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New 500 and 2000 Rupee Notes Introduced

The Indian 2000-rupee banknote (₹2000) is the new denomination of the Indian rupee. It was revealed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 8 November 2016 after the demonetisation of ₹500 and ₹1000 banknotes and is in circulation since 10 November 2016. It is a part of the Mahatma Gandhi New Series of banknotes with a completely new design. The Indian ₹2000 rupee note is the highest denomination of currency note printed by RBI that is in active circulation.

The next lower denomination is 500-rupee banknote (₹500). The current ₹500 banknote, in circulation since 10 November 2016, is a part of the Mahatma Gandhi New Series. The previous banknotes of the Mahatma Gandhi Series, in circulation between October 1997 and November 2016, was demonetized as mentioned below.

500 and 1000 Rupee Note Demonetisation

Government of India demonetised ₹500 and ₹1000 banknotes on 8 November 2016, ceasing the use of all ₹500 and ₹1000 banknotes of the Mahatma Gandhi Series as a form of legal tender in India from 9 November 2016. The announcement was made by the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi in an unscheduled live televised address to the nation at 20:15 Indian Standard Time (IST) the same day. In the announcement, Modi declared use of all ₹500 and ₹1000 banknotes of the Mahatma Gandhi Series as invalid from midnight of the same day and announced the issuance of new ₹500 and ₹2000 banknotes of the Mahatma Gandhi New Series in exchange for the old banknotes.

However, the banknote denominations of ₹100, ₹50, ₹20, ₹10 and ₹5 of the Mahatma Gandhi Series continued to remain as legal tender and were unaffected by the policy. The government claimed the demonetisation move as an effort to stop counterfeiting of the current banknotes allegedly used for funding terrorism, as well as a crack down on black money in the country. The move is also aimed at reducing corruption, drug menace and smuggling. The demonetization received support from several bankers as well as from commentators outside the country, although it was criticised by members of the opposition parties. In the days following the move, banks faced severe cash shortages. People seeking to exchange their notes had very long queues at the banks.

E-visa for 43 countries, big boost for tourism industry

New Delhi: 28 Nov 2014 (TNN)
Giving the tourism sector a significant push, the government on Thursday launched the much-touted online visa facility for 43 countries, including the US, Australia, Japan, Israel, Germany and Singapore. Travellers can apply for a visa from the comfort of their homes and receive it within 72 hours. The electronic travel authorization (ETA) will be valid for 30 days and the visa fee has been fixed at $62. Those travelling on leisure, short duration medical treatment, casual business visit or to meet friends and relatives will be eligible to apply. The facility will be made available at nine airports in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kochi, Goa, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Thiruvanathapuram.

Home minister Rajnath Singh said, “We want to promote tourism in the country in a big way. The contribution of tourism in GDP is approximately 7% and we want to double it...Barring those who are `high-risk' countries, we will extend this facility to almost every country in the world phase-wise.“ Congratulating all those in volved in the launch of the e-visa system, tourism minister Mahesh Sharma said, “This is a historic day for tourism sector. The facility has opened the country to a vast world.“

Visa-On-Arrival For Oz Tourists

TNN & AGENCIES - 18 Nov 2014

In an encore of his thunderous Madison Square Gardens performance in New York, PM Narendra Modi enthralled the strong Indian diaspora and senior Australian politicians alike at a packed Allphones Arena in Sydney as he spoke emphatically about the need to fulfill the aspirations of a young Indian nation.

Addressing a frenzied audience of around 21,000 people, who kept chanting “Modi, Modi” throughout his 90-minute speech, the PM sought to woo the NRI community as he announced a two-month deadline for the merger of OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) and PIO (Persons of Indian Origin) status.

He also assured Australian tourists of visa-on-arrival facility in a speech laced with analogies drawn from cricket, which binds the two countries. Modi said his government was working on visa-on-arrival for Australian tourists and said the PIO and OCI status will be merged ahead of Pravasi Bhartiya Divas to be held from January 7 in Ahmedabad.

Modi also stressed on the Clean India campaign saying more tourists would come if the country was cleaner. He also asked the Indian diaspora to extend their support to the campaign and said they could contribute significantly in developing the villages they come from. “I request you to contribute. God has given you so much,“ he said.

ISRO's Mars mission successful, India makes history!
Chennai/ Bangalore (TOI): India created history on September 24, 2014, becoming the first country to successfully get a spacecraft into the Martian orbit on its maiden attempt. Indian Space Research Organization's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) spacecraft started orbiting the red planet at 7.47am, but it was only 12 minutes later — because of a time delay in radio signals travelling the 680 million km — that scientists at Isro Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network in Bangalore, could erupt in joy as Prime Minister Narendra Modi stood a happy witness.
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller
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