INDIA: New Coins

Among Jawaharlal Nehru's many ambitions for India is to make its measures metric, its thermometers Centigrade and its coinage decimal. Easier said than done. Through the length and breadth of India, there are more than 140 different systems of weights and measures. Dates and records are 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 are often performed in total darkness. To top it all, the Indian coinage system, based on...

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