From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Pashmina Wool
Mains level : BIS Certification
- Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has published an Indian Standard for identification, marking and labelling of Pashmina products to certify its purity.
- Pashmina is a fine type of cashmere wool. The textiles made from it were first woven in Kashmir.
- The wool comes from a number of different breeds of the cashmere goat; such as the changthangi or Kashmir pashmina goat from the Changthang Plateau in Tibet and part of the Ladakh region and few parts of Himachal Pradesh.
- Often shawls called shahmina are made from this material in Kashmir and Nepal; these shawls are hand spun and woven from the very fine cashmere fibre.
- Traditional producers of pashmina wool are people known as the Changpa.
- The certification will help curb the adulteration of Pashmina and also protect the interests of local artisans and nomads who are the producers of Pashmina raw material.
- It will also assure the purity of Pashmina for customers.
- It will ensure better prices for the goat herding community in Ladakh as well as for the local handloom artisans producing genuine Pashmina products.
About Pashmina goat
- The Changthangi or Pashmina goat is a special breed of goat indigenous to the high altitude regions of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir.
- They are raised for ultra-fine cashmere wool, known as Pashmina once woven. The Textiles are handspun and were first woven in Kashmir.
- The Changthangi goat grows a thick warn undercoat which is the source of Kashmir Pashmina wool – the world’s finest cashmere measuring between 12-15 microns in fiber thickness.
- These goats are generally domesticated and reared by nomadic communities called the Changpa in the Changthang region of Greater Ladakh.
- The Changthangi goats have revitalized the economy of Changthang, Leh and Ladakh region.
Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS)
- The BIS is the national Standards Body of India working under the aegis of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution.
- It is established by the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986 which came into effect on 23 December 1986.
- The Minister in charge of the Ministry or Department having administrative control of the BIS is the ex-officio President of the BIS.