- IPR related issues.
What to study?
For Prelims: GI tags and about Rasagulla and controversy surrounding it’s origin.
For Mains: Significance of GI tags.
Context: Odisha has bagged the geographical indication (GI) tag for its local version of “Rasagola”.
This GI tag, numbered 612, is the second for Odisha. It got its first GI tag for Kandhamal Haldi.
This tag comes amid a years-long debate between West Bengal and Odisha over where the sweet had originated.
West Bengal and Odisha had staked their claim on GI tag for Rasagola. In 2017, West Bengal secured the GI tag for its “Banglar Rasogolla”.
Bengalis claim that the Rasgulla was invented in the 19th century by Nobin Chandra Das at his Bagbazar residence in Kolkata, while Odias believe that the tradition of Niladri Bije where Rasgulla is offered started in the 12th century.
Now with Odisha also securing a certificate for a similar but somewhat differently named delicacy, it seems both will be relishing the sweet end.
About GI tag:
What is it?
A GI is primarily an agricultural, natural or a manufactured product (handicrafts and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory.
Significance of a GI tag:
Typically, such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness, which is essentially attributable to the place of its origin.
Once the GI protection is granted, no other producer can misuse the name to market similar products. It also provides comfort to customers about the authenticity of that product.
Provisions in this regard: GI is covered as element of intellectual property rights (IPRs) under Paris Convention for Protection of Industrial Property.
At international level, GI is governed by WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). In India, Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection Act), 1999 governs it.
Sources: the hindu.