The published articles are meant to primarily educate the students in printing to supplement their knowledge in the field of Printing. These are not simple Glossary of printing terms, but to the extent possible every term has been explained in brief so that it can be of some use to the students who appear in some sort of examinations and interviews.
I served the Printing Industry for over 40 years
in various capacities, a major part in an Security Printing Organization. In order not to waste the printing and paper related knowledge which I gained over years, I decided to keep them in public domain for the reason stated in prepara. Most of the illustrations - over 90% - have been generated by me to explain the terms suitably.
While I am not sure to what extent the published content will help, if the content is going to be of use to some one in some manner, I will be greatly satisfied.
Your views may be sent to me ( for my record and correction wherever needed.



- Over 400 terms-

Click on this line to read from 'A'

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Counterfeit Currency Reports and FIU

Counterfeit Currency Reports 
Financial Intelligence Unit
(Written by N.R. Jayaraman

There is growing concern on the issue of fake money in circulation not only in India, but also around the world. In spite of concentrated efforts made internationally to eradicate the menace of forged currencies, the result has not been fruitful in totally eliminating the menace. The only little consolation the authorities can have is that the measures taken by the Govt institutions and agencies have been able to make the task of counterfeiting more and more difficult unlike in the past when the fake currencies could be easily circulated with the help of colour copiers. Beyond making the task of forgery more and more difficult, nothing could be done to eliminate the menace as each passing day the menace is emerging in different manner, some of which are linked with terrorist sponsored states. Setting aside the primitive printing methods, criminals involved in the racket of fake currency use sophisticated gadgets to manufacture fake notes which conform to almost all security parameters.

In so far as India is concerned the counterfeit currencies flowing from across the border to aid terrorism, destroy economy and as regularly practiced by hoarders and mafia empires is alarming and cause of concern to the govt.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) which is the central agency for the printing and circulation of the Currencies for the Nation has been adopting multi prolonged approach like strengthening the security features in the currencies with worldwide acceptable features as well as various other steps as part of exercise in robust currency management. In this direction RBI is also planning to introduce plastic notes to reduce forgery and thwart other illegal activities related to circulation of fake currency .

In one of the advisories, the Govt through RBI reportedly conveyed that all the banks in the country, whether private, public or foreign and other similar financial intermediaries are mandated under anti-money laundering laws and other rules related to national security, to detect and send instances connected to and Counterfeit Currency Reports (shortly called CCR ) to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) which is the premier snoop gathering agency set up in 2004 for gathering and analyzing such instances in the country and the said agency was functioning under the control of the Finance Ministry. RBI has specified to the banking industry, the reporting formats and electronic data structure for submitting CCR vide a circular in the year 2008.

Counterfeit Currency Reports is defined as a suspicious alert report that includes details of even a single instance of counterfeit currency as detected by any bank. Upon receipt of the reports, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) after due analysis sends the Counterfeit Currency Reports to various other security and intelligence agencies in states and central units for appropriate action at their end.

To address the multidimensional aspects of the fake Indian currency note menace, several probe agencies are already working in tandem to thwart the illegal activities related to fake notes circulation. However in ground level since there were multiple agencies probing the cases of fake currency, their inputs varied from case to case and it became necessary to probe such instances on a case to case basis which resulted in projecting confused picture in identifying the motives or the agencies involved. Therefore the Govt desired that if a centralized nodal agency could study all the cases sent to it, it can then analyze all aspects including identifying and understanding the trend of fake Indian currency notes in the country.

The need for continuous and deeper study on fake notes was felt during one of the meetings of the Economic Intelligence Council, an apex body on financial crimes, whose deliberations according to the observers culminated into the above action plan finally resulting in the emergence of FIU. 

The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), an independent body reporting directly to the Economic Intelligence Council (EIC) headed by the Finance Minister was set up sometime in 2004 as the central national agency responsible for receiving, processing, analyzing and disseminating information relating to suspect financial transactions. FIU interact with Enforcement Directorate, Ministry of External Affairs, Intelligence Bureau, National Security Council and the Research and Analysis wing for effective functioning in achieving set targets under Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002, one of the target being  to receive, analyze and disseminate information on fake circulation of notes for providing useful information to law enforcing agencies for further action to curb the menace. In short FIU is interface between financial sector and enforcement agencies.

The Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002, and rule thereunder require every banking company, financial institution and intermediary, to furnish to FIU information relating to all cash transactions where forged or counterfeit currency notes or bank notes have been used as genuine or where any forgery of a valuable security or a document has taken place facilitating the transactions.

How seriously was the advisory responded by the Banking industry? It is learnt that in compliance to this directive, initially the response from the public sector banks was lukewarm and was a cause of concern to the Govt probe agencies as the public sector banks held the largest customer base in the banking industry and large money transactions were involved and surely here and there the entry of fake notes in transacted currencies could not be ruled out.

In view of the lukewarm response received from the public banks, the financial enforcement agencies in coordination with the Indian Banks' Association devised measures like pre warning signals and training programmes to quickly detect such currencies received by the public banks in order to ensure hundred per cent compliance in reporting this to the Financial Intelligence Unit.

On the other hand the private banks reportedly played effective role by detecting maximum number of Counterfeit Currency Reports over the years and reporting to Financial Intelligence Unit. Even then in the same corresponding years of reports sent by the private banks, the contribution of public sector banks were quite low as may be seen from the figures given in the following table.

(Data in table - Courtesy: )

In the last few years due to continuous and concentrated efforts of the Govt agencies, particularly FIU, there has been an increase in seizure of fake currency notes in the country due to the ever increasing reports received by FIU. As per the Annual report of FIU, during 2009-10 period the no of Counterfeit Currency Reports received by FIU shot up by 250 % i.e 1,27,781 reports compared to only 35,730 reports received during 2008-09 period. Efforts were made to ensure that even small incidents involving one or two fake notes were not left out from reporting.

The menace of fake note circulation is mainly on account of the criminal network from several neighboring countries that are pumping fake Indian currency notes into different parts of the country to disturb peace and destabilize the nation says the concerned officials. 

The Press Information Bureau press release dated 6th December 2014, notified the following information :

......To address the multidimensional aspects of the FICN (Fake Indian Currency Notes) menace, several agencies such as the RBI, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Home Affairs, Security and Intelligence Agencies of the Centre and States, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) etc., are working in tandem, to thwart the illegal activities related to FICNs. The work of these agencies is periodically reviewed by a nodal group (FCORD) set up for this purpose. FCORD (Fake Indian Currency Notes Coordination Cell) coordinates/shares all available information/intelligence and analysis on circulation/smuggling of FICN in the world. At the functional level, the CBI has been declared as the nodal agency for coordination with the Sates and the Directorate General of Revenue Intelligence has been nominated as the Lead Intelligence Agency for the purpose. National Investigation Agency (NIA) has been empowered to investigate and prosecute such offenses to deal with this menace. The government has also constituted a Terror Funding and Fake Currency Cell (TFFC) in NIA in 2010 to focus on investigation of Terror Funding and Fake Currency Cases. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has also strengthened the mechanism for detection of counterfeit notes by the banks.    (Courtesy- Source:
The sustained efforts of the Govt and RBI has not gone waste. Though the value of the seized currencies were almost same, there is decline in the quantity of Fake Indian Currency Notes in circulation for the period commencing from 2009-2012 as per the data provided by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

The basic problem on fake notes are that the fake notes in circulation at a given time is neither measurable, nor estimatable correctly due to multiple denominational notes involved and continuous flow of fakes into circulation, at the same time a part of them getting seized here and there in different states spread across the country. 
It is interesting to read what Dr M N Buch, Dean, Centre for Governance and Political Studies of Vivekananda International Foundation on the issue of fake currencies mentions. The following are few observations .  

According to Dr M N Buch contrary to the estimates of Nayak Committee which was set up by RBI to study the extent of fake currencies, which said that as on 2000 the value of fake currency in circulation in India was to the extent of Rs 1,69,000 crores, the figure as of 2005 could be around Rs 12,00,000 crores.

