Intelligence and security forces including the Border Security Force and the National Investigation Agency have seized several fake Rs 2,000 notes that they believe came from outside India, just three months after they were introduced following the Narendra Modi-led government’s decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000, The Indian Expressreported on Monday. The fake notes are being manufactured in Pakistan and being pushed to India through its border with Bangladesh, according to the report.
While the first such seizures of the fake notes were recorded on January 22 and February 4, the latest seizure were reported on February 8 from Murshidabad in West Bengal. On that occasion, a man from the state’s Malda district was arrested for carrying 40 fake Rs 2,000 notes. Azizur Rahman told investigators that the notes were printed in Pakistan with the help of the country’s Inter-Services Intelligence, according to officials who spoke to the daily. The officials further said that smugglers were being asked to pay between Rs 400-Rs 600 in genuine currency for each fake Rs 2,000 note.
A study by investigators also found that at least 11 of the 17 security features on the new notes had been successfully replicated by counterfeiters. The replicated features reportedly include a transparent area on the note, its watermark, the emblem of the Ashoka Pillar and the Reserve Bank of India’ guarantee clause. An official told the Express that the quality of fake notes was improving steadily. “Last month, the fake Indian currency note smugglers pushed some sample notes...in small numbers to check their feasibility for circulation. We fear that they will be seen in the market very soon,” the official said.
Separately, an official from the Securities Printing and Minting Corporation of India Limited said the security features in the new notes were similar to the ones on Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. “There was no time to introduce additional security features in the remonetised Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 notes as the decision was taken only five months ago,” the unidentified SPMCIL official said.
On November 8, Modi had announced that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes would no longer be legal tender. He had said the move was taken to fight corruption, black money and counterfeiting. The scrapping of old notes led to severe cash cruch in the country. Modi had asked for time till December 30 for the situation to get back to normal.
Modern home design trends that are radically changing living spaces in India
From structure to finishes, modern homes embody lifestyle.
Homes in India are evolving to become works of art as home owners look to express their taste and lifestyle through design. It’s no surprise that global home design platform Houzz saw over a million visitors every month from India, even before their services were locally available. Architects and homeowners are spending enormous time and effort over structural elements as well as interior features, to create beautiful and comfortable living spaces.
Here’s a look at the top trends that are altering and enhancing home spaces in India.
Cantilevers. A cantilever is a rigid structural element like a beam or slab that protrudes horizontally out of the main structure of a building. The cantilevered structure almost seems to float on air. While small balconies of such type have existed for eons, construction technology has now enabled large cantilevers, that can even become large rooms. A cantilever allows for glass facades on multiple sides, bringing in more sunlight and garden views. It works wonderfully to enhance spectacular views especially in hill or seaside homes. The space below the cantilever can be transformed to a semi-covered garden, porch or a sit-out deck. Cantilevers also help conserve ground space, for lawns or backyards, while enabling more built-up area. Cantilevers need to be designed and constructed carefully else the structure could be unstable and lead to floor vibrations.
Butterfly roofs. Roofs don’t need to be flat - in fact roof design can completely alter the size and feel of the space inside. A butterfly roof is a dramatic roof arrangement shaped, as the name suggests, like a butterfly. It is an inverted version of the typical sloping roof - two roof surfaces slope downwards from opposing edges to join around the middle in the shape of a mild V. This creates more height inside the house and allows for high windows which let in more light. On the inside, the sloping ceiling can be covered in wood, aluminium or metal to make it look stylish. The butterfly roof is less common and is sure to add uniqueness to your home. Leading Indian architecture firms, Sameep Padora’s sP+a and Khosla Associates, have used this style to craft some stunning homes and commercial projects. The Butterfly roof was first used by Le Corbusier, the Swiss-French architect who later designed the city of Chandigarh, in his design of the Maison Errazuriz, a vacation house in Chile in 1930.
Skylights. Designing a home to allow natural light in is always preferred. However, spaces, surrounding environment and privacy issues don’t always allow for large enough windows. Skylights are essentially windows in the roof, though they can take a variety of forms. A well-positioned skylight can fill a room with natural light and make a huge difference to small rooms as well as large living areas. However, skylights must be intelligently designed to suit the climate and the room. Skylights facing north, if on a sloping roof, will bring in soft light, while a skylight on a flat roof will bring in sharp glare in the afternoons. In the Indian climate, a skylight will definitely reduce the need for artificial lighting but could also increase the need for air-conditioning during the warm months. Apart from this cleaning a skylight requires some effort. Nevertheless, a skylight is a very stylish addition to a home, and one that has huge practical value.
Staircases. Staircases are no longer just functional. In modern houses, staircases are being designed as aesthetic elements in themselves, sometimes even taking the centre-stage. While the form and material depend significantly on practical considerations, there are several trendy options. Floating staircases are hugely popular in modern, minimalist homes and add lightness to a normally heavy structure. Materials like glass, wood, metal and even coloured acrylic are being used in staircases. Additionally, spaces under staircases are being creatively used for storage or home accents.
Exposed Brick Walls. Brickwork is traditionally covered with plaster and painted. However, ‘exposed’ bricks, that is un-plastered masonry, is becoming popular in homes, restaurants and cafes. It adds a rustic and earthy feel. Exposed brick surfaces can be used in home interiors, on select walls or throughout, as well as exteriors. Exposed bricks need to be treated to be moisture proof. They are also prone to gathering dust and mould, making regular cleaning a must.
Cement work. Don’t underestimate cement and concrete when it comes to design potential. Exposed concrete interiors, like exposed brick, are becoming very popular. The design philosophy is ‘Less is more’ - the structure is simplistic and pops of colour are added through furniture and soft furnishings.
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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Birla Gold Premium Cement and not by the Scroll editorial team.