New Indian Rupee Symbol

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“It's a big statement on the Indian currency.. It would lend a distinctive character and identity to the currency and further highlight the strength and robustness of the Indian economy as also a favoured destination for global investments,” Ms Ambika Soni, Information & Broadcasting Minister, told reporters after a Cabinet meeting.

Ms Soni also said that the State Governments would be impressed upon to encourage the use of the new Rupee symbol and proactively promote its use. The symbol 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, she added.

The Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee said in a statement that India's currency will now have a distinct identity that will be internationally recognised at par with other international currencies like dollar, pound and yen.

The symbol will not be embossed or printed on currency notes or coins. There will have to be changes to the software packages and keyboards to ensure widespread usage of the symbol.

Unicode standard

Software industry experts feel that adoption of the new rupee symbol could take up to 18-24 months. As a first step, the new symbol will have to be included in the Unicode standard — an international encoding scheme used to uniquely identify characters.

The symbol will also be included in the Indian standard – Indian script Code for Information Interchange (ISCII). The ISCII specifies various codes for Indian languages for processing on computers along with keyboard layouts.

Ms Soni said that the encoding of the symbol in Indian standards is likely to take about six months.

After encoding of the symbol in the Unicode Standard and National Standard, the Nasscom will approach software development companies for incorporating the rupee symbol in their software, as a new programme or as an update. This will enable computer users worldwide to use the symbol even...
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