Dr M N Buch opined that 'the Fake Indian currency notes principally originate from Pakistan, but smuggled through various routes, using different modalities. Directly, smugglers make best use of train services and commercial trucks that run between Pakistan and India to push counterfeits into India. The most popular indirect routes are via UAE, Nepal and Bangladesh. Fake notes from Dubai are transported through air with the help of bonafide passengers or couriers appointed for the purpose. Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka are also used as transit points. International airports in Bangalore, Chennai, Calicut, Cochin, Hyderabad, Mangalore, Mumbai and New Delhi are identified as main landing points of counterfeits from abroad. Porous and weak land borders respectively with Nepal and Bangladesh are utilized by organized gangs to smuggle fake currency into India. It is also carried by infiltrators from Pakistan. Making use of weak maritime security, counterfeits have also been routed through sea. Once smuggled, the fake money is exchanged for original notes at roughly 2:1 ratio or even higher.  Interestingly, there has been a spurt in fake currency circulation especially since 2006, roughly when Pakistan intensified its proxy war against India'.

Dr M N Buch continued 'To distinguish between fake and real currency notes has become increasingly difficult mainly due to the fact that counterfeits are now printed with state of the art technology using security paper that is made available only to state actors. This clearly indicates involvement of government agencies in the neighborhood. Pumping fake currencies is one of the sub-conventional warfare strategies pursued by Pakistan against India. The objectives behind are to subvert Indian economy and to fund terror networks. According to a Planning Commission Report, the fake currency enables the adversary to obtain the services of individuals and groups in this country to act against our security interests at very low cost to itself. Once such conduits are established, they are used to push in drugs, explosives, weapons and trained terrorists.  For instance, investigations reveal that Rs 50 million that was incurred by the terrorists to trigger blasts in Hyderabad in 2007 and Rs three million spent on the attack on the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, in 2005 were generated mainly through fake currency. Apart from security, fake currency poses huge socioeconomic problem. Its impact on general crime on society is serious as more and more educated unemployed youth are attracted towards the counterfeit racket. In short, this can be dubbed as a dangerous facet of ‘economic terrorism’ confronted by India'. (Courtesy - Source: )

 No of counterfeit notes seized during various periods are shown in the following graph :

Friday, April 17, 2015

Currencies, Stamps and Coins with the portraits of Queen Elizabeth II

Written by N.R. Jayaraman
In our living memory, the credit for appearing in several of the Currencies, Bank Notes, Stamps and Coins issued by several nation goes only to Queen Elizabeth II, which perhaps remains an unbeaten record in Guinness book till now. She has surpassed the record of King George V whose portrait appeared in only 19 Currencies.

It is not unusual to find portraits of political figures, monarchs, or national leaders on banknotes issued by different countries all over the world. Their portraits are printed on Currencies, Stamps or even used in Coins to commemorate them. But the personalities so displayed on the Stamps, Currencies or Coins were limited to the personalities of their own country barring rare exceptions when the prominent personalities of other countries were displayed in stamps issued by other countries as a mark or respect or honor.

To quote a few personalities whose portraits appeared in different Currencies include personalities such as the Presidents of America in Currencies issued by U.S.A, Pakistan portraying their father of nation Jinnah, Brunei showcasing different Sultans, and India displaying the portrait of its father of nation Mahatma Gandhi on Bank notes issued in the name of MG series. None of these countries have portrayed the picture of personalities of other nation after they attained independence while India and Pakistan Currencies were released with the portraits of Victoria and George V during British rule. 

Some of the Currencies, Coins and Stamps 
issued by different countries like Australia, 
Canada, Jamaica, Man islands, New Zealand, 
 Mauritius etc  portraying  Queen Elizabeth II 

The Bank notes and Currencies of over 33 countries has the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. Perhaps in the world only one personality - Queen Elizabeth II finds portrayed in the Currencies and Bank Notes of more than 33 countries. 

Who is Queen Elizabeth II and why is that her portrait figures in the Currencies, Bank notes, Coins and even Stamps of other nations? This is an interesting question which needs to be answered. 

Born in a Royal family, initially Queen Elizabeth II became Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan and Ceylon upon the death of her father, George VI in the year 1952. With her her accession to power in 1952 Queen Elizabeth II remained the head of sixteen of the 53 member states in the Commonwealth of Nations. She was Head of the Commonwealth and Supreme Governor of the Church of England. From 1956 to 1992, the number of her realms* under her varied as territories gained independence and some realms* became republics (*Country/ State) .

Apart from United Kingdom, Queen Elizabeth II was also Queen of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, and Saint Kitts and Nevis, where she was represented by Governors-General. All those countries  issued Bank Notes and Currencies with the portrait of 
Queen Elizabeth II. The 16 countries of which she was queen are known as Commonwealth Realms*. 

