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D. Udaya Kumar

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D. Udaya Kumar
Udaya Kumar in April 2012
Alma mater
Occupation(s)Associate professor and Head of Department of Design, IIT Guwahati
Known forThe designer of the Indian rupee sign (2010)
Notable workIndian rupee sign

Udaya Kumar Dharmalingam is an Indian academic and designer noted for his design of the Indian rupee sign.[1] His design was selected from among five short listed symbols.[2] According to Kumar, the design is based on the Indian tricolour.[3]

As of December 2019, he is the Head of the Department of Design at IIT Guwahati, Assam.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Kumar is the son of N. Dharmalingam, a former DMK member of the legislative assembly of the state of Tamil Nadu.[5]


Kumar attended La Chatelaine Junior College in Chennai. He obtained a bachelor's degree in architecture (BArch) from the School of Architecture and Planning (SAP) at Anna University, Chennai in 2001. Subsequently he received his master's degree, an MDes in Visual Communication, from the Industrial Design Centre (IDC) of IIT Bombay in 2003. He also did his doctoral studies at the IDC, receiving his PhD in 2010.[6]


The rupee symbol

His areas of interest include graphic design, typography, type design and design research with special focus on Tamil typography (the subject of his doctoral research).

He has also designed a Tamil font named "Parashakti" as a mini project at the IDC, under the guidance of Prof. G. V. Sreekumar, who is one of the few font experts in the country. During his MDes project he wrote and designed a book on Tamil typography, which is the first attempt at bringing such a subject to a Tamil audience. In this book, Kumar also created new Tamil terminology for many typographic terms where English words were used.[7][failed verification][better source needed]

Kumar also provided guidance for the designing of the official mascot for the 49th Inter IIT Sports Meet.

Kumar conceptualised the design for Rupee symbol for Indian currency. The symbol is created using the Devanagari letter र 'Ra' and Roman capital letter 'R'. The letters are derived from the word Rupiah in Hindi and Rupees in English, so the symbol is meaningful to both Indians and international users. It also uses the Shirorekha, the horizontal top line which is unique to Indian Devanagari script. The two horizontal lines form an "equals" sign, which also evokes the tri-color Indian flag.[8] Ambika Soni approved the new rupee symbol on 15 July 2010.[9] Udaya Kumar was awarded prize money of 250,000 for his efforts.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Rupee gets a new symbol". Retrieved 19 November 2011.
  2. ^ "Final Selection for the Symbol for Indian Rupee – List of Five Entries: Ministry of Finance, Government of India". Finmin.nic.in. Archived from the original on 25 July 2010. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
  3. ^ "I hit upon representative Devanagari, says winner". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 16 July 2010.
  4. ^ "Department of Design, IIT Guwahati". Iitg.ernet.in. 17 May 2011. Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  5. ^ "My son has brought glory to TN". The New Indian Express. Archived from the original on 9 April 2016. Retrieved 29 March 2016.
  6. ^ "UdayaKumar :: Resume". idc.iitb.ac.in. Retrieved 27 June 2023.
  7. ^ "D. Udaya Kumar (personal home page)". IIT Mumbai.
  8. ^ Kumar, D. Udaya. "Currency Symbol for Indian Rupee" (PDF). Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 August 2010. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  9. ^ Kumar, Sushil. "Symbol for Indian Rupee" (PDF). Ministry of Finance, Government of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 March 2015. Retrieved 1 August 2015.

External links[edit]