@anon30878 - I believe that bank notes in India originated with the British. They would have wanted all their colonies to follow the same system they had at home.
It was actually a bit of a surprise to realize how much bank notes have changed over the years, even fairly recently. I was watching an episode of Downton Abbey which is set less than a hundred years ago and at one point a character fished out twenty pounds to give to someone. They were old style, what would now be obsolete bank notes.
They looked more like certificates or contracts than what I would think of as cash.
I mean that makes sense, since that's basically what bank notes evolved from. They are still just a contract with the bank and the government that they are worth a certain amount of money.
But, it was still a surprise to see them like that.