MYSURU:The most recognised image of the father of the nation that everyone comes across everyday is, perhaps, carried on Indian currencies. Sometimes it is a shade of red or yellow, depending on the note, but mostly it’s mint green—a much-loved colour that is synonymous with wealth and power. However, the ink that brings to life these colours comes from some international market. But if Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to use Indian paper and ink to print currency notes becomes a reality, the dream of Mysore Paints and Varnish ltd (MPVL) to lend their colour to Indian notes would turn true.
Modi’s recent announcement had MPVL, a government of Karnataka undertaking which makes voters’ ink, hopeful. MPVL has approached the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to seek licence to manufacture the currency ink.
The Reserve Bank of India that prints the currency notes at its printing presses in Mysuru, Solbani (near Kolkata) and in Nagpur, imports ink and paper to print Indian currency notes. Ananthu, MPVL chairman, said he had sought the appointment of the Prime Minister to put forth his case and get permission for manufacturing the ink. MPVL already has the distinction of producing indelible ink used to mark voters’ fingernail. It is the sole manufacturer of this ink in the country. This ink has been used in every election in India since 1961.
MPVL has also supplied the ink to other countries on the Election Commission’s request. However, it has maintained the secrecy of the formula for preparing this ink. MPVL is keen to strengthen the research and development wing and expand its unit if the Finance Ministry approves.