Indian Rupee got a new face when on July 15th, 2010 Union govt. of India approved a new design selected from 3000 entries submitted by the common people of India. This symbol will give Indian currency a new look and will distinguish Indian Rupee form the Rupee/Rupiah/Rufiyaa of Pakistan, Srilanka, Nepal, Seychelles, Maldives and Indonesia.
The news has a global impact as Indian Rupee joins the elite currency club until now only US Dollar, Great Britain Pound, Euro and Japanese Yen had a currency symbol.
The symbol has given an identity or a distinct character to the currency highlighting the strength and global face of the Indian economy which had carried a mission to the moon worth 1 billion USD at the time when the world was experiencing recession and loss.
Some news sources have wrongly mentioned the appearance of the new symbol on currency note. Final status is that the Indian govt has said no to printing or embossing of the symbol on currency notes (confirmed from NDTV) though it will have a unique Unicode to display it on screen and to make it type-able using keyboards. Soon Indian keyboards will come inbuilt/dedicated key for the symbol. Among currencies with distinctive identities, only the pound sterling has its symbol printed on the notes.
The request for the special symbol for Indian Rupee was called last year observing the increasing strength of the Indian Rupee in the international market. Since then India has taken many quick steps in this direction and asked for the general public support to submit their design ideas. India will be adopting the new symbol within a span of six months in the country and within a span of two years internationally.
“It is a perfect blend of Indian and Roman letters — capital ‘R’ and Devanagri ‘Ra’ which represents rupaiah, to appeal to international and Indian audiences… My design is based on the tricolour, with two lines at the top and white space in between,” said Kumar, alumni of IIT Delhi – the designer of the symbol who also received a cash prize of 2.5 lakhs INR (~$5210).
Update: Indians can’t wait to have it on their keyboard. How will we type it now? This is the question being asked. Do you want to type the new rupee symbol? vinubuzz.com (manual) has come with a solution. Here’s the direct link to download the font http://rs792.rapidshare.com/files/407551940/Rupee.ttf