The English monarch is also the monarch of Scotland, Wales, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and some other former colonies. The monarch is the head of state of Canada, while the head of the  government is the prime minister, just as in the United Kingdom of England, Scotland and Wales. Because Canada is member states in the Commonwealth of Nations Queen Elizabeth II   was basically Canada's Queen too.  Hence Canada too issue Coins and Currencies with her portraits.

Besides Currencies, Queen Elizabeth II is portrayed in the Coins and Stamps of some of the countries. The following  36 countries have issued coinage with The Queen's image: 

Canada, Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, East Caribbean States, Jamaica, Turks Caicos, Falkland Islands, St. Helena, Tristan da Cunha, South Africa, Rhodesia, East Africa, Nigeria, Mauritius, Seychelles, Hong Kong, Malaya British Borneo, Australia, New Zealand, Tokelau, Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Cyprus, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey, Isle of Man, and the UK.

Perhaps her eight year aged portrait, when she was princess figured in the Canadian currency, and again her portrait of 25 year age was also printed in Canadian Currency in 1967.  It was a great honor shown by Canada for their Monarch. It is also interesting to read that though Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne in U K in 1952, until 1960 her portrait did not appear on any of the Banknotes issued by the British Govt.  However her portrait first appeared on British Coins in the year 1953. Queen Elizabeth II has, of course, been portrayed on British currency for much of her reign, but she has also appeared on the money of various other British Commonwealth states and Crown dependencies.

In the Currencies, Coins and Stamps issued, the Queen was frequently shown in formal crown-and-scepter attire, although Canada and Australia preferred to depict her in a plain dress and pearls. While many of the countries preferred to reflect the Queen’s advanced aged portraits in the Currencies issued by them, few other countries preferred to retain the younger aged portrait of the Queen.  

Since 1952 till 2009 over 504 different designed Stamps have been released by U.K. that portraits the picture of Queen Elizabeth II.  Over the years, 26 different portraits of Queen Elizabeth II have been used in various Currencies. All the portraits appearing in the Currencies were not taken for the exclusive purpose of incorporating in the Currencies. Some of them were taken years before the Currencies were actually printed while some were specially commissioned for the purpose of printing on the Bank notes.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Withdrawal of Pre 2005 Bank notes

(Written by N.R. Jayaraman) 

Bank notes in India are currently issued in the denomination of Rs 10/-, Rs 20/-, Rs 50/-, Rs 100 /-, Rs 500/-, and Rs 1000/- by the Reserve Bank of India. These notes are called Banknotes as they are issued by the Reserve Bank of India and not by Government of India.

In one of the most important development, RBI on January 23, 2014, issued notification to all the branch banks informing that all old series of Bank notes issued before 2005 will be completely withdrawn from circulation. A press release was also issued by RBI for the consumption of the public to this effect notifying their decision. The withdrawal of Bank notes included all denominations pertaining to pre 2005 period commencing from Rs 10/- to Rs 1000/- deno bank notes.

The notification of RBI indicated that:
  • All older series of banknotes issued prior to 2005 would be acceptable for all kinds of monetary transactions only till March 31, 2014 after which the old currencies are to be exchanged with newer ones.  
  • In the meanwhile the pre 2005 issued Bank notes received by the banks will not be reissued to the public either over the counters or through ATMs and they have to be forwarded to the Reserve Bank of India.  
  • Thereafter the deadline set, the public will be required to approach branches of the banks which would provide them exchange facilities on an ongoing basis till end of June 2014. However from 1st of July 2014, if one exchanged more than ten pieces of Rs 500/- and 1000/- notes , bank branches should obtain from non-customers proof of their identity and residence, while the clause  will not be applicable to the regular customers.  Those notes will however continue to be legal tender till March 31, 2014** for all transactions.  {** However this deadline has  since been extended by Reserve Bank of  India till June 30, 2015}.
When the announcement was made by RBI, it was estimated that 36,984 million pieces of different denominations of notes of Rs 10/-, Rs 20/-, Rs 50/-, Rs 100/-, Rs 500/- and Rs 1,000/- rupee notes issued before 2005 valued at Rs 3,61,227 crore remained to be exchanged.  Out of them 3,055 million pieces of Rs 500/- deno notes valued at Rs 1, 52,728 crore and 421 million pieces of Rs 1,000/- notes valued at Rs 42,082 crore were in circulation till the end of March, 2005.

