The rupee (रुपया) (code: INR) is the currency of India. The issuance of the currency is controlled by the Reserve Bank of India. The most commonly used symbols for the rupee are Rs, ₨ and रू. The ISO 4217 code for the Indian rupee is INR. The modern rupee is subdivided into 100 paise (singular paisa).
In most parts of India, the rupee is known as the rupee, roopayi (రూపాయి) (ರೂಪಾಯಿ), rubai (ரூபாய்), roopa (രൂപ) or one of the other terms derived from the Sanskrit rupyakam (Devnagari: रूप्यकं), raupya meaning silver; rupyakam meaning (coin) of silver. However, in West Bengal, Tripura, Orissa, and Assam, the Indian rupee is officially known by names derived from the Sanskrit ṭanka. Thus, the rupee is called টাকা ṭaka in Bengali, টকা tôka in Assamese, and ଟଙ୍କା ṭôngka in Oriya, with the symbol ৳, and is written as such on Indian banknotes
For example, the amount INR 1,25,84,729.25 is spoken as one crore twenty-five lakhs eighty-four thousand seven hundred twenty-nine rupees and twenty-five paise (see Indian numbering system).
India was one of the earliest issuers of coins (circa 6th century BC). The first "rupee" is believed to have been introduced by Sher Shah Suri (1486-1545), based on a ratio of 40 copper pieces (paisa) per rupee. Among the earliest issues of paper rupees were those by the Bank of Hindustan (1770-1832), the General Bank of Bengal and Bihar (1773-75, established by Warren Hastings) and the Bengal Bank (1784-91), amongst others.
During British rule, and the first decade of independence, it was subdivided into 16 annas. Each anna was subdivided into 4 paise (also written pice) or 12 pies. Until 1815, the Madras Presidency also issued a currency based on the fanam, with 12 fanams equal to the rupee.
Historically, the rupee, derived from the Sanskrit word raupya, which means silver, was a silver coin. This had severe consequences in the nineteenth century, when the strongest economies in the world were on the gold standard. The discovery of vast quantities of silver in the U.S. and various European colonies resulted in a decline in the relative value of silver to gold. Suddenly the standard currency of India could not buy as much from the outside world. This event was known as "the fall of the rupee."
In 1898, the rupee was tied to the gold standard through the British pound by pegging the rupee at a value of 1 shilling 4 pence (i.e., 15 rupees = 1 pound). In 1920, the rupee was increased in value to 2 shillings (10 rupees = 1 pound). However, in 1927, the peg was once more reduced, this time to 1 shilling 6 pence (13⅓ rupees = 1 pound). This peg was maintained until 1966, when the rupee was devalued and pegged to the U.S. dollar at a rate of 7.5 rupees = 1 dollar (at the time, the rupee became equal to 11.4 British pence). This peg lasted until the U.S. dollar devalued in 1971.
The Indian rupee replaced the Danish Indian rupee in 1845, the French Indian rupee in 1954 and the Portuguese Indian escudo in 1961. Following independence in 1947, the Indian rupee replaced all the currencies of the previously autonomous states. Some of these states had issued rupees equal to those issued by the British (such as the Travancore rupee). Other currencies included the Hyderabad rupee and the Kutch kori.
In 1957, decimalisation occurred and the rupee was divided into 100 naye paise (Hindi for "new paise"). In 1964, the initial "naye" was dropped. Many still refer to 25, 50 and 75 paise as 4, 8 and 12 annas respectively, not unlike the usage of "bit" in American English for ⅛ dollar.
Some Indian shops in the United Kingdom have accepted Rupees.
Copper denominations were more varied. Bengal issued 1 pie, ½, 1 and 2 paise. Bombay issued 1 pie, ¼, ½, 1, 1½, 2 and 4 paise. In Madras, there were copper coins for 2, 4 pies, 1, 2 and 4 paisa, with the first two denominated as ½ and 1 dub or and rupee. Note that Madras also issued the Madras fanam until 1815.
All three Presidencies issued gold mohurs and fractions of mohurs, including , ⅛, ¼ and ½ in Bengal, (a gold rupee) and ⅓ (pancia) in Bombay and ¼, ⅓ and ½ in Madras.
In 1835, a single coinage for the EIC was introduced. It consisted of copper , ¼ and ½ anna, silver ¼, ½ and 1 rupee and gold 1 and 2 mohurs. In 1841, silver 2 annas were added, followed by copper ½ pice in 1853. The coinage of the EIC continued to be issued until 1862, even after the Company had been taken over by the Crown.
In 1906, bronze replaced copper for the lowest three denominations and in 1907, a cupro-nickel 1 anna was introduced. In 1918 and 1919, cupro-nickel 2, 4 and 8 annas were introduced, although the 4 and 8 annas coins were only issued until 1921 and did not replace their silver equivalents. Also in 1918, the Bombay mint struck gold sovereigns and 15 rupee coins identical in size to the sovereigns as an emergency measure due to the First World War.
