Geographical Indication – UPSC GS3

Geographical Indication is a genre of Intellectual Property. It is awarded to those products that are specially linked to a particular geographical regions. These could be naturally grown crops like Assam Chilies or manufactured products like Jaipur Pottery.

Benefits of GI
  1. The GI tag allows the producers of the objects to claim a premium for their products. Thus, it is financially beneficial to them.
  2. The GI tag can also pique interest of consumers and thus raise demand for a product again benefiting the producer.
  3. GI tag also helps the original producers of the product to tackle the reputational problems caused by fake products.
  4. Products having GI tag also have a high demand in the export market. Thus, they also help to bring in valuable foreign exchange.
While there are a lot of benefits to having a GI tag, there is comparatively a lack of awareness about the same. This is due to the following reasons:
  1. Intellectual Property Rights like patents, trademarks etc. generally concern very sophisticated products or large organizations which are aware about the benefits of IPR. However, GI is focused towards traditional products which mostly involve the poorer section.
  2. There is no concerted effort by the administration to conduct awareness drives for the affected people so that they can utilize the GI tag properly.
  3. Information about GI tags is rarely available in the vernacular and hence, inaccessible to the people.
  4. The government must leverage the potential of GI tags. India is a vast nation with diverse cultures and heritage. Proper leverage of the GI tag would help a vast section of poorly paid artisans to come out of clutches of poverty while at the same time conserve the heritage of the country.
  5. Scarcity of raw material making them to choose alternative employment e.g. Thanjavur Veena -raw material Jackfruit tree which was scarce now.
  6. There is lack of standardization of the quality which poses a challenge to get them legal status
  7. Market and pricing are fragmented, the intermediaries devalues the product
Critically examine the benefits of GI and explain why there is lack of awareness on GI compared to intellectual property rights. (200 Words)



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