GI(Geographical Indicator) Tags

Aug, 02, 2018

GI logo, tagline launched

GI logo, tagline launched


Mains Paper 3: issues relating to intellectual property rights

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Geographical Indications (GI)

Mains level: IPR regime in India


GI gets an ID

  1. Commerce and Industry Minister launched a logo and tagline for Geographical Indications (GI) to increase awareness about intellectual property rights (IPRs) in the country
  2. The initiative would help promote awareness and importance of GI products

About GI products

  1. A GI product is primarily an agricultural, natural or a manufactured product (handicraft and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory
  2. Darjeeling Tea, Tirupati Laddu, Kangra Paintings, Nagpur Orange and Kashmir Pashmina are among the registered GIs in India
Apr, 24, 2018

GI tag for Warangal dhurries brings hope to weavers

Image source


Mains Paper 3: issues relating to intellectual property rights

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Geographical Indication, Warangal dhurries

Mains level: Laws related to IPR in India and schemes for protection of ancient art


GI Tag for Telangana

  1. The Chennai-based GI Registry gave Geographical Indication certificate for Warangal dhurries
  2. The shatranji carpets and jainamaaz prayer mats are made in Warangal

Specialty of carpets

  1. Bright colors, geometrically repetitive patterns and interlocking zigzag motifs in cotton and jute are the signature styles of the carpets
  2. One of the newest innovations by the weavers here is an adaptation of tie-dyed ikat techniques and hand-painted or block-printed kalamkari designs for the dhurries to save time and energy


Kalamkari Paintings

  1. Kalamkari or qalamkari is a type of hand-painted or block-printed cotton textile, produced in Iran and
  2. Its name originates in the Persian, which is derived from the words qalam (pen) and kari (craftsmanship),
    meaning drawing with a pen
  3. There are two distinctive styles of kalamkari art in India – the Srikalahasti style and the Machilipatnam
  4. The Srikalahasti style of kalamkari, wherein the "kalam" or pen is used for freehand drawing of the
    subject and filling in the colors is entirely hand worked
  5. The Pedana Kalamkari craft made at Pedana nearby Machilipatnam in Krishna district, Andhra Pradesh,
    evolved with the patronage of the Mughals and the Golconda sultanate
Mar, 30, 2018

Madhya Pradesh’s Kadaknath chicken gets Geographical Indication tag

Image source


Mains Paper 3: issues relating to intellectual property rights

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: GI tags, Kadaknath breed

Mains level: India’s IPR regime and related issues


MP gets GI tag for a chicken breed

  1. Madhya Pradesh has received the Geographical Indications (GI) tag for Kadaknath, a chicken breed whose black meat is in demand in some quarters
  2. The protein-rich meat of Kadaknath, chicks, and eggs are sold at a much higher rate than other varieties of chicken

About the breed

  1. The breed is native to Jhabua, Alirajpur, and parts of Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh
  2. It is also known as “Kali masi”
  3. The Kadaknath is popular mainly for its adaptability, and the good-tasting black meat, which is believed to infuse vigor


Geographical Indications (GI) tag

  1. A geographical indication (GI) is a name or sign used on certain products which correspond to a specific geographical location or origin (e.g. a town, region, or country)
  2. GIs have been defined under Article 22(1) of the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement as: “Indications which identify a good as originating in the territory of a member, or a region or a locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographic origin
  3. India, as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), enacted the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 has come into force with effect from 15 September 2003
  4. The GI tag ensures that none other than those registered as authorized users (or at least those residing inside the geographic territory) are allowed to use the popular product name
  5. Darjeeling tea became the first GI tagged product in India, in 2004-05
Nov, 28, 2017

[op-ed snap] Locked out, without a GI tag


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of the GI tag

Mains level: This topic is recently in news due to a case between West Bengal and Odisha, related to the GI tagging. This makes the topic important for the Mains.



  1. The article talks about some issues related to GI tagging

Why are Geographical Indicator (GI) tags important?