The announcement by RBI caused consternation and fear in the minds of people because of two past instances. In January 1946, in a surprise move  Rs 1000/- and Rs 10000/- currencies which were in circulation were demonetized primarily to curb unaccounted money as stated by RBI even though banknotes in Rs 1000/-, Rs 5000/- and Rs 10000/- were reintroduced in the year 1954. However again to the surprise of the market,  banknotes in denominations of Rs 1000/-, Rs 5000/- and Rs 10,000/- were demonetized in January 1978 to curb hording of money by the black marketers.

To allay the fear from the minds of people, RBI clarified that the present move to withdraw the pre 2005 issued notes was to check the fake notes in circulation and the announcement to withdraw old-series currency notes was not an attempt to demonetize but only to rationalize the notes with better security features. It was further clarified that such measure was in consonance with the standard international practice where in old series notes were withdrawn periodically at certain intervals before the newer ones were released so that multiple series of notes are not allowed to be in circulation at the same time. This effectively signaled that one should not accept the pre 2005 issued notes beyond April 1, 2014, and they will have to be got exchanged from the branches of banks.

When people were confused on how to identify the Bank notes printed prior to 2005, the banks advised that all the denominational notes which had no imprint of year of printing were pre 2005  issued notes and are to be exchanged.  All the Bank notes issued before 2005 do not have the year of printing on the reverse side. In notes issued after 2005, the year of printing is visible at the bottom of the reverse side. The printing of year on the back of the bank notes commenced only from 2005. 

Commencing from the year 2005, RBI issued bank notes incorporating  the year of printing on reverse of  Bank notes with  some more additional / new security features compared to the 1996 MG series of bank notes issued earlier. The Bank notes with additional security features in deno Rs 50/- and Rs 100/- were issued in August 2005, followed by Rs 500/- and Rs 1000/- denominations in October 2005, thereafter Rs 10/- in April 2006 and Rs 20/- in August 2006 respectively.

As per RBI information a majority of pre 2005 issued notes in circulation in MG series have already been withdrawn through various banks and only a limited number of notes remain with the public. The amount held by public as of December 23, 2005, was close to Rs 4 trillion, according to RBI data. This amount stood at Rs 12 trillion as of December, 2013. According to market estimates nearly 10-15 per cent of notes in circulation are fake notes.  

After the announcement to withdraw the pre 2005 Bank notes from circulation at the end of December 2014, RBI has reportedly shredded 144.66 crore pieces of such notes in different denominations valued at Rs 52,855 crore.

One may wonder how many pieces of Bank notes in each denomination may have been actually destroyed in this drive ? As per one data, 73.2 crore pieces of Rs 100 note (Rs 7,320 crore); 51.85 crore pieces of Rs 500 (Rs 25,925 crore), and 19.61 crore pieces of Rs 1,000 (Rs 19,610 crore) have been shredded in the the RBI's regional offices from January to October 2014.  The details of  destruction of lower denominations like Rs 10/-, Rs 20/-, Rs 50/- are not available.

Since several representations were received and targeted exchange had not occurred, RBI again issued two notifications extending the dead line for exchange of Pre 2005 issued Bank notes. First it was extended up to January 2015 vide circular dated March 03, 2014.  One of the important advise given by RBI in the said circular to the exchanging banks mentioned thus:


  •  ..............You are advised to facilitate the exchange of such notes for full value without causing any inconvenience to the public, whatsoever. These notes will retain their legal tender status and the public can continue to use these for any transaction/ payment.
  • .................As advised, please issue suitable instructions to all your branches to provide exchange facilities to members of public and to stop re-issue of the pre- 2005 series banknotes. Please also ensure that such notes are not dispensed through the ATMs/ over your counters. 
  • While  implementing this move RBI has not kept any exchange limit.  So standard rules like mentioning PAN number in  deposit challans while exchanging notes of value above Rs. 50,000/- was insisted.  Exchange transactions above 10 lakhs will be reported to Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.
In view of some more practical problems faced, the deadline of January, 2015 for exchanging pre-2005 currency notes of various denominations including Rs 500/- and Rs 1,000/- has been further extended by Reserve Bank of India by another six months i.e till June 30, 2015   till which period the pre 2005 issued bank notes could be exchanged without difficulty.

