Dollar and pound is also the name of currency of countries other than USA and UK. Before the advent of Euro, there was Franc but there never was any confusion. All these currencies have a common symbol. But somehow, Indians were not happy that their currency was Rupee when their poorer neighbours like Pakistan and Sri Lanka also had their currency by the same name. Instead of renaming Indian rupee as dollar or pound or even euro, they have decided to change the symbol to make it look different.
It has been reported by Daily Telegraph that until now the India’s rupee has been denoted by the abbreviation ‘Rs’ or INRs to distinguish it from neighbouring countries like Pakistan and Sri Lanka which also have rupees. Instead, it will soon have the Hindi character closest to ‘R’ with a horizontal line crossing the middle like the euro.
The design was chosen in a competition won by a teacher at one of the country’s Indian Institutes of Technology. Uday Kumar’s design was chosen from a shortlist of five and he was awarded around £3,500 in prize money. India’s decision to adopt a symbol reflects its rising confidence as its economy grows at more than nine per cent. India is expected to overtake China as the world’s fastest growing economy in the next twenty years and the rupee is expected to be ranked alongside the euro, dollar, pound and yen before then. The new design will now be incorporated into India’s IT systems and feature on computer keyboards. Introducing it into commercial use is expected to be expensive – the advent of the euro in 1999 is believed to have cost companies more than $50 billion. Ambika Soni, India’s information minister, said the new design will “distinguish the rupee from other currencies.”