Demonetisation Current Affairs - 2020

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RBI launches MANI application for visually challenged

On January 01, 2020, the Reserve Bank of India launched the MANI application for visually challenged persons to identify new currency notes that were launched after demonetization. MANI is Mobile Aided Note Identifier.

Highlights

MANI application scans currency notes using camera and gives audio output in Hindi and English. The Government of India launched several currency notes under “Mahatma Gandhi series”. Under the new series, denominations of Rs 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 2,000 were released before 2 years. There were challenges faced by visually challenged in identifying these notes. Hence, the application has been launched to help visually aided in easily identifying the notes. However, the application does not detect genuine or counterfeit notes.

Mahatma Series Notes

The Mahatma Gandhi Notes were introduced in 1996. The currency was called so as the notes prominently displays portrait of Gandhiji. These notes replaced the Lion Capital Series. These notes have several security features.

Security Features

They contain a security thread that can be seen as a straight line against a line source. Also, it contains the word “Bharat” written in Devanagari script. It reveals a hidden image of Mahatma when held against light source at an angle of 45 degrees. It also holds water mark and fluorescence. These notes were replaced by the Mahatma Gandhi (new) series that were launched in 2016.

The Intaglio Print

The currency notes hold intaglio print to help the visually impaired read the denominations. Intaglio is raised shape that are present in all notes other than Rs 10. Vertical rectangle is present in Rs 20, square in Rs 50, triangle in Rs 100, circle in Rs 500. Rs 2000 notes has a raised print of horizontal rectangle.

The application is a better means to identify the notes.

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Mind the Gap – State of Employment in India

Oxfam India’s latest report Mind the Gap – State of Employment in India makes the following observations:

  • Lack of quality jobs and increasing wage disparity are key markers of inequality in the Indian labour market.
  • The report states that the regressive social norms continue to hamper women’s participation in the workforce, pointing at the decline in rural jobs.
  • The report states that women are paid 34 per cent less than similarly qualified male workers for performing the same tasks. In 2015, 92 per cent of women and 82 per cent of men earned a monthly wage less than Rs 10,000 in India.
  • The report highlights the questions about India’s growth data and emphasises that they do not reflect in the growth of jobs and the largest number of jobs were generated in the unorganised sector.
  • Job generation was adversely impacted after demonetisation and hit the women workforce most. Women were forced to move out of the labour force to make way for men to get the few jobs that were available.
  • Post demonetisation period witnessed a drop in households with two or more persons employed. Between January and October 2016, the percentage of households where two or more persons were employed was 34.8% and this dropped to 31.8% post-demonetisation, with women workers becoming the first casualties of job losses.
  • Highlighting grim picture of ground realities the report states that caste and class continue to play crucial roles in determining the employment for men and women, especially in stigmatised vocations like sanitation, rag-picking, and jobs in the leather industry.

The report calls for a shift in development focus towards labour-intensive sectors to create more jobs and pushes for better work conditions to make jobs more inclusive. The report also calls for substantially higher investments in health and education to improve productivity.

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