The Indian rupee sign (sign: INR; code: INR) is the currency symbol for the Indian rupee, the official currency of India. Designed by Udaya Kumar, it was presented to the public by the Government of India on 15 July 2010, following its selection through an "open" competition among Indian residents. Before its adoption, the most commonly used symbols for the rupee were Rs, Re or, if the text was in an Indian language, an appropriate abbreviation in that language.
On 5 March 2009, the Indian government announced a contest to create a sign for the Indian rupee. 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. From around 3,331 responses received, five symbols were shortlisted. These were the entries from Nondita Correa-Mehrotra, Hitesh Padmashali, Shibin KK, Shahrukh J. Irani, and D. Udaya Kumar and one of them was due to be selected at the Union Council of Ministers of India meeting held on 24 June 2010. However, the decision was deferred at the request of the Finance Minister, and the final decision was made when that met again on 15 July 2010, when they chose the symbol created by Udaya Kumar, Associate Professor IIT Guwahati.
The new sign is a combination of the Devanagari letter "?" ("ra") and the Latin capital letter "R" without its vertical bar (similar to the R rotunda "?"). The parallel lines at the top (with white space between them) are said to make an allusion to the tricolor Indian flag. and also depict an equality sign that symbolizes the nation's desire to reduce economic disparity.
The final selected symbol was designed by D. Udaya Kumar, a Bachelor of Architecture and visual design student at the Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay. The thoughts and philosophy behind the design are explained in this presentation.
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.
The Indian rupee sign selection process was challenged in the Delhi High Court, 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. On 26 November 2010, the Delhi High Court single bench dismissed the writ petition, stating there was no justifiable ground for the stated allegations.
However, later The Hon'ble High Court of Delhi, on 30 January 2013, in W.P. (c) 2449/2012 titled Rakesh Kumar Singh Vs. Union of India (PIL) filed through lawyer Kamal Kumar Pandey, listed before the Division bench of Hon'ble Chief Justice and V. K. Jain J., taking cognizance of and in view of the irregularities and arbitrariness involved in Public Competitions (Indian Rupee, UIDAI, I Mark, Indian railway for Common Wealth, RTI) for designing Symbols/Logos or designing Logos by other methods of important national bodies/institutions, in their historic judgment directed all the ministries of the Government of India to formulate/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.
On 11 April 2013, Finance Ministry formed the guidelines for conducting public competitions for design of symbol/logo.
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.
Major banks have also started printing cheques with the new Indian rupee sign, where the traditional Rs 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. In his budget speech on 28 February 2011, the finance minister, Pranab Mukherjee, announced that the sign will be incorporated in future coin issues. Coins of denomination of INR1, INR2, INR5 and INR10 with the new rupee symbol have been put into circulation. As of January 2012, the new Indian rupee sign has been incorporated in the currency notes in the denominations of INR10, INR100, INR500 and INR2000 and as of 12 April 2012 this was extended to denominations of INR20 and INR50.
On 10 August 2010, the Unicode Technical Committee accepted the proposed code position ₹ INDIAN RUPEE SIGN (HTML
₹ · graphic:). The character has been encoded in the Unicode 6.0, and named distinctly from the existing character ₨ RUPEE SIGN (HTML
₨), which will continue to be available as the generic rupee sign.
Ubuntu became the first operating system to support the Indian rupee symbol by default. Since its 10.10 version it has supported the symbol out of the box, as it was added to the Ubuntu font family by a contributor. Since then, it has been included in various GNU/Linux distributions.
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. With the Windows update, it is now possible to use alt code text entry to obtain the Indian Rupee symbol - +. On systems running Windows 8, the symbol can be typed using the English (India) keyboard layout with the key combination +.
Apple Inc. has added support for the rupee symbol with iOS 7.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 - (a combination that yields the Cent symbol on a US keyboard layout).
Sailfish OS also provides the symbol in its default keyboard.