British Council began operations by taking over from the Government the functions hitherto performed by the Controller of Currency and from the Imperial Bank the management of Government Accounts and Public Debt. The existing Currency Offices in Calcutta, Bombay, Madras, Rangoon, Karachi, Lahore and Cawnpore became the branches of the Issue Department of the Bank. (It was not then considered necessary to have an office in Delhi.).
Section 22 of the RBI Act, 1934, empowered it to continue issuing Government of India notes till its own notes were ready for issue. The Central Board of the Bank recommended that the Bank notes retain the general size, appearance and design of the existing notes, albeit with modifications.
Notes with the portrait of Edward VIII were scheduled for release in the summer of '37. But Edward's heart had its reasons and his abdication, at levels mundane, delayed the Bank's issues to January 1938 when the first Five Rupee note was issued bearing the portrait of George VI.
After Queen Victoria ,King George assended the Britian Throne,
Rupees Five - First Note issued by Reserve Bank of India
This was followed by Rs 10 in February, Rs 100 in March and Rs 1,000 and Rs 10,000 in June 1938.
Rupees One Hundred
Rupees One Thousand
Rupees Ten Thousand
The first Governor, Sir Osborne Smith did not sign any bank notes; the first Reserve Bank issues were signed by the second Governor, Sir James Taylor.
< < Sir Osborne Smith
Sir James Taylor> >
In August 1940, the one-rupee note was reintroduced, once again as a war time measure, as a Government note with the status of a rupee coin, in terms of the Currency Ordinance of 1940 (IV of 1940). The issuance of Rs 2 and Annas 8 was contemplated but Rs 2 was introduced instead on 3rd March , 1943.
Rupee One Obverse
Rupee One Reverse
During the war, Japanese Operations to destabilise Indian currency involved high quality forgeries, largely of Re 10 notes signed by Governor C.D. Deshmukh.
Sir C. D. Deshmukh
This necessitated a change in the watermark and obverse design from the profile portrait of George VI to his full frontal portrait. As an added security feature, the security thread was introduced for the first time in India.
George VI Profile
George VI Frontal
The George VI series continued till 1947 and thereafter as a frozen series till 1950 when post independence notes were issued.