A million zero rupee notes

Image source: india.5thpillar.org

I was referred to this great story by my friend Girish Rangan today, that reports on a novel idea for combatting corruption in India. In short, 5th Pillar, an organisation dedicated to fighting corruption, has acted upon a suggestion from an Indian physics professor at the University of Maryland, who came up with the idea of printing zero-denomination notes and handing them to public officials whenever they ask for pay-offs. In doing so, this would be a way for people to register their protest over a public service system dependent upon bribes. The first batch of 25,000 notes were in such great demand that 5th Pillar has ended up distributing one million zero-rupee notes. Importantly, the protest appears to be having a positive impact.