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V13 2010 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 13, Number 29, July 18, 2010, Article 24

INDIA UNVEILS NEW RUPEE SYMBOL

Kavan Ratnatunga forwarded this article about the new symbol for the Indian Rupee. -Editor

Rupee symbol It may look like a melted British Rail sign but it's hoped that a new symbol for the Indian rupee will signal India's growing economic strength ‑ and it will be coming soon to a keyboard near you.

The winning design was selected by the Indian cabinet yesterday from a shortlist of five following a national competition.

Measures are already afoot to have the rupee sign declared a computer standard, meaning it could join currencies such as the pound, dollar, euro and yen on keyboards within two years.

"The distinct symbol denotes the robustness of the Indian economy," India's information minister, Ambika Soni, said.

References to sums in rupees currently involve spelling out the word (as is the case in the Guardian's style guide) or giving it the abbreviation Rs or INRs to distinguish it from other Asian countries that use rupees or variations thereof.

"Once accepted, it will stand clear from the clutter of currencies that call themselves rupee or the rupiah," India's Telegraph reported.

Udaya Kumar's New Indian Rupee design

The winning symbol was the work of Udaya Kumar, a lecture in design at the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai. Speaking to the Indian news website Rediff.com he said: "My design is based on the tricolour, with two lines at the top and white space in between. I wanted the symbol for the rupee to represent the Indian flag. It is a perfect blend of Indian and Roman letters: a capital 'R' and Devanagari 'ra' which represents rupiya, to appeal to international audiences and Indian audiences."

While the exact origin of the dollar sign is shrouded in mystery, at least it should be clear to future historians where the Rupee symbol came from. The article links to the shortlist of five designs from which the winner was chosen. -Editor

To read the complete article, see: India unveils new rupee symbol (www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/16/india-rupee-symbol)

Wayne Homren, Editor

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