The Indian Rupee is the official currency of the Republic of India, and is issued by the Reserve Bank of India. The Rupee is subdivided into 100 paise, although only a 50 paise coin is now issued as legal tender. The symbol for the Indian Rupee was officially adopted in 2010 after a design competition, and derives from the Devanagari letter “Ra.” The reverse side of Rupee banknotes show amounts in 15 of India’s 22 official languages (the obverse side shows English and Hindi). Neighboring countries Nepal and Bhutan peg their currencies to the Rupee, and accept it as legal ender.
- By market exchange rates, the Indian economy is worth US$1.8 trillion (2011), around the tenth largest in the world. By purchasing power parity (PPP), the economy is estimated at US$4.06 trillion, the fourth largest.
- India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. However, its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita is still low.
- Slightly more than half of the work force is in agriculture, but the agricultural sector only contributes 17% to GDP. Services are the major source of economic growth and account for more than half of India's output using a third of its workforce. India is a major exporter of information technology services and software workers.
- Prior to 1991, Indian governments adhered to protectionist policies, isolating the economy from the outside world. Since 1991, the country has moved towards a free market system, emphasizing both foreign trade and direct investment.
- Peoples living in modern-day India were some of the first to use coins (around the sixth century BC).
- Sher Shah Suri (1486-1545) is believed to have issued the first Rupee, based on a ratio of 40 copper pieces (paisa) per Rupee.
- After India’s independence in 1947, the Rupee replaced all the currencies of previously autonomous states.
- In 1957, the Rupee was divided into 100 naye paise (Hindi for "new country").
- The Rupee was fixed to the British Pound from 1927–1946 and then to the US Dollar until 1975. It was devalued in 1975 but still fixed to a basket of four major currencies.
- The Rupee is steadily appreciating against the US Dollar. In 2009, the rising Rupee prompted the Indian government to purchase 200 tons of gold from the IMF, for $6.7 billion.
Symbols and Names
- Symbols: ₨, Rs, ৳, रु
- Nicknames: Rupayya, paisa
ISO 4217 Code
- Paisa = 1/100 of a Rs
- Bills: INR 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1,000
- Coins: 50 paise. INR 10