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Drafting RTI Application regarding Indian Rupee design selection process...


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  • 11 months later...
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As reported by Manas Sen Gupta in pardaphash.com on 17 Nov 2011:

RTI activist alleges foul play in selection of Indian Rupee symbol :: Parda Phash


RTI activist alleges foul play in selection of Indian Rupee symbol


New Delhi: The second term of the Congress-led UPA government will go down in the annals of Indian history as the period of corruption. One after the other the ruling party was surrounded by scams ranging from allotment of houses to war widows to the world of telecommunication.


Between these tremors that jolted the Indian economy came the pleasant news that after sixty long years from the time India became a republic, the country will have its own distinctly identifiable symbol of the Indian currency.


It was time to rejoice indeed. After all, the most popular symbol was the US Dollar followed by the Euro while a growing economy like India did not have one.


On March 5, 2009, the Indian government announced a contest to create a sign for the Indian rupee. During the 2010 Union Budget, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee mentioned that the proposed sign would reflect and capture the Indian ethos and culture.


Five signs created by Nondita Correa-Mehrotra, Hitesh Padmashali, Shibin KK, Shahrukh J Irani, and D Udaya Kumar were short-listed from around 3331 responses received.


The name of the winner was to be announced at the Union Council of Ministers of India meeting held on June 24, 2010 but it was not done.


It was at the request of the Finance Minister that the decision was deferred to July 15, 2010. On that day the design created by D Udaya Kumar, a scholar at Industrial Design Center, IIT Bombay, was selected to represent the economic symbol of the India's might nationally and globally.


But it seems there was a dark secret behind the selection of the symbol after an RTI activist alleged foul play in the selection process.


RTI activist Rakesh Kumar Singh, who was also one of the participants in the competition, alleged that the selection committee did not give proper time in analyzing the entries. According to him a seven member jury, including representatives of the central government and the Reserve Bank of India, were to select the best design.


Singh said that the 3,331 designs were analyzed in only three meetings of the committee. According to him, the jury took approximately 18 seconds to decide on a design in an analysis period of three days.


The design was to represent the Indian culture and ethos and was required to be in an Indian language. According to Guideline No. 5 of the contest process, submitted symbols were required to be "in the Indian National Language Script or a visual representation".


Singh told Pardaphash that the symbol selected to represent the country's economy violates the guidelines. The new sign is a combination of the Devanagari letter "र" (ra) and the Latin capital letter "R" without its vertical bar. The lines at the top and middle are said to make an allusion to the tricolor.


"Why hasn't the government displayed all the five final designs on the official website of the finance ministry?" questions Singh.


The selection process was challenged by RK Singh under the Right to Information Act in the Delhi High Court. Singh described the process as "full of discrepancies" and "flawed", and named the Finance Ministry and the chairman of Indian Rupee Symbol Selection Committee as respondents.


On November 26, 2010, the Delhi High single bench Court dismissed the writ petition, stating there was no justifiable ground for the stated allegations. But on March 31, 2011, Chief Justice and Justice Sanjiv Khanna of Delhi High Court in their judgment court allowed RTI activist Singh to file PIL against "Indian Rupee symbol selection process".


Interestingly, the winner D Udaya Kumar is the son of former DMK MLA, N Dharmalingam. In the year 2010, the country was shocked after the 2G scam came to light. The ministers allegedly involved in the scam were leaders from the DMK party. Until then the Congress used to favour the DMK party which was in power in Tamil Nadu with M Karunanidhi as the chief minister.


Singh adds that according to the rules, a participant could send only two entries whereas Udaya Kumar sent four. He alleges that a few members of the jury were absent at the time of selection of the design and the ministry did not upload a Hindi version of the guidelines on the official website thereby violating Rajbhasha Act.


The official website of the finance ministry lists the names and addresses of the five finalists. Of them four are from Mumbai and one from Kerala.


With the anti-corruption wave growing strong in the hearts of the people, the Congress-led government is finding itself cornered. In case the allegations by RTI activist Singh are proven true, it will not only be a setback to the country's economy but a national shame.

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  • 7 years later...

With RTI a citizen can only learn facts on record and can not challenge their final decision.   What is the use after discussing when the Panel implemented the design and is used for more than 6 years.

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