Seeking cooperation for withdrawing pre-2005 currency notes from circulation, the RBI has asked the public to deposit the pre 2005 issued notes in their bank accounts or exchange them at a bank branch at the earliest but as convenient to them before the deadline notified.

What impact will the RBI move have, and whether the stated intent of RBI is to bring uniformity in the Bank notes printed and to rationalize the notes with new security feature is true? The financial wizards opine that the move by RBI could be actually aimed at attacking the menace of inflow of fake currencies smuggled through neighboring country like Pakistan who is trying to wreck our economy and the banking system. The Government is also serious enough to flush out the black money slashed abroad and unearth the counterfeit currencies. RBI's present measure will certainly help the Govt in this direction.

When the new initiative was taken up by RBI, the market was abuzz with rumors that hawala transactions and slashed black money would be converted to gold and the hoarders of cash are clever enough to employ people to get pre 2005 issued Bank notes exchanged through banks. However it is not an easy job to do as any non banking customer exchanging more than ten Bank notes in denominations of Rs 500/- or Rs 1000/- deno will have to provide address proof and PAN number for exchanging notes of value above Rs. 50,000/-. This will certainly add to the problem of the black marketeers and hoarders.

Secondly since the announcement has been suddenly made those who has hoarded huge cache of the money will find the task extremely difficult to exchange the notes as an army of people will be needed to exchange the notes in short intervals. If the notes without imprint year of printing looks crisp and neat, it will only add up to the problem of depositor as the notes could be viewed with suspicion as fake notes and Banks may try to verify the source before issuing fresh notes in exchange. Therefore the hoarders of cash will automatically come under the scanner of the investigating agencies through the banks if they approach banks for exchange. Also it is impossible to change these notes through hawala since such notes have lost value. All avenues of illegal encashing such notes remain thus blocked now.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Reprographic Processes- Origin and development

(Written by N.R. Jayaraman)

Photocopying, widely used by general public, business houses, education institutions, and other governmental departments is a process that facilitates replica of the originals through specialized machine called Photo copier, which in general is called Xeroxing.

The process of Xerox photo copying was reportedly invented in the year 1938 by an American physicist called Chester F. Carlson, a patent attorney in New York, though the world’s first photo copier in the name of  Xerox machine was introduced by a U.S  firm in 1960s. Prior to the invention of photo copiers, duplicating the originals were done by manual process involving carbon paper, exposing chemical coated paper, mimeograph machines and other duplicating processes, but the problem of copying the illustrations remained a big problem. 

If one go through the history of copying they will be surprised to know  that the copying of documents is  not new phenomenon and was existing even during 2500 B.C. when scribes of Babylon and Egypt and copy clerks of Victorian era reportedly used  quills, pens and small tools to copy the documents on to clay, papyrus material, parchment sheets etc for preserving information.  

In the bygone era, say 500 to 600 years back the inscriptions found on the culverts and shrine walls  were medium for taking prints  by several historians and scholars, who were unable to take photo copies of the inscriptions (in view of lesser knowledge of photography in those days) for authenticating  the texts found on the culverts or shrine walls. They used to rub charcoal on the surface and pressed semi moist paper on them to get  prints for study and analysis in leisure.
Black Charcoal powder rubbed on the stone inscriptions 
and semi moist paper pressed against it to get prints

As the time passed,  instead of on clay, papyrus material, parchment sheets etc copying on paper commenced.  Throughout 20th century, the photo copying   in the name of  Xerography remained one of the most sought after techniques by the industries and researchers for documentation purposes especially in Libraries and Universities. Fax machines, digital printing etc were offshoots of Xerographic process in later years.  All theses  processes come under the art of Reprographic Process. At one stage of time, the process of Xerox, the new invention in 1980s were part of Reprographic process and intended mainly for educational institutions, Research institutes, commercial and Governmental work. 

Prior to this, sometime during 15-16th centuries, some people practiced the art of copying in a different style. The original drawings were redrawn on to another paper using carbon like paper or a copy redrawn by the artists themselves and either of them, either the original or the redrawn copy  were carefully pin pricked to create holes on the images to turn it into a stencil. Finely ground graphite or charcoal powder tied inside fine muslin clothes was dusted over the pin pricked areas to create image on to another semi moist paper kept below the pin pricked master to make few copies. The moist paper holding the finely dusted powders when dried held the image on to it thus remaining as copies. This practice led to the innovation of stencils in later era.

