Firstly, I would like to clarify that this is not the first time that a 10 rupee coin has been minted by the government of India. The coins issued were mostly intended as a collector's item, and sometimes were also circulated(limited edition). The first 10 rupee coin minted by the government of India had Mahatma Gandhi on its back, and was minted in 1969-70. Even after that, a number of 10 rupee coins have been coming out on a regular basis, and I am the proud owner of a 10 rupee coin minted in 1973, commemorating the silver jubilee of the Indian independence.
But what is different this time is that we are a 10 rupee coin is now permanently coming into circulation by November 2009. To be more precise, three different 10 rupee coins are coming into circulation. Republic India has seen the mintage of 1 paisa, 2paisa, 3 paisa, 5 paisa, 10 paisa, 20 paisa, 25 paisa, 50 paisa, 1 rupee, 2 rupee, and 5 rupee into circulation for the general public after the anna series was made obsolete. The coins in denominations of less than 1 rupee are not minted now since their value is too low to buy anything. Even the 1,2 & 5 rupee are facing the brunt of depreciation and inflation as these coins are now minted at low quality. Now, 52 rupees make one dollar. As a result of the increasing inflation, the government has decided to mint 10 rupee coins now (coins up to denomination of rupees 1000 can be minted as per the coinage act of 1906). The coinage act of 1906 is unlikely to be amended by the end of this century, though it just might happen , and is eventually bound to happen.
The three designs decided for the ten rupee coins are: 'unity in diversity', 'mudras from Bharatnatyam', and 'connectivity and information technology'. The new themes will be printed on the reverse side of the coins. The obverse side will carry the Lion capital as well as the denomination in prominent roman numerals. The move is aimed at reducing the intrinsic value of the coins from their face value and taking care of security features against counterfeiting, apart from enabling easier identification.
An official release said notes of Rs. 10 denomination would continue to be printed and circulated, though in reduced quantity. The 10-rupee coin was being introduced to supplement the demand for the notes.