- Recently the government has given Geographical Indication (GI) tag to Mithila Makhana.
- This move is expected to help the growers to get maximum price for their premium produce.
Geographical Indication (GI) Tag
- GI is an indicator used to identify goods with special characteristics originating from a certain geographical area.
- The ‘Geographical Indications of Goods’ (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 seeks to provide better protection and registration of Geographical Indications relating to goods in India.
- It is also part of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) of the World Trade Organization.
- The decision was taken under Articles 1(2) and 10 of the Paris Convention and also stated that the protection of industrial property and geographical indications are elements of intellectual property.
- It is primarily agricultural, natural or manufactured products (handicrafts and industrial goods).
- Registration of Geographical Indication is valid for a period of 10 years. It can be renewed from time to time for an additional period of 10-10 years.
Importance of Geographical Indication:
- Once granted Geographical Indication status, no other manufacturer can misuse its name to market similar products. It also facilitates the customers about the authenticity of that product.
- Geographical Indication of a product prevents unauthorized use of other registered Geographical Indications.
- Which promotes the export of Indian Geographical Indications by providing legal protection and also enables other WTO member countries to obtain legal protection.
- GI tag helps in promoting the export of the product.
- It also facilitates the customers about the authenticity of that product.
- There is a proper process of registration of GI products which includes filing of application, preliminary inquiry and examination, show cause notice, publication in Geographical Indication magazine, opposition to registration and registration.
- Any association of persons, producers, organization or authority established by or under law may apply.
- The applicant should represent the interests of the producers.
GI Tag Products:
- Some of the famous items that have been given this tag include Basmati Rice, Darjeeling Tea, Chanderi Fabric, Mysore Silk, Kullu Shawl, Kangra Chai, Thanjavur Painting, Allahabad Surkha, Farrukhabad Print, Lucknow Zardozi, Kashmir Kesar and Kashmir Walnut Wood Carvings included.
- Mithila Makhana or Makhan (botanical name: Euryle ferox salisub) is a special variety of Makhana grown in the Mithila region of Bihar and Nepal.
- Makhana is one of the three iconic cultural identities of Mithila.
- Paan, Makhan and Mach (fish) are the three iconic cultural identities of Mithila.
- It is also very famous in the Kojagra festival of Maithil Brahmins celebrated for newly married couples.
- Makhana contains protein and fiber along with micronutrients like calcium, magnesium, iron and phosphorus.
Other products from Bihar getting GI tag:
- GI tagging of products in Bihar has helped in brand building, creating local employment, creating a regional brand, creating spin-off effects in tourism, preserving traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions and conserving biodiversity.
Many products of Bihar have been given GI tag, such as:
- Bhagalpuri Jardalu Mango
- Shear Rice
- Magahi leaves (paan)
- Shahi Lychee
- Silao Khaja (a delicious dish)
- Madhubani painting
- Applique Work
- In June 2022, the Geographical Indication (GI) Registry in Chennai accepted the initial proposal to grant GI tags to ‘Bavan Booti’ sarees of Nalanda, ‘Patharkatti stone crafts’ from Gaya and ‘Chinia’ variety of bananas from Hajipur. .
- It is also proposed to give GI tag to three sweets of Bihar- Khurma, Tilkut and Balushahi.