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Indian rupee to get a symbol soon

Last updated on: June 24, 2010 21:00 IST

The Indian currency achieves another milestone, as the rupee is set to get a symbol for the first time in history.

The Indian rupee will now sport a distinct identification symbol like the world's major currencies - dollar, pound sterling, yen and the euro.

The five shortlisted designs are unique and contemporary. Some of them reflect the Devanagari script 'R' crossed with lines. The selected designs are simple, easy to write and are designed to appeal to the Indian and international community.

The finance ministry guidelines had stated that the symbol should represent the historical and cultural ethos of the country.

Sources close to the development said that the finance ministry has forwarded the shortlisted design to the Cabinet, and it was the latter who will now take the decision.

Meanwhile, the five finalists said the media reports with the shortlisted designs are incorrect. They have not got any information from the finance ministry after the presentation was made in December.

"My design is not among the five published in the newspaper report. I don't know what is going on", Nondita Correa-Mehrotra, Architect, who submitted one of the best designs, said. Her symbol is elegant, easy to recognize and very adaptable to both print and handwriting.

Other finalists agree with her that the symbols are not the correct representation. Designing the rupee symbol was the most challenging assignment for them.

"I think my design is among the best three in the shortlisted list. With India's fast-paced growth, it is important for us to have an identity for the Rupee. I am looking forward to hear the result", says Shibin K K.

I don't know how the media can publish such images without any authenticity. My design is not among any of the designs published today, he adds.

The five designs were short-listed from over 25,000 applications received from across the country.

"All the designs had strong characteristics. There is a good chance of wining. But I am surprised that the newspapers reports with the short listed entries are not the ones that were selected as the final five", says Hitesh Padmashali, whose design was also shortlisted.

It was a big challenge to make a symbol that transcends languages, appeal to Indians and the world. None of the designs in the newspaper report are the shortlisted ones, says Shahrukh Irani, who is looking forward to hear the news from the finance minstry.

Udaya Kumar, one of the finalists was surprised to see the designs, which were not the finalised ones in the newspaper and other websites today. He has been getting lot of calls enquring about these designs. "It was very disappointing to see those designs as the shortlisted entries. The media reports have created a lot of confusion," he said.

The Indian government had announced a competition in March last year inviting creative designs from Indian residents to represent the rupee in a simple form.

They had specified that it should be applicable to a standard keyboard and has to be in the Indian national language script or a visual representation of it. The size of the final design should not be smaller than 232 square cm (36 sq inches).

Manu A B in Mumbai