Shaktikanta Das, Governor, the Reserve Bank of India said that India can launch its first digital currency trial programme by December 2021. Das stated, "We are being extremely careful about it because it's completely a new product, not just for RBI, but globally." The central bank is also discovering various aspects of digital currency including - security, impact on the financial sector, how would it affect the monetary policy and the currency in circulation.
Central banks in countries like China, UK, and other European countries are also exploring digital currencies which will be issued by them, either to commercial lenders or to the public directly. These are called Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC), - legal tender in digital form. CBDCs are nothing but virtual currencies or the digital version of their respective fiat currencies.
Hence, in India, that will be a digital rupee. The RBI is yet to be sure about having a centralised ledger for the digital currency or the distributed ledger technology (DLT). The central bank in India has been interested to launch digital currency for quite a long time. The bank was working in a 'phased implemental strategy' for the digital rupee. The trial programme is going to be a significant step up on that road.