West Bengal Current Affairs

India’s first advanced Homoeopathy Virology lab inaugurated in Kolkata

India’s first state of art virology laboratory was inaugurated at Dr. Anjali Chatterjee Regional Research Institute for Homoeopathy in Kolkata, West Bengal.

The lab will play important in developing new drugs and technologies in Homoeopathy to combat emerging challenges of viral diseases.

Key Facts

The laboratory is only one of its kind in India for conducting basic and fundamental research in Homoeopathy for viral diseases like influenza, dengue, chickunguniya, Japanese encephalitis and swine flu (H1N1). It will develop new drugs and technologies to combat emerging challenges of viral diseases. The laboratory is recognized by Calcutta University to undertake research work of PhD students in  field of homoeopathy.

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West Bengal’s Gobindobhog rice gets geographical indication status

The Geographical Indications Registry (GIR) has granted geographical indication (GI) status to Gobindobhog rice, a speciality from Burdwan district of West Bengal.  The state government had applied for GI status for Gobindobhog rice in August 2015.

Gobindobhog rice

Gobindobhog variety of rice is a short grain, white, aromatic, sticky rice having a sweet buttery flavor. It derives its name from principal ingredient usage in preparation of offerings to Govindajiu, the family deity of Setts of Kolkata.

It is primarily cultivated in east Burdwan district – in southern basin of Damodar River in Raina 1, Raina 2 and Khandaghosh blocks. Burdwan region (now divided into districts of east and west Burdwan) is known as the rice bowl of Bengal. The south Damodar belt is traditional area of Gobindobhog rice cultivation.

The rice variety has several advantages. It is cultivated late and therefore not much affected by rains. Its productivity per area is high and so farmers get better prices for Gobindobhog rice. It is less prone to pests as well.

Significance

As a result of getting the GI tag, rice produced from other regions or rice of other varieties cannot be branded as ‘Gobindobhog’. It will also strengthen marketability of this rice in the local, national and international markets.

About Geographical Indication (GI)

GI tag is an insignia on products having a unique geographical origin and evolution over centuries with regards to its special quality or reputation attributes. The status to the products marks its authenticity and ensures that registered authorised users are allowed to use the popular product name.

It is covered as an element of intellectual property rights (IPRs) under Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. At international level, GI is governed by 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 which came into force in September 2003. It is granted by Chennai based GIR. Darjeeling tea was the first product to accorded with GI tag in India.

Benefits of GI Status: (i) Legal protection to the products (ii) Prevents unauthorised use of a GI tag products 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.

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