In the early 1940s, several changes were implemented. The anna and ½ pice ceased production, the ¼ anna was changed to a bronze, holed coin, cupro-nickel and nickel-brass ½ anna coins were introduced, nickel-brass was used to produce some 1 and 2 annas coins, and the composition of the silver coins was reduced from 91.7% to 50%. The last of the regal issues were cupro-nickel ¼, ½ and 1 rupee pieces minted in 1946 and 1947.
Between 2005 and 2007, new, lighter 1, 2 and 5 rupee coins were introduced, all struck in ferritic stainless steel. The move was prompted by the melting down of older coins whose face value was less than their scrap value.
The coins commonly in circulation are 50 paise, 1, 2 and 5 rupees. Although they remain valid, 5, 10, 20 and 25 paise coins have become increasingly rare in regular usage.
|Value||Technical parameters||Description||Date of|
|Diameter||Mass||Composition||Shape||Obverse||Reverse||first minting||last minting|
|5 paise||22 mm (diagonal)||1.5 g||Aluminium||Square||Emblem of India||Value||1957||1994|
|10 paise||16 mm||2 g||Ferritic stainless steel||Circular||1961||1998|
|20 paise||27 mm (longest)||2.2 g||Aluminium||Hexagon||1982||1994|
|25 paise||19 mm||2.83 g||Ferritic stainless steel||Circular||Emblem of India, value||Rhinoceros||1973||–|
|50 paise||22 mm||3.79 g||Parliament of India, map of India||–|
|Rs. 1||25 mm||4.85 g||Emblem of India||Value, cross||2005||–|
|Rs. 2||27 mm||5.62 g||Emblem of India||Value, cross||2005||–|
|Rs. 5||23 mm||6 g||Emblem of India||Value, wavy lines||2007||–|
The coins are minted at the four locations of the India Government Mint.
The Reserve Bank of India began note production in 1938, issuing 2, 5, 10, 100 and 1000 rupee notes, while the Government continued to issue 1 rupee notes.
|Mahatma Gandhi Series|
|Image Obverse||Value||Dimensions||Main Colour||Description||Date of issue|
|Rs. 5||117 × 63 mm||Green||Mahatma Gandhi||Tractor||2002|
|Rs. 10||137 × 63 mm||Orange-violet||Rhinoceros, elephant, tiger||1996|
|Rs. 20||147 × 63 mm||Red-orange||Palm trees||2002|
|Rs. 50||147 × 73 mm||Violet||Parliament of India||1997|
|Rs. 100||157 × 73 mm||Blue-green at center, brown-purple at 2 sides||Himalaya Mountains||1996|
|Rs. 500||167 × 73 mm||Olive and yellow||Dandi March||1997|
|Rs. 1000||177 × 73 mm||Pink||Economy of India||2000|
The current series, which began in 1996, is called the Mahatma Gandhi series. Currency notes are printed at the Currency Note Press, Nashik, Bank Note Press, Dewas, Bharatiya Note Mudra Nigam (P) Limited presses at Salboni and Mysore and at the Watermark Paper Manufacturing Mill, Hoshangabad.
Each banknote has its amount written in 17 languages (English & Hindi on the front, and 15 others on the back) illustrating the diversity of the country. ATMs usually give Rs. 100 and Rs. 500 notes and Rs. 1000 notes. Rs. 1000 notes are analogous to the higher valued notes of the United States dollar and the euro.
In recent years, the banknotes were slightly modified to include see through registration on the left side of obverse. In addition, the year is now printed on the reverse. EURion constellation was added to Rs. 100. The revised Rs. 10, 20 were issued in 2006, and Rs. 50, 100, 1000 in 2005.
The language panel on Indian rupee banknotes display the denomination of the note in 15 of the 22 national languages of India.
Also affecting convertibility is a series of customs regulations restricting the import and export of rupees. Legally, foreign nationals are forbidden from importing or exporting rupees, while Indian nationals can import and export only up to 5000 rupees at a time, and the possession of 500 and 1000 rupee notes in Nepal is prohibited.
RBI also exercises a system of capital controls in addition to the intervention (through active trading) in the currency markets. On the current account, there are no currency conversion restrictions hindering buying or selling foreign exchange (though trade barriers do exist). On the capital account, foreign institutional investors have convertibility to bring money in and out of the country and buy securities (subject to certain quantitative restrictions). Local firms are able to take capital out of the country in order to expand globally. But local households are restricted in their ability to do global diversification. However, owing to an enormous expansion of the current account and the capital account, India is increasingly moving towards de facto full convertibility.