Karnataka GI Tags – The State Leads the Way On

    Categories: Government

Karnataka GI tag is soaring high. A GI tag refers to a Geographical Indication. To put it simply, it comprises of a sign or even a name of a product or range of products specific to a particular geographical location. The location could be out of a city, region or area, and country. The aim is to preserve the unique identity of the place in relation to the product that has been passing down from one generation to another.

Seal of Karnataka. Image courtesy AreJay

GI Tags in India

India is a proud member of the renowned organization WTO or World Trade Organization. The GI Tags became a part of Indian goods only in the year 2003 – 15th September, to be specific. As per WTO Agreement, (under Article 22(1), on TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) GI has been defined 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.”

The journey began with Darjeeling tea around 2004-2005 and other products like Mysore silk, Chanapatna toys, Madhubani paintings, Alphonso mangoes, Agra petha and many others followed suit. The act on Geographical Indications of Goods was passed by the Indian Parliament in December 1999.

Channapatna Toys. Image courtesy HPNadig

Karnataka GI Tags – An Overview

Karnataka is the unparalleled leader with an extensive range of 39 items tagged from Dharwad peda and Mysore silk right up to Appemidi mango and Coorg green cardamom. The products registered with the Indian Patent Office have been a whopping 301 in number. Handicraft tops the list, followed by agriculture and food products.

There are, in fact, 19 Karnataka GI tags for handicraft products, 16 for agriculture-related products, 3 for manufactured products and one food item.

There have been some new additions as well: Guledgudd Khana fabric, Bangalore rose onion, Udupi sari, Kinhal toys, Bangalore blue grapes, Nanjangud banana, Mysore sandalwood oil, Kasuti embroidery, Hadagali mallige, Kamalapur red banana, Devanahalli pomello, Mysore sandal soap etc.

The Purpose behind the Karnataka GI Tags

The huge number of Karnataka GI tags is clearly helping the State maintain its uniqueness. Not only does it help in preserving the heritage, but also promotes the culture and flavour of individual cities and towns while emphasizing on biodiversity. To add to the number of the tags of the state, there are a whole lot of them awaiting approval, such as betel nuts of Uttar Kannada, tur dal and the likes.

Karnataka GI tags serve more like a status that allows a geographical area a claim over their product. Additionally, it ensures the quality of the product and gives the producers an upper edge to sell them in the market at higher prices. After all, it’s all about exclusivity and the recognition of the product’s origin by the government agency, i.e. the Indian Patent Office.

Out of the 301 products registered with the Indian Patent Office right from April 2004, the list has been dominated by South Indian states. Be it Kerala, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh or any other state, Karnataka has been leading the way in achieving maximum success rates of approval of 11 over the past 12 years.

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