Kumar's symbol (on the right) is an amalgam of the Devanagari 'Ra' and the Roman capital 'R' without the stem, very much in line with what Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had envisioned. "We intend to formalise a symbol for the Indian rupee which reflects and captures Indian ethos and culture," Mukherjee said in his Budget speech this year.
The chosen symbol has the Finance Minister's approval, said a Ministry official. The Ministry had organised a symbol design competition with a prize money of Rs 2.5 lakh with the condition that it should be applicable to the standard keyboard, be in the national language script or a visual representation and should represent the historical and cultural ethos of the country.
The basic aim of the new Indian currency symbol is to provide the Indian rupee with international recognition and to isolate it with its current abbreviation of 'Rs' used by its Arch rival Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
Kumar's concept, an official said, is based on the Tricolour and "arithmetic equivalence". While the white space between the two horizontal lines gives the impression of the national flag with the Ashok Chakra, the two bold parallel lines stand for 'equals to', representing balance in the economy, both within and with other economies of the world.