Our lives always revolve around making money for living. Money is indeed very important to meet our needs for everyday routine. However, with PM Modi making so many changes in the matter of money, especially with demonetization and introduction of GST, it is all the more necessary to use the money more efficiently. Well, talking about Indian rupee, it is one of the most powerful currencies in the world.
Issued and controlled by the Reserve Bank of India, the Indian rupee has a very interesting history. There have been many changes since its inception, the introduction of Rs 2000 note being very recent.
Let’s go back into the history of the currency of the Republic of India and learn a little more about the development of Indian rupee. Here are 10 unknown and fun facts about Indian currency:
1. First paper currency
Interestingly, the first paper currency was introduced to the Indian citizens in the 18th century. Private banks like Bank of Hindustan, Bank of Bengal, Bank of Madras and Bank of Bombay were among the first ones to print the paper currency. Later, under the Paper Currency Act of 1861, the government of India was granted the monopoly to print the notes.
2. Multi-lingual connotations
A total of 17 languages appear on an Indian rupee note. Apart from Hindi and English, which appear on the front of the note, 15 languages appear in the language panel of the back side of the bank notes.
3. 5,000 and 10,000 rupee notes?
Yes, you read that right! Between 1954 and 1978, there were Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 Indian rupee notes in circulation in the country. Interestingly, the Indian currency notes were demonetized in 1946 and again in 1978.
4. What about Re 1 notes and coins?
Well, if you think that the RBI prints Re 1 notes and coins then you are wrong. The finance ministry under the Centre has the authority to print the Re 1 notes and coins. They are specifically signed by the finance secretary. All other Indian currency notes are printed by the RBI.
5. Pakistan has used Indian currency!
Right after independence in 1947, the newly formed Pakistan used the Indian rupees as their currency because of the lack of a monetary body there. The Indian currency notes were stamped with ‘Pakistan’ until they could print their own currency in 1948.
6. Indian currency was used in a lot of countries!
In the early 20th century, Rupee was the currency of many other countries, including Kuwait, Qatar, Kenya, Bahrain, Oman, Uganda, and Mauritius. It was after the 20th century that these countries started getting their own currencies slowly and steadily.
7. There are zero rupee notes also!
In order to curb corruption in the country, zero rupee notes were introduced by an NGO named 5th Pillar in 2007. These notes resembled the usual Rs 50 bank notes in India. Zero rupee notes are paid in protest by angry citizens to government functionaries who solicit bribes. These notes are very much in use and are distributed in thousands every month.
8. Indian rupee symbol
The symbol of Indian rupee was adopted in 2010 and was derived from a Devanagari letter “र”. The creator of the symbol, Udaya Kumar, made the symbol to look like the tricolor of the Indian national flag.
9. Minting of coins
Due to the shortage of resources, the RBI was forced to mint coins in foreign countries as well. Interestingly, it is quite easy to find out the place where a particular coin was minted by finding the mark below the date of minting. For example, if the coin had a star mark, it was minted in Hyderabad.
10. What to do with torn notes?
Well, the RBI helps you to take care of the torn paper currency by exchanging them. Yes, you can exchange a torn note or any with more than 51 per cent of its torn part for a fresh new one at the RBI. That’s a good news, right?