Man behind rupee's new face

Sabse badiya rupaiya: IIT scholar makes his mark

The first PhD scholar in  IIT-Powai’s Industrial Design Centre, Tamil Nadu-born Udaya in his late-20s’, basic interest has been in typographical designs, but took up this project some months back when RBI rolled out the competition, the IIT-Design Department’s HOD, Dr G G Ray told Deccan Herald over telephone. Udaya, who after four years of solid work has just completed his PhD synopsis and already got a faculty assignment at the Design Centre in IIT-Guwahati where he is leaving Friday morning, “wanted to study the ancient palm-leaf manuscripts and see how they can be converted into the electronic medium (digitalised),” Dr Ray said.

“He has made us all proud,” the professor exclaimed.

Before making his presentation to the RBI in Delhi, Udaya had an interaction with faculty members in IIT-Powai and “we gave some suggestions”, which might have helped him to fine-tune his final design, Dr Ray added.

Prof Sreekumar, a senior Professor at IIT-Powai’s Industrial Design Centre and his research guide, said Udaya Kumar had come to pursue a ‘Masters in Design’ after graduating in Architecture. After his PG course at IIT-Powai, Udaya worked as an ‘Art Director’ for the ‘Chip’ Magazine in Mumbai.

Creator elated
Meanwhile, in IIT-Powai campus, it was a busy Thursday for the symbol creator as Udaya had to do live interviews on several television channels.  

“Now that the Rupee has got a symbol, it would be seen all over the world,” said a beaming Udaya.

Kumar’s entry was chosen from 3,000 designs. His was one of the five designs that were shortlisted by a jury and was asked to make a presentation in Delhi. Now that his design has been selected, he will get an award of Rs 2.5 lakh. “I did not know that my symbol has been finalised, but when I heard about it, I was really excited, thrilled. There are no words to express my happiness,” he told mediapersons.

Explaining the concept of his design, he said that it is basically based on the letter ‘Ra’ in Devanagari script. “In that, I have just added a strikethrough line to represent Indian Tricolour. And since I have incorporated the Devanagari script, it represents the Indianness of it because the top-line is quite unique and is not found in any other script.
“I have also tried to incorporate the Roman letter ‘R’,” Udaya added.

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