Rupees are the currency of countries from the SouthEast Asian peninsula – India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Mauritius and Seychelles. Just like the dollar is prevalant in different countries (eg. Australia and Canada) there are different types of rupees in these countries too.
History of the Rupee
The word Rupya originated from the Sanskrit word Rupyakam, which meant coins of silver. The emperor Sher Shah Suri originally coined the term Rupaya in the 16th century. Back then, the Indian kingdom extended from Kabul to Sri Lanka down south and it had extensive trade relations with countries like Sri Lanka, Seychelles and Maldives – all islands in the Indian ocean. India and East India Company which ruled India in those days had extensive relations with many countries in Africa and the rupee as a currency was prevalant in those countries too at various points in time. the rupee was the major currency in use in most of Africa till the time the East India Company was present there. adparams.getadspec(‘c_billboard1’);
The original rupee was made from Silver as the Sanskrit name suggests. Over a period of time, most of the nations started trading in gold and alongwith that there were large quantities of silver found in these countries. As a result, the price of the rupee devalued during this period. This was called as the “Fall of the Rupee”.
The Indian Rupee
Back in those days, a rupee was divided in 16 annas and 192 pies. But in India, the rupee was decimalised in 1957 and hence divided into 100 paisa. The newly formed paisa was also called as “Naya Paisa” or “new paisa” in those days. This meant that four anna was equal to 25 paisa and eight annas were equal to 50 paisa. Today though most of the transactions are done only in rupees as the anna has devalued to such levels that it is not much used.
The Indian Rupee : Today
Today, the Indian rupee is found as a small coin made of steel with the Ashok Chakra on one said and the denomination of the coin on the other. Paper money has long been introduced for all the current day transactions. Notes, as they are popularly called, range from Rs. 5 to Rs. 2000.
Current Indian Rupee valuation consequences
From the 1970’s when $1 U.S. was equal to 7.56 rupees, today $1 U.S. is equal to nearly 45-50 Indian rupees. This difference in currency is what has led to the recent spate in outsourcing in which Indian companies work for the Western world and earn money in dollars. These dollars when converted to INR are resulting in huge profits for all Indian export oriented companies.