Geographical indication (GI) is a name or sign used on certain products which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin (e.g. a town, region, or country).
Approved by the Geneva-headquartered World Trade Organization, a GI tag recognized the place of origin of a product and the specific qualities or means of production associated with it. GI Tag acts as a certificate and it is a way of ensuring that similar products from elsewhere cannot be sold under this name.
A GI Tag is valid for a decade, after which it can be renewed for another 10 years. In India, the GI tag is governed by the Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act which came into being in 1999.
India, as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), enacted the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act, 1999 has come into force with effect from 15th September 2003.
Darjeeling Tea was the first Indian product to get the geographical indication tag. In 2004, the famous beverage got the recognition. You might have heard of intellectual properties rights like Copyright, Patent, Trademark etc. Geographical Indication Tag provides similar rights and protection to holders.
In September 2019, the government assigned Geographical Indication (GI) labels to four new products from the states of Tamil Nadu, Mizoram and Kerala. Geographical indications were registered by the Department for the Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) for Palani Panchamirtham in the city of Palani, Tamil Nadu, Tawlhlohpuan and Mizo Puanchei in Mizoram and Tirur Betel in Kerala.
- Palani Panchamirtham, a ‘prasadam’ or religious offering in temples: Palani Town, Tamil Nadu
- Tawlhlohpuan, is a fine quality fabric woven: Mizoram.
- Mizo Puanchei, essentially a shawl, is considered the most colourful textile: Mizoram.
- Tirur betel vine valued for its medicinal and cultural usages: Malappuram district of Kerala.
- ‘Odisha rasagola‘, for the delectable eastern sweet: Odisha
Other GI Tags list of 2019:
- Kandhamal Haladi-Agricultural-Odisha
- Kodaikanal Malai Poondu-Agricultural– Tamil Nadu
- Gulbarga Tur Dal-Agricultural-Karnataka
- Irish Whiskey-Manufactured-Ireland
- Khola Chilli-Agricultural-Goa
- Idu Mishmi Textile-Handicraft– Arunachal Pradesh
- Dindigul Locks-Manufactured– Tamil Nadu
- Kandangi Saree-Handicraft– Tamil Nadu
- Srivilliputtur Palkova— Food Stuff- Tamil Nadu
- Kaji Nemu-Agricultural– Assam