JAWAHARLAL NEHRUS DREAM TO MAKE INDIA INTO METRIC SYSTEM

Among Jawaharlal Nehru's many ambitions for India was to make its measures metric, its thermometers Centigrade and its coinage decimal. Easier said than done. Through the length and breadth of India, there were more than 140 different systems of weights and measures. Dates and records were kept according to 30 different calendars, at least one of which, instituted more than 500 years ago with a slight miscalculation, has slipped out of phase by 23.2 days, so that Hindu dances meant for moonlit nights were often performed in total darkness. To top it all, the Indian coinage system, based on the coinage standardized by conquering British in 1835, was at least as unwieldy as that used in Britain itself.

Having already established a national calendar of twelve months (more or less comparable to the Gregorian) and threatening soon to put weights and measures on the metric system, Nehru's government chose to inaugurate a new decimal coinage. In place of the rupee (20¢), anna (1/16 rupee) and pie (1/12 anna) of the past, the new money consist solely of rupees and naye paise (literally: new coins) worth .01 rupees. The trouble was that for three years both sets of coins was to be used at once, and since there wass not always a way of translating pies or annas into a precise number of naye paise, the government has had to decree a system of what parimutuel bettors call "breakage." i.e., the rounding off of small fractions that don't count too


As the first of 610.000,000 new coins poured into the bazaars, India's newspapers carried conversion tables with instructions on how to use them. Sample: "To make a payment of 36 naye paise, you first pay 4 annas or 25 naye paise, then pay the balance of 11 naye paise by tendering 1 anna and 9 pies."
India’s first decimal coins were first introduced in 1957. The set of six coin sets were odd in shape and also in name. The shapes of these coins really helped the blind people to identify and distinguish from other. All the coins were dated 1957 except 50 paisa coin dated as 1960. The Ashoka lion capital is the national emblem of our nation. The decimal coins were known as –
  1. 1 naiya paisa round in shape
  2. 2 naiya paisa scalloped edged
  3. 5 naiya paisa squared out
  4. 10 naiya paisa again scalloped edge but bigger in dimension
  5. 25 naiya paisa round in shape
  6. 50 naiya paisa again round in shape but bigger in size.
Decimal coins of India 
In Calcutta, where thrifty Bengalis ran wild in 1953 over a ⅓cent rise in streetcar fares, mobs rioted around the post offices when it was discovered that the price of stamps would be rounded off in favor of the government. In industrial Kanpur, bus service was tied up for hours when bus drivers discovered they could not drive and argue about fares at the same time. Mothers fretted that the new coins were too easy for kids to swallow.