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Mobiles to Detect Fake Notes

21-year-old engineering undergraduate’s project wins Rs 1 lakh prize at Innovation Challenge

If engineering student Neha M ever has a doubt whether the currency note in her hand is a fake, unlike the rest of us, she does not plan to rush to her bank or the police.

The 21-year-old has developed a mechanism using which a cellphone can double up as a counterfeit note detector. Her project won the Rs 1 lakh prize at the Innovation Challenge, organised recently by Schneider Electric India Private Limited, where Neha had competed with 150 entries from engineering colleges across the country.

Neha, a student of Vidya Vikas Institute of Engineering & Technology in Mysore, says, “The increasing number of counterfeit notes in the country prompted me to develop this device. A trained eye can detect a fake note, but not the common man.”

Hence, her aim was to empower the common man with a easily available device to help him detect fake notes. That’s why she decided to use a mobile phone for her project.

Neha is a student of Vidya Vikas Institute of Engineering & Technology
in Mysore


Neha started off seven months ago.

“I read a number of surveys by the Intelligence Bureau on the circulation of fake notes…features of currency notes, security features, including water markings and magnetic ink,” said Neha who is an alumni of Jyoti Nivas College at Koramangala. The most important tips came from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). “In October, the bank held an exhibition, where officials discussed various features of currency notes and how they are printed,” she said.

Neha took the opportunity to ask the officials about fake notes. Then, she faced a peculiar problem she wasn’t allowed to touch fake currency, as it is against the rules. “But, after much persuasion, I got to at least see the notes,” she recalls.


The research helped. She came to know the differences between genuine and fake currency.

1. If you hold a note against light, you will see the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi. Sophisticated fakes too will have the portrait, but it will not be as prominent as in a genuine note.

2. All notes, have water markings. These markings are made with magnetic ink, which counterfeit notes may or may not have.

3. A genuine note will glow when held in ultraviolet light, but not a fake note.

Neha receiving her prize cheque for her innovation

Using these points, Neha modified her phone to detect fake notes. “The modifications do not disturb any of the normal functions of the cellphone,” she says. The only requirement is that the cellphone should have the camera feature. However, she refused to reveal the specifics.

But, it was good enough to impress the judges at the Innovation Challenge where the Electronics & Communication Engineering student represented her college. She is hoping that some mobile phone company will pick up her invention. “I have done 60 per cent of the work. For the rest, which includes installing and design modification, I want a cellphone firm to endorse the software,” she says.

After basking in the glory of her victory for a few days, the young genius got straight back to the nitty gritty of her course. She is preparing for her VIIth semester exams. She wants to pursue higher studies in one of the IITs.

What to do when you get a fake note

Go to the nearest police station and lodge a complaint. An investigation will be conducted and eventually, the fake note will be sent to RBI

Or, visit your nearby bank and give them the counterfeit note. The bank will confiscate the note, file a police complaint and send the note to RBI

Source :

Bangalore Mirror


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