- Country: India
- Currency: Rupee
- Alias: Indian rupee
- ISO 4217 CODES: INR/356
- Symbol: Rs
The Indian rupee has served as the national currency of India for several hundred years, although it has undergone numerous transformations during that time. The most dramatic change involved a transition from an imperial-style currency system to a decimal-based system in 1957. The term rupee is derived from a Sanskrit word meaning “silver” and refers to the coloration of the coin form of the currency.
Background of the Indian Rupee
Long one of the crown jewels of the British Empire, India has experienced a dynamic transformation since gaining its independence in 1947, and is now considered to be the world’s largest democracy in terms of population size.
The currency was converted from an imperial-style system to decimal-based system in 1957. Prior to this point, the rupee was divided into 16 annas, and each anna was subdivided into 4 paise. The decimal conversion divided the rupee directly in 100 naye (or “new”) paise, rendering the “anna” denomination obsolete.
Modern rupee notes contain a number of security features to thwart counterfeiting. Another unique feature of rupee notes is that denominations are listed on each note in 15 different languages reflecting the broad ethnic diversity of the country. All currency is issued and regulated by the Reserve Bank of India.
The rupee is divided into 100 paise. Denominations for coins are 10p, 25p, 50p, Rs1, Rs2 and Rs5. Denominations for notes are Rs5, Rs10, Rs20, Rs50, Rs100, Rs500 and Rs1000.