Thirty-one-year-old Udaya Kumar's design has been chosen out of 3,000 others to be the symbol for the Indian Rupee. Having received his PhD from the Industrial Design Centre, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)–Bombay, Kumar is now set to join IIT-Guwahati as assistant professor in the design department. He will receive an award of Rs 2.5 lakhs from the Finance Ministry.
Kumar spoke to Hindustan Times on the design concept and what the symbol conveys.
What made you join the competition to design the symbol for the Indian Rupee?
It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to be a part of such a competition and make history. I did not want to miss on this golden opportunity since designing is my passion.
What did you have in mind when you started designing the symbol?
The Indian government had given certain guidelines and wanted the symbol to emphasise on the Indian culture. For me the focus was to bring out the Indian culture in the symbol.
What is the concept behind the symbol? What all were you trying to convey?
The symbol incorporates the letter "Ra" in the devnagiri script. The devnagiri script is distinctive in that it has a Shirorekha (the line on top) that is unique to India and brings out the culture. The two lines and the space in between is meant to represent that the Indian tricolour is flying high.
It also incorporates the roman letter R without the standing line.
Because it incorporates the latin and the Devnagiri script, both Indian and the global community will relate to the symbol. Making sure that the symbol has this impact was my biggest challenge.
Given there were 3,000 entries, did you expect to win?
Everyone participates to win and I was confident when I participated that I would win.
How does it feel to be a part of the Unicode standard?
It feels great. The government is working on it and it may take another six months to incorporate it into the standard.