Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Indian rupee sign

The Indian rupee sign () is the currency sign used for the Indian rupee, the official currency of India. It is relatively new, the design only having been presented to the public by the Government of India on 15 July 2010,[1] following its selection through an open competition among Indian residents. Before its adoption, the most commonly used symbols for the rupee were Rs, Re or, if the text was in an Indian language, an appropriate abbreviation in that language. The new sign only relates to the Indian currency; other countries that use a rupee, such as Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Nepal, still use the generic U+20A8 ₨ rupee sign character. The design of the sign is a combination of the Devanagari letter "र" (ra) and the Latin capital letter "R".


On 5 March 2009, the Indian government announced a contest to create a sign for the Indian rupee. During the 2010 Union Budget, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee mentioned that the proposed sign would reflect and capture the Indian ethos and culture. Five signs created by Nondita Correa-Mehrotra, Hitesh Padmashali, Shibin KK, Shahrukh J Irani, and D Udaya Kumar had been short-listed from around 3331 responses received and one of them was to be finalized at the Union Council of Ministers of India meeting held on 24 June 2010. The decision was deferred by a request of the Finance Minister,and it was decided when they met again on 15 July 2010, and selected the symbol created by D.Udaya Kumar son of N. Dharmalingam, a former DMK MLA.

The selection process was challenged under the Right to Information Act in the Delhi High Court. The petitioner, Rakesh Kumar, who was a participant in the competition, described the process as "full of discrepancies" and "flawed", and named the Finance Ministry and the chairman of Indian Rupee Symbol Selection Committee as respondents.

On 26 November 2010, the Delhi High single bench Court dismissed the writ petition, stating there was no justifiable ground for the stated allegations. But on March 31, 2011, Chief Justice and Justice Sanjiv Khanna of Delhi High Court in their judgment court allowed RTI activist Rakesh Kumar Singh to file PIL against “Indian Rupee symbol selection process”.

According to Guideline No. 5 of the contest process, submitted symbols were required to be "in the Indian National Language Script or a visual representation". It has been argued that this violates the Constitution of India, because that does not specify any particular Indian Language Script as the Indian National Language Script.


The new sign is a combination of the Devanagari letter "र" (ra) and the Latin capital letter "R" without its vertical bar (similar to the R rotunda). The parallel lines at the top (with white space between them) are said to make an allusion to the tricolor Indian flag. and also depict an equality sign which symbolizes the nation's desire to reduce economic disparity.

The final selected symbol was designed by D Udaya Kumar, a B.Arch and student of visual communication at the Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay. The thoughts and philosophy behind the design can be seen in a presentation.

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