In the history of copying,  the copying process  played  important role in the documentation of records and extensively used by the scientific communities and scholars all over the world for research and to study historical archives. The Engineers who drew the engineering drawings preferred copies to make corrections on the copies without destroying the originals for comparison.  The copying process too helped in exchanging and circulating the messages especially during war time and to use the duplicate copies for litigation activities without destroying the original.

With the spurt in the research activities gaining ground all over the world, publication activities of research reports, scholarly journals and numerous other publications accelerated tremendously. Since one cannot be expected to keep the entire set of documents and only specific parts related to their scientific or research work may be required, copies of the specific pages  from all such documents were preferred both for personal reference and to use as exchange material. It was also easier that the select copies thus obtained could be gathered, collated, classified or categorized and stored for retrieval at appropriate time for their relevant study.  World over this facilitated the setting up of Documentation centers in the Scientific and Research institutions and to support the Libraries in the universities, colleges and schools etc  which became the nerve centre for gathering information from the stored material. Some reprographic equipments or facilities were therefore needed in such places to instantly take prints from the culled material.

Reprographic techniques enabled one to obtain several or even a single copy from the culled original document, the photo copies that resembled the original in all respects including the contents in the original, baring the size so that they can be verified appropriately as and when needed. The second most important aspect of photo copying was that several of the documents were available in  different languages and needed to be got translated from different places, the diagrams or drawings, especially the maps cannot be hand copied as even the minor error in reproduction can alter the subject. Therefore the reproduction of all kinds of documents cannot be done manually in entirety and some equipment or systems suitable to pick up and give true contents of the documents on another paper were needed whether one understood the language or not.

These factors lead to the ever increasing demand for the invention table top, time saving and quick to reproduce copying systems both for public use and Libraries and Documentation centers. Initially all the machineries and equipments used for these purposes were categorised as Reprographic equipments, Reprography meaning reproduction of documents. The initial set of eon back processes involved production of copies either in paper form or on storable, space saving films like Micro filming in 35 and 16 mm sizes and Microfiche which is a sheet of film, usually the size of a filing card, on which several pages of the books, newspapers, documents, etc, could be recorded in miniaturized form. 

Prior to emergence of Xerographic process of copying,  centuries ago several other processes for producing copies existed but most of which are now extinct and some have gone into obliteration. Some of those short lived processes include the following:- 
  • Ammonia and Blue print process where in specially treated chemical paper is exposed under the tracing paper and the chemically treated paper put in the ammonia gas chamber to produce  copies containing white images on blue background (negative image). They were mostly used for production of copies from Engineering drawings and Maps.
 Blue Print
  • Pellet Process is similar to blue print process, but produced positive image  on paper. A paper sensitized with ferric salts is exposed to UV light under a translucent paper that contained   images and then washed in ferrocyanide bath. A positive reading  blue image in white background is derived from original drawing on translucent tracing paper, without requirement of an intermediate negative.
  • Diazo process, again similar to Blue printing process, but involving paper sensitized with different other chemical called diazonium salts. The treated paper exposed under tracing paper and developed in ammonia gas chamber produce copies- Blue image with white background. 
  • Ferro Gallic Acid process is similar to blue print process that produces positive prints on paper. A paper sensitized with ferrochoride and tartaric acid and gum is exposed to UV light under a translucent paper that contains images and then washed in Gallic acid bath and water. A brownish print is derived from original drawn on translucent tracing paper, without needing an intermediate negative. 
  • Paperographic process where in a specially treated paper was converted into a stencil with special ink to reproduce multiple copies. 
  • Edison Stencils prepared using fine needle through a motor driven unit and then using it as stencil. The needle was called Edison electric pen. 
  • Heavy wax coated paper used as a stencil to cut the image with a hard nipped pen or knife to create pin hole and force the ink to pass through. This stencil was fixed on a machine called Mimeograph and copies taken. However the stencil could not accept the hand written text material. 
  • Mimeograph process is another stenciling process. The matter  is typed  directly on a waxed mulberry paper without ribbon on a Mimeograph typewriter machine. The wax coating on paper gets removed thereby  causing pinprick like holes in the areas of the text material. Once prepared, the stencil is wrapped around the ink-filled drum of the rotary or flat machine and   Turkey Red oil based ink is forced through the holes onto the paper. Early flatbed machines used a kind of squeegee. This process was known as Mimeograph process.
  • Polygraph process in which duplication of the document is done with a second pen moving parallel to one held by a writer as it is written. 
  •  Invented in Russia, the Hektographic process in which a master copy i.e. gelatine pad is imaged or written with special ink made of Aniline dyes. Then the sheets of fresh paper could be laid on top of the dye impregnated gelatine to transfer the image. This was good for short no of copies and was a slow process. 
  • This followed Spirit duplicating process called Ditto in which the the matter was typed or drawn on a special non absorbent, dye coated master paper. The image carrying paper was clamped on table top equipment fitted with a drum. With each rotation the moisture of the master sheet dissolved small faction of dye on to the paper producing copies, text material purple coloured. Often mistakenly referred to as mimeograph machines, spirit duplicators was invented in the 1920’s. Instead of ink, a solvent on each sheet of paper would dissolve some of the pigment from the stencil, with purple being a common color due to its better contrast.
  • Photostat paper exposed through the process camera that produced white letters on black background. Since this could reproduce text to line work to illustrations it was used to take several prints for researchers for documentation purposes .
 Photostat Camera with Prism to get readable copies

