India Adopts a New Symbol for Its Currency

16 July, 2010, New Delhi
The Indian rupee joined the U.S. dollar, the British pound, the euro and the Japanese yen on Thursday when it got its very own symbol.

Indian Rupee

Indian Rupee Symbol

The Rupee’s new rune is a modification of a letter in the Devanagari script, which is used to write Hindi, India’s official language.
Udaya Kumar

Udaya Kumar with the Indian Rupees Symbol

It was designed by D. Udaya Kumar, a student at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, who studied typography, scripts and ancient printing methods. It looks like a capital letter R, minus its vertical leg, and with two added horizontal lines through the upper, curved portion.

Mr. Kumar’s winning entry was picked from more than 3,000 submissions and five finalists, and approved by the India’s top government ministers on Thursday. Mr. Kumar, who begins teaching as an assistant professor at his alma mater on Friday, told a local news channel it was a “great honor” to be part of India’s history. He takes home a prize of Rs. 250,000 or about $5,363.

It’ll definitely give a distinct identity to the Indian currency & economy world-wide. It will also help distinguish India’s currency from others with similar or identical names, like the Nepalese and Pakistani rupee, and the Indonesian rupiah.

It is said that it’ll take about 6 months for the new symbol to get adopted in India & about 1.5 to 2 years worldwide.
For India, the next step after government approval is submission to the Unicode Consortium, a not-for-profit organization of many of the world’s largest software manufacturers, which has created standard computer coding to represent many of the world’s languages. An Indian technology trade organization, Nasscom, will ask software developers to include the symbol in their new products, and Indian keyboard manufacturers will be encouraged to include it new products.


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