Public TV takes lessons from Rajinikanth! Mints nano GPS Rs 2000 notes in studio!
Many laymen after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetization of high denomination currency notes fell prey to a hoax spread in WhatsApp groups. The hoax said – “fresh Rs 2000 note has a new feature and is embedded with nano GPS to facilitate tracking the circulation, a measure taken to curb black money.”
It’s no strange, common people believing hoax or false information that spread like wildfire in the internet era. However, a worrisome development is – journalists, that too, editors of news media getting swayed to the tune of hoax. While many news websites starting from November 8 trumpeting Modi’s move wrote pieces ‘formalising’ this hoax. Among them is a tough, overenthusiastic anchor-cum-editor of Kannada news channel (Public TV) H R Ranganath alias Ranganna.
It is in fact surprising to see Ranganath airing false information about Rs 2000 notes embedded with nano GPS in order to track currency movements, given the track record of this veteran journalist in Kannada journalism horizon. In one of his past interviews to News Laundry, he, in fact, looked as a wise, intelligent and reformer of journalism that is becoming feeble day by day in terms of ethics, morality, accuracy, reporting and business. He told the interviewer – “having a small amount of money, how he brilliantly managed to build an honest television house.”
According to insiders of Public TV, it’s a longstanding problem with Ranganath. “He has been committing factual errors in his prime-time show since many months.” An insider said, nano GPS is not the first case and there are umpteen numbers of such examples.
A flaw on nano GPS!
Anchoring the prime-time show in the night hours of November 8, Ranganath in a phone-in asks a so-called economic expert “how recalling 500/1000 notes help in stopping black money menace when the government is introducing a high denominator Rs 2000 currency paper?” The economic expert responds loudly saying “according to my information, new notes will have nano GPS feature. This will help the economic intelligence wing to keep a track of notes those are left to circulation.”
Interrupting the expert, Ranganath deliberates the expert to come again with the explanation to make this technology understand to viewers of Public TV. The expert repeating it again went on to claim that stashing Rs 2000 cash in bulk, at least 120 feet under the ground, is no worry as satellites can track this into this deep.
Are Rs 2000 notes embedded with nano GPS?
No, it is not. According to experts, it is not impossible to embed nano GPS to notes. But it is very much costly affair and completely impractical. This will increase the cost of preparing each Rs 2000 notes which will be left to circulation replacing 38.6% of Rs 1000 notes declared void from the midnight of November 8. The smallest GPS chip is apparently made by an Israeli company and even that measure around 10mm x 10mm x 3.8mm.
However, on the other hand, another news doing the rounds is notes may have RFID tag. But even that is just a possibility. It is not a surety. A number of countries are working to embed the RFID tags in bank notes so that they can be tracked and identified in certain cases. Bank notes like Rs 2,000, due to their high-value, are perfect candidates for an RFID tag. But even with the RFID the technology is not entirely ready.
Lack of accuracy and fallouts:
During frenzied time and utter chaos, the responsibility of the media is to disseminate accurate information worthy to people. As all most all in the nation are participants of this union government’s move, editors have more responsibility in double checking the information that arrives at the desk.
According to BARC rating statistics, Ranganna is popular among rural mass due to his rural-styled accent. With this error, one may think of, by now how many might have been believing this lie as true and passing this to others further spreading misinformation.