Indian rupee sign
In UnicodeU+20B9 INDIAN RUPEE SIGN
Currency
CurrencyIndian Rupee
Related
(Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Nepal)
Category

The Indian rupee sign () is the currency symbol for the Indian rupee (ISO 4217: INR), the official currency of India. Designed by D. Udaya Kumar, it was presented to the public by the Government of India on 15 July 2010,[1] following its selection through an open competition among Indian residents.[2][3] Before its adoption, the most commonly used symbols for the rupee were Rs, Re or, in texts in Indian languages, an appropriate abbreviation in the language used.

The design is based on the Devanagari letter "र" (ra) with a double horizontal line at the top and the Latin capital letter "R" without its vertical bar.[4]

The Unicode code point for the Indian rupee sign is U+20B9 INDIAN RUPEE SIGN. Other countries that use a rupee, such as Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Nepal, use the generic U+20A8 RUPEE SIGN character.

## Origin

On 5 March 2009, the Indian government announced a contest to create a sign for the Indian rupee.[5][6] During the 2010 Union Budget, then Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said that the proposed sign should reflect and capture the Indian ethos and culture.[7] From around 3,331 responses received, five symbols were shortlisted.[8] These were the entries from Nondita Correa-Mehrotra, Hitesh Padmashali, Shibin KK, Shahrukh J. Irani, and D. Udaya Kumar:[9][8] one of them was due to be selected at the Union Council of Ministers of India meeting held on 24 June 2010.[10] However, the decision was deferred at the request of the Finance Minister,[11] and the final decision was made when they met again on 15 July 2010,[12] when they chose the symbol created by Udaya Kumar, Associate Professor IIT Guwahati.[13]

## Design

Indian rupee symbol in graphic form

The new sign is a combination of the Devanagari letter "" ("ra") and the Latin capital letter "R" without its vertical bar. The parallel lines at the top (with white space between them) makes an allusion to the tricolour Indian flag and also depict an equality sign that symbolizes the nation's desire to reduce economic disparity.[4]

The final selected symbol was designed by D. Udaya Kumar, a Bachelor of Architecture and (at the time) a visual design student at the Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay. The thoughts and philosophy behind the design are explained in this presentation.[4]

## Approval

Ministry of Finance and Department of Economic Affairs of the Government of India had finally approved the sign. The approval was given by Sushil Kumar, Under Secretary of the Government of India in 2010.[14]

## Usage

New two-rupee coin with the Rupee sign.

Upon the symbol's adoption in July 2010, the Indian government said it would try to adopt the sign within six months in the country and globally within 18 to 24 months.[12]

Major banks have also started printing cheques with the new Indian rupee sign, where the traditional ₨ sign was used. The Indian Postal Department also started printing postage stamps with this new Indian rupee sign, when it issued the Commonwealth Games commemorative stamps on 3 October 2010.[15] In his budget speech on 28 February 2011, the finance minister, Pranab Mukherjee, announced that the sign will be incorporated in future coin issues.[16] Coins of denomination of 1, 2, 5 and 10 with the new rupee symbol have been put into circulation.[17][18] As of January 2012, the new Indian rupee sign has been incorporated in the currency notes in the denominations of 10, 100, 500 and 1000[19][20][21][22] and as of 12 April 2012 this was extended to denominations of 20 and 50.[23]

## Unicode and keyboard entry

Keytop showing 4/\$/₹ key.

On 10 August 2010, the Unicode Technical Committee accepted the proposed code position U+20B9 INDIAN RUPEE SIGN.[24] The character has been encoded in the Unicode 6.0, and named distinctly from the existing character U+20A8 RUPEE SIGN, which will continue to be available as the generic rupee sign.[25][26]

Ubuntu became the first operating system to support the Indian rupee symbol by default in 2010. Since its 10.10 version it has supported the symbol out-of-the-box,[27] as it was added to the Ubuntu font family by a contributor.[28] Since then, it has been included in various Linux distributions. On systems running Ubuntu, most other Linux distributions and ChromeOS, the symbol may be typed using Ctrl+⇧ Shift+u 20B9Space (or simply AltGr+4 if the 'English (India)' language setting is used).

On 18 May 2011, Microsoft released an update KB2496898 to Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 operating systems to include support for this new Indian rupee symbol.[29] With the Windows update, it is now possible to use alt code text entry to obtain the Indian Rupee symbol: Alt+8377. On systems running Windows 8 or later, the symbol can be typed using the 'English (India)' keyboard layout with the key combination AltGr+4 (or Ctrl+Alt+4[30]). Modern keyboards for the Indian market have the symbol engraved on the 4 key as an alternate graphic.[30]

Apple Inc. has added support for the rupee symbol with iOS 7 in 2013.[31] Mac OS X Lion (10.7) also includes the new Indian rupee symbol and can be found in the Character Viewer. As of Mac OS X Mountain Lion (10.8), users using the Devanagari keyboard can enter the new Indian rupee symbol by typing ⌥ Option-4 (a combination that yields the cent symbol on a US keyboard layout).

Sailfish OS also provides the symbol in its default keyboard.

## Symbol for Paisa

Proposed symbol for Paisa

A symbol for the paisa was also designed using the same concept as the symbol for rupee.[4] However, since paisa coins are no longer minted and, as of 2019 most denominations of the paisa have been demonetized, they are not in circulation. As the RBI had already stopped minting any paisa coins before this proposal, the proposed symbol never appeared on any coins. It does not have a codepoint in Unicode.

