Good news for Visually Impaired Personnel…..
- The Reserve Bank of India is looking at a mobile phone-based solution to help visually impaired people easily identify Indian currency notes.
- At present, intaglio printing-based identification marks are present in banknotes of Rs 100 and above denominations, which is helpful to the visually challenged in identifying them and at present, banknotes of Rs 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 2000 are in circulation.
- There are about 80 lakh blind or visually impaired people in the country, who are likely to be benefitted with this new initiative of RBI.
- RBI in June, 2018 had informed that it would find out the feasibility of developing a suitable device or mechanism for aiding the visually impaired in the identification of Indian banknotes.
- The device/mechanism should be capable of recognising the denomination of a banknote with hand held operation, when the banknote is held
- in front of it or
- near it or
- inserted in it or
- scrolled across it
within a few seconds (preferably 2 seconds or less) and read out in English/Hindi the denomination, said the tender document.
- In case of software based solutions, RBI adds that
- the solution can either be totally software based capable on running on mobile phones or hardware driven or a combination of both.
- Also, it should not require data connection and should function in offline mode, as per the document.
- In case of hardware base solution, for the purpose of easy operation the device is suggested to be
- battery operated,
- rechargeable and
- small and handy and
- should not require additional light source including day light.
- The tender document also added that the device/mechanism should not authenticate the genuineness or otherwise of the banknote and the user may ascertain the same separately.
- India has changed its over four-decade-old definition of blindness, bringing it in line with the WHO criteria.
- According to the new definition, a person who is unable to count fingers from a distance of three metres would be considered “blind” as against the earlier stipulation of six metres, which was adopted in 1976.
- Going by the new definition, the population of blind people in India will reduce from 1.20 crore (as per National Blindness survey 2007 data) to 80 lakh.