Thursday, July 15, 2010

Meet the Indian Rupee

The Cabinet today cleared this as the new standard symbol for the Indian Rupee, replacing the abbreviation 'Rs.' which is also used in Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The new symbol has been designed by an IIT alumnus.

I for one like the symbol a lot. It's a lot like fine architecture: simple yet enticing. A lot of people have however, said that it's far too simple and basic. They suggested more complex symbols, with a lot more lines and curves. I think this symbol is particularly well-suited precisely because of its simplicity. After all, this is not some logo that we'll be displaying at an event, it is a symbol that will have to be written and standardized on a keyboard and used everywhere. Thus, simplicity is the key and this symbol is really very easy to write.

However, how long this symbol will take to be used by everyone is another story. Textbooks and documents around the country and even the world will have to be modified. In India, it takes months for shopkeepers to be convinced that newly-issued (and different-looking) coins are genuine, so this symbol might look like a complete joke!

Nonetheless, the idea to have such a symbol is good. Now, if only India could boost its share in global trade!

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