Being responsible for Indian national citizens, we are duty-bound to have the basic knowledge about our country like it’s a rich culture, vivid history, National Anthem and Song, National Tri-colored Flag, and the currency. As we all have been spending, earning, and transacting in Rupees all life long, ever wondered what could be the history behind the Rupee Symbol that we regularly see on notes and coins? Not very long ago, there was a time, wherein Rs was used to denote Rupees on the currency, Remember? Wanna know when, why, and how was the new symbol of rupee incorporated into the currency?
Let us share some very interesting facts about the new Rupee Sign, as we can’t be regarded as a true Patriot unless we are aware of certain interesting facts about the newly adopted Indian Rupee logo!
For those who were ignorant of these little facts to date, but wish to know more. Here, we have listed out all the unknown, yet very interesting facts about the Indian Rupee Sign, to feed your curiosity and ease your difficulty of gathering information by providing you with as many details as possible.
Origin and History:
Many neighbouring countries of India such as Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka had the generic U+20A8 ₨ RUPEE SIGN character. India also used the same. But, after the design Indian Rupee Symbol was made a decade ago, it got its unique currency symbol.
During the Annual Budget Session 2010, the Union Finance Minister, Shri. Pranab Mukherjee had proposed the necessity of a sign that could reflect the Indian ethos and culture to the core. Realizing the need to have a unique identification symbol to denote the Indian Rupees in the world of currency, as a distinct Unicode character like dollar $ and euro £, the Indian government announced a contest to create the sign. The contest was then started successfully on 5th, March 2009, nation-wide.
The contest was open for all the citizens of the country, everyone got an opportunity to bring forward their creative side, and put their talents to good use by designing a symbol for their very own currency – The Indian Rupee. An overwhelming response of approximately 3331 entries was received during the contest from various parts of India.
Rupees Logo Selection:
Amongst the 3331 recorded entries, the symbols designed by Shibin KK, Nondita Correa-Mehrotra, Shahrukh J. Irani, Hitesh Padmashali, and D. Udaya Kumar were selected as the top five. It was planned to select one of the shortlisted symbols during the meeting of Union Council of Ministers of India, held on 24th, June 2010. But, Pranab Mukherjee-the Finance Minister delayed the decision and the decision was finally taken when the Cabinet Meeting was held again on 15th, July 2010. The Department of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Finance came together to come to a conclusion. After the final approval from Shri. Sushil Kumar, Under Secretary of the Government of India, the symbol designed by Udaya Kumar Dharmalingam, Associate Professor IIT Guwahati was chosen and adopted officially as the symbol of Indian Rupee.
The new Unicode character for the Indian rupee sign is U+20B9 ₹ INDIAN RUPEE SIGN, while Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka continue to use U+20A8 ₨ RUPEE SIGN till date. This symbol can be typed using ctrl + shift + $ .
The Design (₹):
The new sign of Indian Rupee ₹ is a perfect amalgamation of Devanagari letter “र” (Ra) and Latin capital letter “R”/ “Ꝛ” (rotunda) with a double horizontal line at the top. The symbol of Indian currency is chosen from two words “Rupiah” which is a Hindi word meaning money and the word “Rupees” in English meaning the same.
Udaya Kumar Dharmalingam explained his philosophy, thought process, and reasoning behind the designing of the Indian Rupee Symbol ₹ as follows:
- Considering Pranab Mukherjee’s proposal of having a sign that depicts our ethos and culture, Udaya Kumar created the symbol as such, that it has two parallel lines at the top. These two lines of the Rupee Symbol, in a way, represent the Tri-color Indian Flag.
- Resembling the arithmetic equality sign, the parallel lines on the top of the Rupee Sign also portray the nation’s desire to reduce economic crisis, encourage social equality, and attain a balanced economy.
- Keeping in mind the Hindi language, the horizontal line above the Sign also represents the Shrio Rekha, which is a feature unique to the Devanagari script. Hence, the Rupee Symbol preserves the features of the Indian script.
- Being mindful of the existing symbols of other currencies, Udaya Kumar made sure that his symbol ₹, merged well in the symbol family while retaining its individuality simultaneously.
Controversy Related to the Rupee Symbol ₹:
The selection process of Rupee Sign was challenged by a participant of the competition, Rakesh Kumar in the Delhi High Court. He filed a case against the Finance Ministry and the chairman of the Indian Rupee Symbol Selection Committee, saying that the process of selection was erroneous and described the adopted Symbol to be imperfect. Although the Delhi High Court single bench dismissed the writ petition, stating that the allegations didn’t have any justifiable ground.
However, on 30 January 2013, the Delhi High Court passed its historic judgment directing all the ministries of the Government of India to form guidelines to ensure transparency, wider participation and that the guidelines should be uniform in nature after the appeal being filed by Rakesh Kumar’s lawyer, Kamal Kumar Pandey. The appeal was presented before the Hon’ble Chief Justice, who realized the need to expel the irregularities and discrepancies involved in such public competitions and had advised formulating better guidelines. The Finance Ministry, then formulated the guidelines for conducting public symbol/logo designing competitions on 11th, April 2013.
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