## Controversy

The Indian rupee sign selection process was challenged in the Delhi High Court,[32] by 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.[32] On 26 November 2010, the Delhi High Court single bench dismissed the writ petition, stating there was no justifiable ground for the stated allegations.[33]

However, later the Delhi High Court, on 30 January 2013, in W.P. (c) 2449/2012 titled Rakesh Kumar Singh Vs. Union of India (PIL) and listed before the Division bench of the Chief Justice and Mr. Justice V. K. Jain,[34] taking cognizance of and in view of the irregularities and arbitrariness involved in public competitions for designing symbols or logos or designing logos by other methods of important national bodies or institutions, in their judgment directed all the ministries of the Government of India to formulate or prepare guidelines to ensure transparency, wider participation of public and also that such guidelines should be of uniform nature and in uniformity with each others.[35]

On 11 April 2013, the Finance Ministry formed the guidelines for conducting public competitions for design of symbol or logo.[36]

## References

1. ^ "Cabinet approves new rupee symbol". The Times of India. 15 July 2010. Archived from the original on 19 June 2021. Retrieved 15 July 2010.
2. ^ Pandey, Geeta (5 March 2009). "Indian contest for rupee symbol". Archived from the original on 11 February 2022. Retrieved 11 February 2022.
3. ^ Kimbarovsky, Ross (15 July 2010). "Crowdsourcing The Indian Rupee Symbol". crowdspring Blog. Archived from the original on 13 April 2021. Retrieved 11 February 2022.
4. ^ a b c d Kumar, D. Udaya. "Currency Symbol for Indian Rupee" (PDF). Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 November 2022. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
5. ^ "Competition for design" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 May 2013.
6. ^ "India seeks global symbol for rupee". Hindustan Times. 6 March 2009. Retrieved 7 March 2009.
7. ^ "Cabinet defers decision on rupee symbol". Sify Finance. 24 June 2010. Archived from the original on 18 July 2010. Retrieved 10 July 2010.
8. ^ a b "List of Five Entries which have been selected for Final". Ministry of Finance, Govt of India. Archived from the original on 11 July 2010. Retrieved 15 July 2010.
9. ^ "Rupee: Which of the 5 final designs do you like?". Rediff Business. 16 June 2010. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
10. ^ "Rupee to get a symbol today!". Money Control.com. 26 February 2010. Archived from the original on 27 June 2010. Retrieved 10 July 2010.
11. ^ "Cabinet defers decision on rupee symbol". Press Trust of India. 24 June 2010. Retrieved 10 July 2010.
12. ^ a b "Cabinet approves new rupee symbol". The Times of India. 15 July 2010. Retrieved 15 July 2010.
13. ^ "Department of design/ faculty". Iitg.ernet.in.
14. ^ Kumar, Sushil. "Symbol for Indian Rupee" (PDF). Ministry of Finance, Government of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 March 2015. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
15. ^ India Post. "Stamps 2010". Archived from the original on 27 April 2011. Retrieved 19 April 2011.
16. ^ "Coins with new Rupee symbol soon". The Statesman. Press Trust of India. Archived from the original on 9 June 2012. Retrieved 19 April 2011. Coins with new Rupee symbol soon
17. ^ "Issue of new series of Coins". RBI. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
18. ^ "This numismatist lays hands on coins with Rupee symbol". The Times of India. 29 August 2011. Archived from the original on 7 November 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
19. ^ "Issue of ₹10 Banknotes with incorporation of Rupee symbol". RBI. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
20. ^ "Issue of ₹ 500 Banknotes with incorporation of Rupee symbol". RBI. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
21. ^ "Issue of ₹ 1000 Banknotes with incorporation of Rupee symbol". RBI. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
22. ^ "Issue of ₹ 100 Banknotes with incorporation of Rupee symbol". RBI. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
23. ^ "RBI to issue Rs 20 and Rs 50 notes with the new rupee symbol". The Economic Times. 12 April 2012. Archived from the original on 10 June 2015. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
24. ^ Michael Everson (19 July 2010). "Proposal to encode the INDIAN RUPEE SIGN in the UCS" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 August 2010. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
25. ^ "Unicode Currency Chart" (PDF). Unicode.org.
26. ^ "U+20B9: Rupee gets Unicode identity". Livemint.com.
27. ^ "The Ubuntu Font, now with added Rupee - blogs.kde.org". Blogs.kde.org.
28. ^ Canonical. "Ubuntu font". Font.ubuntu.com. Archived from the original on 18 November 2017. Retrieved 11 February 2022.
29. ^ "An update to support the new currency symbol for the Indian Rupee in Windows Vista, in Windows Server 2008, in Windows 7 and in Windows Server 2008 R2". Archived from the original on 26 March 2011. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
30. ^ a b "Keyboard with a Rupee sign". 20 September 2016.
31. ^ Agrawal, Rajat (27 June 2013). "iOS 7 brings India specific English keyboard". BGR India.
32. ^ a b Nair, Harish V (23 November 2010). "'Rs' selection process challenged in High Cout [sic]". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 24 November 2010. Retrieved 25 November 2010.
33. ^ "W.P.(C) No. 7915 of 2010 & CMs 20440-41/2010". Right to Information Commission, India. Archived from the original on 22 October 2021. Retrieved 28 February 2011.
34. ^ " W.P.(C) 2449/2012". Delhi High Court. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014.
35. ^ "Tehelka Hindi - चिह्न पर प्रश्नचिह्न". 24 August 2014. Archived from the original on 24 August 2014.
36. ^ Rawat, B S. "Competition for Design" (PDF). Ministry of Finance, Government of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 May 2013.