The first Indian rupee was equivalent to 40 copper pieces (paisa). The word rupee was derived from the Sanskrit “raupya” which means silver. Silver has been the standard material for the production of rupees. Later on, it led to a great setback when the major economies switched to the gold standard. India was then under the British government, and the rupees were replaced by the pound sterling for trade. Unfortunately, the people had found it hard to conform to the new monetary system. The British government gave up eventually, and settled on restricting the rupee’s exchange rate of 15 rupees per 1 pound.
In 1996, the Mahatma Gandhi series of notes were introduced in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1000 Rs. (INR). There was also a zero rupee note circulating as form of protest by a NGO in India.
A rupee is divided into 100 paise. Coins were also distributed in denominations of 50 paise, 1, 2, 5, and 10 rupees. In terms of numerals or the money counting system, there is the lakh which is equivalent to 100,000, and the crore, equal to 10,000,000. There is a different numeric system in India. For example, 2,10,60,523.50 INR is read as two crores, 10 lakhs, sixty thousand, five hundred twenty three rupees, and twenty five paise. The units million and billion are not popular in the country.
Indian rupee can’t be converted freely. When exchanging, be sure to provide the necessary documents and receipts for smoother transaction. Only Indian nationals can import or export a maximum of 5000 rupees. Nepal also prohibits the 500 and 1000 rupee notes.
The image of Mahatma Gandhi is noticeable in most of the bills. He was regarded as a pillar of the Indian Independence Movement through his belief of the civil disobedience principle. By definition, it is the act of respectful opposition, through non-violent methods, in showing resistance against forms of tyranny and unfair laws.