From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Kolhapuri Chappal, GI Tag
Mains level : Implications of GI Tags
- Kolhapuris, the sturdy leather chappal that rose from its humble rural origins to occupy the high table of fashion globally, now has a Geographical Indication (GI) tag.
- The Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks has granted the GI tag for Kolhapuris to a large area in Maharashtra and Karnataka, covering four districts in each state.
- According to the GI application made by the two states, Kolhapuris can be traced back to the 12th century King Bijjal who ruled Bidar in Karnataka.
- His prime minister Vishwaguru Basavanna wanted to create a casteless society and remove the stigma associated with the cobbler community.
- The community embraced Lingayat faith and used its creative skills to start producing footwear known equally for its ruggedness and regal bearing.
- Brand Kolhapuri came into being only in the beginning of 20th century when the footwear began to be traded in Kolhapur.
- Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj (1874-1922) of Kolhapur encouraged its production and 29 tanning centres were opened during his rule in Kolhapur.
What GI tag means for the Kolhapuris?
- The GI tag will open large markets – both domestic and international – to the artisans producing Kolhapuris in Kolhapur, Solapur, Sangli and Satara districts of Maharashtra and Dharwad, Belgaum, Bagalkot and Bijapur districts of Karnataka.
- What the GI tag means is that footwear produced only in these eight districts will qualify to carry the tag of being Kolhapuris.
Geographical Indications in India
- A Geographical Indication is used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.
- Such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness which is essentially attributable to its origin in that defined geographical locality.
- This tag is valid for a period of 10 years following which it can be renewed.
- Recently the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry has launched the logo and tagline for the Geographical Indications (GI) of India.
- The first product to get a GI tag in India was the Darjeeling tea in 2004.
- The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 (GI Act) is a sui generis Act for protection of GI in India.
- India, as a member of the WTO enacted the Act to comply with the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
- Geographical Indications protection is granted through the TRIPS Agreement. See also the Paris Convention, the Madrid Agreement, the Lisbon Agreement, the Geneva Act.