  1. GIs support local production and are an important economic tool for the uplift of rural and tribal communities
  2. Different from the IPR: Unlike other Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) which guarantee the protection of individual interest, GI is a collective right
  3. If their products qualify, producers can use the collective GI mark while commercially exploiting their products

Origin of the GI tag

  1. India implemented a sui generis legislation on GI in 1999, a prime reason being its obligation to have a law on GI as a member of the WTO-TRIPS
  2. The politics behind the incorporation of GI in TRIPS is revealing
  3. The United States was not a supporter of GI, and it was lobbying by the European Union (EU) that ensured its inclusion in TRIPS
  4. The EU already had its domestic mechanisms in place to protect GIs and was keen to protect its products in international markets

India’s view on GI tag

  1. Interestingly, the debate on GI in India has never gone beyond Article 23 of TRIPS, which gives a preference to wines and spirits over other goods
  2. Scholars in India have always observed that the additional protection of wines and spirits is a huge setback for GI trade related to the developing countries
  3. As in developing countries the GIs are largely related to agricultural and handicraft products

Shortcomings in Indian GI Act

  1. As India has failed over the years to introspect on its own domestic legislation, it is important to highlight the shortcomings of the Indian GI Act
  2. It is important to note that TRIPS only provides a minimum standard of protection. Nowhere is there an insistence on a particular framework for protection of GI
  3. In fact, TRIPS does not even mandate a sui generis mode of protection for GI
  4. Against this backdrop, proof of origin is a mandatory criterion for registering GIs in India
  5. This provision is borrowed from the EU’s regulations on GI protection
  6. What is cause for concern is not proof of origin as a criteria to register GI: but the focus on historic proof in the form of documentary evidence (such as gazetteers, published documents, news articles, advertisement materials) to bring out the historic development of GIs
  7. Issues with documentary evidences: Documentary evidence as proof of origin may be a foolproof mechanism to ensure the link between the product and territory
  8. but in a country such as India where there are regions like the Northeast where oral history has had far wider convention over written history, this provision will prove to be a formidable hurdle

Particular case of Assam

  1. Assam has been exploring its natural, agricultural and traditional products as potential GI material
  2. One such example is a traditional rice wine called ‘Judima’ which is made by the Dimasa tribe of Dima Hasao, one of the autonomous hill districts of Assam
  3. The State government has been tracking academic discourse on the subject with the intent of exploring possibilities in registering it
  4. But a stumbling block has been the difficulty in gathering documentary evidence as proof of origin. It is the same case with many other products from the Northeast
  5. For example, in the case of ‘Judima’, the word ‘Ju’ stands for drink and ‘Dima’ for Dimasas, but the absence of any documentary proof makes the case a difficult one to prove
  6. Therefore, what is the rationality behind including and retaining such provisions in the law?

What should be done?

  1. What happens in cases such where a written history is rare? Do the products of the region then not stand a chance under the GI law?
  2. In a particular instance, the GI Registry considered etymology in establishing proof of origin
  3. However, this does not guarantee that a similar stance will be adopted while considering other potential GI products(especially when the existing law leans heavily on documentary proof)
  4. The GI authorities should amend the existing provision


GI Tag

  1. A geographical indication (GI) is a name or sign used on products which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin (e.g. a town, region, or country)
  2. The use of a geographical indication may act as a certification that the product possesses certain qualities, is made according to traditional methods, or enjoys a certain reputation, due to its geographical origin
  3. Governments have been protecting trade names and trademarks used in relation to food products identified with a particular region since at least the end of the nineteenth century, using laws against false trade descriptions or passing off, which generally protect against suggestions that a product has a certain origin, quality or association when it does not
  4. In such cases, the limitation on competitive freedoms which results from the grant of a monopoly of use over a geographical indication is justified by governments either by consumer protection benefits or by producer protection benefits
Aug, 01, 2016

IIT Kgp helping in filing of GI application for 'Goyna Bori'

