The Indian finance ministry has started a contest to find a design for the symbol of the rupee. The rupee is commonly used as ‘Rs’ or ‘INR’ (Indian Rupee) and has no globally recognized symbol unlike major currencies of the world. India shares the current abbreviated form of the rupee with Pakistan, Nepal, Seychelles and Sri Lanka.
A statement from the Indian finance
ministry said the new symbol will be the 'identity of the Indian
currency'. Rules for the contest listed on the Indian Finance Ministry
website stipulate ‘the symbol should represent the historical and
cultural ethos of India’. It also requires the symbol to be applicable
to the standard computer keyboard – a drawback that the euro still
The winning designer will receive a prize of Rs. 250,000 (~$5000) and will have to surrender the copyright of the design to the government, the finance ministry statement said. The deadline, by the way, is April 15, according to TOI, and applicants need to send in a bank draft of Rs. 500.
While a new currency symbol to join the likes of the dollar, the euro, the pound and the yen, might sound simple, implementing one could be a difficult and expensive task.
1999, Russia launched a similar but so-far-unsuccessful competition
for a symbol to represent the rouble. In an interview with the BBC
Radio, Typeface designer Erik Spiekermann says the new rupee symbol
could be a tough one to put in practice. Listen to the interview here:
More from the BBC:
When the euro was introduced in 1999 it cost Europe's biggest companies more than $50 billion to update their computer systems to deal with the changeover.
The Indian finance ministry said they plan to work on the costs only after they select a symbol.