 Photostat Print - Black background 
with white letters (Negative print)
  • Kodograph process in which instead of negative working Photostat paper the auto positive paper was used to get positive prints directly from originals, even from worn or weak tracings in ordinary room light without negatives. The paper was known as Kodak Photostat positive paper. 

 Kodograph Print - Black letters
on white background (Positive print)
  • A reflex copying process called Reflectography, in which a special coated silver gelatine paper is placed face down on the printed matter, pressed into contact and exposed through the back of the silver paper. The light passing through the paper is reflected back from the white surface of the documents and reacts with the silver coated paper. On development it gave negative image i.e. white letters on dark background. 
  • A duplicating process developed by 3M called Adherography in which the images were formed by the adherence of powder to a tacky latent image created by the effect of infrared heat. This provided a master from which 200 to 250 copies could be made. The powder image of the resulting print was fused to the paper by heat. 
  • Thermo-Fax photocopying technology is based on dry silver process introduced by 3M. A thin sheet of heat sensitive  paper is placed on the original document to be copied, and exposed to infrared energy. The image areas in the original absorbed the infrared energy when heated and then transferred the heat on to the heat sensitive paper supplied by 3M thus producing a black image copy of the original. 
  • RCA (Radio Corporation of America) introduced Electrofax which used Zinc Oxide coated paper that held the electrostatic charge similar to selenium plate holding the electrostatic charge. The original when exposed to the zinc oxide paper removed the charges from the non image areas and black toner particles adhered to the areas still retaining the charge and fused them to stick on to the paper thus producing copies with black image.
Finally when the Xerographic process surfaced in the year 1949, many firms came out with various  models with different processes. Broadly the theory of Xerography is that a Electro photographically charged photosensitive selenium plate carried the images and accepted special toner powder and then to transfer them again on to a paper when reverse charged. The toner gets fused by heat and remain adhered  to the paper firmly. Initially the photo copying machines were inbuilt with flat surfaced selenium plates, but as the developmental activities progressed, cylindrical selenium drums were incorporated instead of flat surfaced plates on the machines.  Subsequently colour photo copies emerged. After years of research Canon invented another technology which replaced photo sensitive selenium with that of Cadmium Sulphate with a hard insulating coating that had higher durability.
The second improvement made by Canon is on the Toner, a dry powder that forms the printed text and images on the paper on photo copiers and printers. The toner used on the copiers is a mixer of carbon powder, iron oxide, and sugar. The particles in the toner that form the images are melted by heat to bind the images on to the paper. Originally when the photo copiers were invented the particle size of toners used to be around 14–16 micrometers or little more. In order to further improve the print quality reductions in particle size to produce finer resolution prints were developed by Canon through the application of new technologies such as Emulsion-Aggregation. Toner manufacturers maintain a quality control standard for particle size distribution in order to produce a powder suitable for use in their printers.  

With the advent of  digital printing in the copying process  that print copies even on   reels of paper process like blue printing has become irrelevant.