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Keyboards with rupee symbol to be rolled out from January 2012

Come January 2012 and the symbol of the Indian rupee will appear on computer keyboards in the same row where the numerals and symbols of other currencies,say dollar,exist.

Written by Kirtika Suneja | New Delhi |
July 16, 2011 1:44:39 am

Come January 2012 and the symbol of the Indian rupee will appear on computer keyboards in the same row where the numerals and symbols of other currencies,say dollar,exist.

“The symbol is being approved by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and will be on the keyboards by January next year,” said N Ravi Shanker,additional secretary,department of information technology.

This would present a huge opportunity for the hardware players,especially with incremental sales coming from replacement of old keyboards.

“There is a big market for keyboard manufacturers as a direct result of the incorporation of the rupee symbol in keyboards. The significant strength exhibited by the Indian rupee in the recent months and continuous good performance of the Indian economy garner the need of the Indian rupee symbol in the keyboard,” said Anwar Shirpurwala,acting executive director,Manufacturer’s Association of Information Technology (MAIT) .

According to a joint study by MAIT and IMRB,keyboard sales stood at 57 lakh in 2009-10 against the total computer sales of 80 lakh.

“We have high sales in the corporate and banking segment and this will add to it though the new keyboards will be priced just as the previous ones,” said an official from Zenith Computers which has already placed the new symbol on its keyboards.

On the software front,operating system developers like Microsoft and Redhat have come out with keyboard drivers and software patches for implementation of the new symbol.

Chennai-based TVS Electronics had launched a new keyboard with a dedicated Indian rupee symbol key in August last year and the first six months saw a 10-15% increase in keyboard sales.

“There is a fair amount of inquiry and it has created a niche for itself. Our keyboards are going to banks and other organisations,” said S S Raman,managing director,TVS Electronics.

The TVS Gold Bharat,as it is christened by the Chennai-based company,is not priced differently.

The company was the first and only Indian IT company to incorporate the new symbol in its keyboard.

“We were able to launch it soon because keyboards are a separate product line for us as we are in the peripherals business,” Raman added.

For keyboards without the in-built symbol,there is an appropriate driver that needs to be installed for using the new rupee symbol in the computing process. After the installation of this driver,the new symbol can be typed by simultaneously pressing Alt Gr + 4 keys. The new rupee symbol can also be typed by simultaneously pressing Alt + Ctrl + 4 keys in the old keyboard after installing the driver .

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