  1. ‘Goyna Bori’ – the fine art of using lentil paste mix to create exquisite designs
  2. The Art form finds its mention in the works of Rabindranath Tagore. It is believed to have originated in Midnapore
  3. IIT has also planned to file GI for Kangri, a basket that is traditionally used by the people of Kashmir to keep themselves warm by keeping burning charcoals in it.
Feb, 23, 2016

GI tag for four Bengali sweets soon

  1. News: The West Bengal govt is planning to get GI tag for 4 traditional sweetmeat delicacies of the State to help protect them from imitations
  2. The four sweetmeats are ‘Moa’ of Jainagar, ‘Sarpuria’ of Krishnagar, and ‘Sitabhog’ and ‘Mihidana’ of Burdwan
  3. Future: The Centre also has plans to export sweets from the State and the GI tags would be of immense help in that endeavour
Feb, 18, 2016

M.P. appeals against IPAB order on Basmati

  1. Context: Registration of a Geographical Indication (GI) tag for Basmati rice
  2. Background: Intellectual Property Appellate Board has denied GI tag for Basmati rice of MP
  3. GI tag has been approved for 7 north Indian Basmati rice-producing states like Punjab, Haryana, HP and Uttarakhand and parts of UP and J&K
  4. News: The MP govt has approached the Madras HC to quash the order and direct the registry to hear the matter afresh
Feb, 08, 2016

Indian basmati rice all set to get GI tag

  1. The Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) has ordered issue GI tag for basmati rice grown in the Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP) on the foothills of the Himalayas
  2. This means north Indian Basmati rice-producing states like Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand and parts of Uttar Pradesh and J&K will get the GI tag
  3. The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) had applied for registration of GI basmati rice
  4. The order comes 7 years after APEDA initiated steps to protect and get GI recognition for Basmati cultivated in the IGP
  5. This will preserve the unique identity of the aromatic rice in the international markets
Sep, 23, 2015

West Bengal seeks GI tag for rasagolla

  1. Amid controversy over the origins of the iconic sweet, rasagolla,the West Bengal has set off the official process of staking its claim, by filing application for the Geographical Indication (GI) for the syrupy sweet.
  2. A bitter-war has broken out over the origins of this white dripping-with-sweetness-ball of cottage-cheese.
  3. The fight is between Odisha and West Bengal, with each one claiming ownership of rasagolla.

Darjeeling Tea (word & logo), Nakshi Kantha, Laxman Bhog Mango, Santipore Saree from West Bengal and Orissa Pattachitra (Logo) from Odisha already made in GI list.


Sep, 03, 2015

Tickle your taste buds with ‘Putarekulu’

  1. “There are many sweets made in Andhra. But, ‘Putarekulu’ are made only in Atreyapuram.
  2. Tucked in lush green fields on Godavari canal bund, the village became famous for its ‘Putarekulu’ sweet which is exported to various Indian cities and other countries.
  3. ‘Putarekulu’ made with ghee and jaggery can be stored up to one month. If made with dry fruits, the rolls can be stored for 10 days.
  4. However, the sweets can be preserved for more days by storing in fridges.
  5. Find out more such endemic varieties of sweets which served India and may be World!

Find out more such endemic varieties of sweets which served India and may be World! We have GI tag indicator for some sweets – Help us make an extended list here!
Tirupati laddu already makes in a list of UPSC’s GI tag!!

Apr, 01, 2015

9 north-eastern Indian products get GI registry

  1. Government owned North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited (NERMAC) took the initiative to get GI registry for these exclusive local crops.
  2. The products include –
  3. Assam – Karbi Anglong’s Ginger & Tezpur Litchi | Meghalaya – Khasi Mandarin | Sikkim – Large Cardamom | Mizoram – Bird Eye Chilly.
  4. Manipur – Kachai Lemon | Tripura – Queen Pineapple |  Arunachal – Orange & Nagaland – Tree Tomato.
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