The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has embarked on a transformative journey to introduce a new series of banknotes, aiming to infuse innovation, thematic diversity, and enhanced security features. In an unprecedented move, the central bank has announced an Art Competition to engage local artists, designers, and art students in shaping the visual identity of the upcoming currency.

This visionary initiative comes as part of SBP's commitment to revamp the existing banknote series and address concerns related to counterfeit currency circulation within the country. Governor Jameel Ahmed, in a surprise announcement, emphasized the need for advanced security features and aesthetic appeal to combat the proliferation of fake notes.

The Art Competition invites participants to unleash their creativity on themes ranging from social and cultural identities to demographic diversity, climate change, economic development, natural landscapes, architectural heritage, and national symbols. The competition encourages novel designs and ideas that resonate with the rich tapestry of Pakistan's identity.

Artists have the option to submit designs for all seven existing denominations (Rs. 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000, and 5000) or focus on a subset based on their preferences. Each banknote's design should be presented in hard copy on white paper, accompanied by a write-up of no more than a hundred words in English or Urdu, explaining the design and its underlying theme.

One of the distinguishing factors of the new banknote series will be the unique and easily distinguishable colors for each denomination. The central bank aims to create visually striking currency that not only reflects the cultural richness of Pakistan but also incorporates advanced security measures to thwart counterfeit attempts.

To ensure a fair and meticulous evaluation, a jury comprising reputed artists will assess the designs. The top six designs for each denomination will be recommended to the SBP, which will then select the three winning designs for each denomination. The first, second, and third-place designs for each denomination will be awarded cash prizes of Rs.1,000,000, Rs.500,000, and Rs.300,000, respectively.

Participants are required to ensure that their submitted designs are free from any copyright claims or liabilities. The submitted designs will become the sole property of the SBP, allowing the central bank to share or modify the designs as needed for the purpose of banknote production without providing extra compensation.

The Art Competition presents a unique opportunity for local artists to contribute to the visual narrative of Pakistan's currency. It aligns with global trends where central banks are increasingly involving artists and the public in the design process to create currency that reflects the nation's cultural and historical ethos.

SBP has made it clear that the transition to the new currency will not mimic India's abrupt currency change, ensuring a smooth and well-thought-out process. The central bank's commitment to maintaining the integrity of Pakistan's monetary system is evident in this landmark decision to engage the artistic community in shaping the future of the country's banknotes. The designs submitted in the Art Competition will play a pivotal role in defining the aesthetic and security features of Pakistan's currency for years to come.

Written By Web Desk

The Webdesk of Times of Karachi is known for its captivating stories that cover a range of topics, including politics, society, culture, and entertainment.