A Look Into India’s First Digital Village
By Nupur Anand
In 2016, the Indian government made headlines across the world when, in a controversial and surprising attempt to cut back on the amount of physical cash being used, it banned two of the country’s highest-value notes.
The Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes accounted for nearly 86% of the currency in circulation. The policy, which required the old notes to be deposited back into banks before the new notes were available, was a logistical nightmare.
Demonetization was intended to encourage more digital transactions and cut down on unaccounted wealth. But in a cash-dependent country like India, the dearth of currency notes proved deleterious, resulting in long lines at bank branches and ATMs, and even some deaths. Critics from within and outside India bemoaned prime minister Narendra Modi’s misconceived policy.
Photo courtesy of Meena Kadri.