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Do You Know how the States, Cities and Regions get GI Tag for their Special Products?

November 18,2017:

Hyderabad’s Haleem is the only Indian dish to have got a GI status.

GI Tag
GI Tag

White soft mithai doused in a sugary syrup was subject matter of tussle between West Bengal and Odisha.

West Bengal Govt. had filed a court petition along with an application for the Geographical Indication (GI) recognition for the Rasagolla.

Odisha too had applied for a Geographical Indication tag for the sweet.

Odisha Govt. had even formed a Committee. Odisha’s Science and Technology Minister Pradip Kumar Panigrahi claimed that the desert had its roots in Odisha.

Rhetorics were high in both neighbouring states as Odisha step further and declared 30 July as ‘Rasagolla Dibasa’ to celebrate its origin. Odisha had claimed that the sweet originated from the Jagannath Temple in Puri, where it has a part of the religious rituals since the 12th century.

Odisha called it ‘Pahala Rasgulla’ but in its original application to the Geographical Indication, West Bengal had sought the Geographical Indication tag on what they call it as “Banglar Rasogolla” (Bengal’s Rasgulla) which was different from that of Odisha in terms of colour, texture, taste, juice content and the manufacturing process.

West Bengal claimed that confectioner Nobin Chandra Das is widely known as the one, who created Rasgolla in the 1860s.The GI Registrar Office settled the issue once and for all granting West Bengal the desired GI tag.

Did You Know –

Darjeeling tea became the first Geographical Indication tagged product in India with the enactment of Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999. Since then nearly 300 goods have been added to the list.

So, what is a Geographical Indication Tag and why were the stakes so high?

As defined by the section 2 (3)(e) of Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999, Geographical indication has been defined as “an indication which identifies such goods as agricultural goods, natural goods or manufactured goods as originating, or manufactured in the territory of a country, or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of such goods is essentially attributable to its geographical origin and in case where such goods are manufactured goods one of the activities of either the production or of processing or preparation of the goods concerned takes place in such territory, region or locality, as the case may be.”

At the International level, GI is governed by World Trade Organisation’s (WTO’s) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

Essentially, the GI tag is an intellectual property identifier recognising the origin of a product and providing an assurance of quality and uniqueness, which are attributable to the place of its origin.

Once the GI tag is granted to a product, it prevents unauthorised use of the geographical indication by producers elsewhere.

Uttarakhand’s much famed Tejpatta which is a popular spice used extensively in hilly cuisine, has been awarded a Geographical Indication (GI) certificate making it first product indigenous to State to have made it to GI list.

The Banganapalle Mango of Andhra Pradesh has got the coveted GI tag in the year 2017.

Under Section 39 of the Act, Anyone who falsely applies or falsifies any geographical indication, tampers the origin of a good or even makes or has in possession machines or other accessories to use in falsification of GI is an offender.

This helps in boosting the business in its indigenous place due to higher export demands owing to its unique identity. A GI is registered for an initial period of ten years, which may be renewed from time to time.

For now, with bragging rights secured over the sweet West Bengal can help manufacturers with better incentives.

For Odisha with all the hype it created, the Sweet has left a bitter taste in their mouth. Kolkata the city of Joy can now rejoice even more over its blue-eyed sweet “Rasgolla”.

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