pointed out how people write on the notes and the attitude amongst the people should be that "this is the currency of my nation, it should not be spoiled."