It is difficult for you to identify a genuine 500-rupee note from a counterfeit one as the currency being smuggled into India by inimical agencies is now a closer imitation of the original, Delhi Police have cautioned. Officers of the Delhi Police Special Cell point to the role of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency in pushing through notes which have a greater resemblance to India’s high denomination Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 notes.

A small floral design on the front and obverse of the note has an accurate back-to-back registration. The design will appear as one floral design when seen against the light.

A feature in intaglio – raised print – has been introduced on the left of the watermark on all notes except the 10-rupee note. There are different shapes for various denominations (a circle for Rs.500). It helps the visually impaired. Number panels of notes are printed in fluorescent ink. The notes also have optical fibres. Both can be seen when the notes are exposed to an ultra-violet lamp.The Mahatma Gandhi series of banknotes contain Gandhi’s watermark in light and shade and multi- directional lines in the watermark window Optical variable ink is a new security feature incorporated in the Rs.1,000 and Rs.500 notes, with a revised colour scheme introduced in November 2000. The numeral appears green when the note is held flat and changes to blue when held at an angle. The portrait of Mahatma Gandhi, the RBI seal, the guarantee and promise clause, the Ashoka Pillar and the RBI governor’s signature are in intaglio, which can be felt by touch.The Rs.500 note contains a readable security thread alternatively visible on the obverse with the inscriptions ‘Bharat’ and ‘RBI’. When held against light, the thread can be seen as a continuous line. Micro-lettering appears between the vertical band and Mahatma Gandhi’s portrait. Notes of Rs.20 and above contain the denominational value in micro letters. On the obverse of Rs.500 notes, a vertical band on the right of Mahatma Gandhi’s portrait incorporates a latent image of the denomination in numerals.

Delhi Police said that they have been noticing for the past few months that differences between genuine and counterfeit notes were reducing and that around five such differences have actually disappeared. “The paper being used to make the fake notes is now more similar. The stiffness is almost the same. The security thread (in the right half) on fake notes also resembles that on the genuine currency. “The watermark (the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi in light and shade) has also been nearly matched,” an officer, who did not want to be named.