Geographical Indication Current Affairs - 2019
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The Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) has ordered Chennai based Geographical Indications Registry (GIR) to issue ‘Geographical Indication’ tag for basmati rice.
This GI tag will be issued to basmati rice variety grown in 7 states in the Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP) on the foothills of the Himalayas.
These states are Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, parts of Uttar Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir. This tag will help to preserve the unique identity of India’s aromatic basmati rice in the international markets.
- Basmati is special long grain aromatic rice grown in a particular Indo-Gangetic Plains geographical region of the Indian sub-continent.
- Historically it is being produced in undivided India from long time and with a recorded history of over 200 years.
- Exports: India is largest producer and exporter on the Basmati rice in the world. Major chunk of India’s basmati rice is exported to Gulf countries viz. Saudi Arabia, Iran, United Arab Emirates, Iraq and Kuwait.
Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) had initiated steps to protect and get GI recognition for Basmati cultivated in the IGP. It had applied for registration of GI basmati rice in its favour in May 2010.
Note: APEDA is statutory authority related to exports of agricultural products. It functions under the aegis of Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
About Geographical Indication (GI)
- Geographical Indication is an insignia on products having a unique geographical origin and evolution over centuries with regards to its special quality or reputation attributes.
- It is a mark of authenticity and ensures that registered authorised users (or at least those residing inside the geographic territory) are allowed to use the popular product name.
- GI registration confers: (i) Legal protection to the products (ii) Prevents unauthorised use of a GI tags by others (iii) Helps consumers to get quality products of desired traits (iv) Promotes economic prosperity of producers of GI tag goods by enhancing their demand in national and international markets.
- Legal Authorities: At international level, GI is governed by World Trade Organisation’s (WTO’s) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
- In India, GI registration is governed by the Geographical Indications of goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999. Darjeeling tea was the first product in India accorded with GI tag.
- Presently, there are total 218 GI tag products from India. Some of them are Mysore Silk, Mysore Pak, Thanjavaur Veena etc.
Chengalikodan banana variety from Thrissur district of Kerala has been accorded Geographical Indication (GI) status by the Chennai based Central GI registry.
This banana variant is uniquely grown in Chowannur, Pazhayannur, Wadakkanchery, Puzhakkal and Ollukkara block panchayats in Thrissur district of Kerala.
Chengalikodan banana is known for its unique shape, size, colour and taste. It was cultivated in erstwhile Chengazhikode from where it got its name as Chengazhikodan banana which was later changed as Chengalikodan banana.
Other GI status products from Kerala
Vazhakkulam pineapple, Central Travancore jaggery, Pokkali rice, Palakkadan matta rice, Wayanadan scented rice varieties Jeerakasala and Gandhakasala are other agricultural products from Kerala already having GI status.
About Geographical Indication (GI) status
- Geographical Indication is an insignia on products having a unique geographical origin and evolution over centuries. These products have special quality or reputation attributable to its geographical origin.
- In India, GI registration is governed by the Geographical Indications of goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.
- Advantages: GI status confers legal protection to these products and prevents unauthorised use of it by others. It promotes economic prosperity of producers of goods and also helps consumers get quality products of desired traits.
- Darjeeling tea was the first agricultural product in India to be accorded with GI tag. Presently, there are nearly 200 unique products registered as GIs in India.