It’s official! The modest Indian Rupee now has a symbol.

After delaying its verdict by many weeks, a five-man jury finally chose IIT post-graduate D.Udaya Kumar’s design as the symbol of the Indian currency from shortlisted entries in an all-India contest late on Wednesday. And on Thursday afternoon, a Union Cabinet meeting and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh approved the design.

Kumar’s symbol is formed by the merger of the Hindi Devanagari ‘Ra’ and the Roman capital ‘R’ without the stem. He wins a prize money of Rs 2.5 lakhs (about US$5400)  for his design. He is a postgraduate from Indian Institute of Technology.

"The Devanagari is the only script which has a line on the top. I also put another horizontal line…. so that we get a tricolour," he said.

"I wanted the flag to be flying high and be represented in the symbol," added Kumar, who is joining IIT-Guwahati as an Asst. Professor this week.

I like this symbol. However, I am biased and selfish. Though my native tongue is not Hindi (it is Tamil), I grew up in North and North-East of India where I studied Hindi in schools. I am more comfortable reading and writing in Hindi and struggle when it comes to Tamil. Also the first letter of my name रवि is the Devanagari ‘Ra’. Its a silly and childish reason, but then aren’t we all child-like in our idiosyncrasies? 🙂

On a different note, the value of Rupee is appreciating against the US Dollar, British Pound and the Euro. China has been keeping a tight leash on its currency but am not sure how long then can continue to keep it devalued. Pretty soon I expect prices of Chinese goods to go up. This would include the Apple iPhone, iPods and iPad, which are built in China. The craze for these gizmos continues to fail my understanding.