The Union Cabinet today approved the symbol for the Indian
Rupee. This symbol will be used by all individuals/entities
within and outside India after its incorporation in `Unicode
Standard’, ‘ISO/IEC 10646’ and ‘IS 13194’.
A public competition was held amongst resident Indian citizens
inviting entries for the symbol, which reflects and captures the
Indian ethos and culture. Over 3000 entries were received,
which were evaluated by a Jury headed by the Deputy Governor,
RBI, which also included experts from three reputed art and
design Institutes. The entries were presented to the Jury in
such a manner that identity of the competitors was not revealed
to the Jury members. The Jury selected five final entries and
also gave its evaluation of these five entries to the Government
to take a final decision.
The symbol will standardize the expression for Indian Rupee in
different languages, both within and outside the country. It
would better distinguish the Indian currency from those
countries whose currencies are also designated as Rupee or
Rupiah, such as Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.
The symbol will be included in the “Unicode Standard” for
representation and processing of text, written in major scripts
of the world to ensure that the Rupee symbol is easily
displayed/printed in the electronic and print media as all the
software companies provide support for this Standard. Encoding
in the Unicode Standard will also ensure encoding in the
International standard ISO/IEC 10646 as both the organizations
work closely with each other.
The symbol will also be included in the Indian Standards, viz.
13194:1991 – Indian Script Code for Information Interchange (ISCII)
through an amendment to the existing list by the Bureau of
Indian Standards (BIS). The ISCII specifies various codes for
Indian languages for processing on computers along with the
key-board lay outs.
After encoding of the symbol in the Unicode Standard and
National Standard, NASSCOM will approach software development
companies for incorporating the Rupee symbol in their operative
software, as a new programme or as an update, to enable the
computer users worldwide to use the symbol even if it is not
embedded on the keyboards (in a similar manner, we use the Euro
symbol, which is not embedded in the keyboards in use in
For incorporating the symbol in the keyboards to be manufactured
in India, the Manufacturers’ Association for Information
Technology (MAIT) will enjoin its membership to make requisite
changes in the production processes once the symbol is notified
as a keyboard standard by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).
The State Governments would be impressed upon to encourage the
use of the new Rupee symbol and proactively promote its use.
The encoding of the rupee symbol in the Indian Standards is
estimated to take about six months while encoding in the Unicode
and ISO/IEC 10646 will take about 18 months to two years. It
will be incorporated in software packages and keyboards in use
The symbol for the Rupee would lend a distinctive character and
identity to the currency and further highlight the strength and
robustness of the Indian economy as also a favored destination
for global investments.
In view of the fact that the Indian economy has been expanding
at a sustained high rate of growth, is steadily integrating with
the global economy and India has emerged as a prime investment
destination worldwide, it was decided to undertake an exercise
for selecting a distinct and identifiable symbol for India Rupee
(INR) like other major currencies such as US Dollar (USD),
British Pound Sterling (GBP), the Japanese Yen (JPY) and the
European Union (EU) Euro.