What is a GI tag? 

  • In India, if one thinks of Tirupati or Nagpur, often laddus and oranges come to mind, respectively. Both these products have GI tags

  • While arguing for a GI tag, Tirumala Tirupati Devsthanam said in their application that the highest quality of raw material is procured for the production of the laddu prasad and a variety of skills are required for each stage of its making

  • The GI tag for the Nagour orange reportedly helped farmers brand their products under the tag.

  • Any trader’s body, association, or organisation can apply for a GI tag. 

  • The applicants need to prove the uniqueness of the item with historical records and a complete breakdown of how the product is made. 

  • GI tags are also not meant just for popular products

  • There are hundreds of GI tags across States. 

  • Every GI tag recognises a particular region and product and brings it to the public eye.

  • It is important to note that the raw materials for such products do not have to come from that region (unless it is an agricultural tag). 

  • The leaf that gives the Banarasi paan its identity is not grown in Varanasi; 

  • It comes from Bihar, West Bengal, or Odisha

  • The mulberry silk used in Kancheepuram sarees comes from Karnataka and the gold zari from Surat.

  • There are over 500 GI tags as of January 7, 2023.

  • There are 34 classes of products that can get GI tags, — from chemicals and paint to foodstuff, handicrafts, musical instruments, and even firearms and locomotives. 

  • Handicrafts dominate the list, with over half the GI tags being given to products crafted by skilled artisans.

Benefits of a GI tag

  • A Geographical Indication (GI) tag holds a plethora of benefits for both producers and consumers

For Producers:

  • Protection: The GI tag grants legal protection to unique products originating from a specific geographical area, safeguarding them from imitation and unfair competition

  • This incentivizes producers to maintain the quality and distinctiveness of their products.

  • Enhanced Market Value: The GI tag adds prestige and premium value to the product, attracting a

wider consumer base willing to pay higher prices for the quality and authenticity associated with the tag. 

  • This ultimately leads to increased income and economic prosperity for producers and communities.

  • Boosting Exports: The GI tag helps products stand out in the global market, facilitating international recognition and export opportunities

  • This opens doors for wider market access and increased profits for producers.

  • Preserving Tradition & Skills: The GI tag encourages the preservation of traditional

knowledge, skills, and techniques used in creating the product. 

  • This ensures the continuity of heritage and cultural identity associated with the region.

  • Sustainable Development: By promoting local production and fair trade practices, GI tags foster sustainable development in the region. 

  • This benefits the environment, the local economy, and the overall well-being of the community.

For Consumers:

  • Quality Assurance: The GI tag serves as a guarantee of quality and authenticity

  • Consumers can be confident that they are purchasing a genuine product with specific characteristics and superior taste or craftsmanship.

  • Transparency: The GI tag provides transparency about the product's origin, production methods, and ingredients

  • This empowers consumers to make informed choices and support ethical and sustainable practices.

  • Cultural Discovery: GI tags connect consumers to the cultural heritage and unique traditions associated with the product. 

  • This fosters appreciation for diversity and promotes cultural exchange.

  • Preserving Biodiversity: By encouraging sustainable production practices and protecting unique ecosystems, GI tags contribute to biodiversity conservation

Application Process of GI tag

STEP 1 : Filing of application

STEP 2 and 3: Preliminary scrutiny and examination

STEP 4: Show cause notice

STEP 5: Publication in the geographical indications Journal

STEP 6: Opposition to Registration

STEP 7: Registration

STEP 8: Renewal

STEP 9: Additional protection to notified goods

STEP 10: Appeal

Distribution across states

Importance of GI tags in protecting and promoting India's diverse cultural heritage and unique products. 

  • Geographical Indication (GI) tags play a crucial role in protecting and promoting India's diverse cultural heritage and unique products in several ways:

Protection of Cultural Heritage:

  • Preserving Traditional Knowledge: GI tags safeguard the centuries-old knowledge, skills, and techniques used in creating products like handloom textiles, handicrafts, and agricultural produce. This prevents their dilution and ensures their transmission to future generations.

  • Cultural Identity: GI tags highlight the link between a product and its geographical origin, fostering pride in local communities and strengthening their cultural identity. 

  • They showcase the unique cultural heritage embedded in each product.

  • Combating Imitation: By granting legal protection, GI tags prevent cheap imitations and unfair competition that could undermine the value and cultural significance of authentic products.

  • Enhanced Market Value: The GI tag acts as a quality mark, raising the market value of products and fetching higher prices for producers

  • Global Recognition: GI tags make India's unique products stand out in the international market, attracting wider attention and boosting export opportunities. 

  • This leads to increased economic benefits for producers and the nation as a whole.

  • Consumer Awareness: GI tags educate consumers about the origin, quality, and special characteristics of products, encouraging them to make informed choices and support ethical and sustainable practices.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: GI Tag UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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