We being the citizens of India are justifiably proud of our nation not only because of its rich diversity, culture and traditions, but also for the kind of diversified goods that we can successfully access and enjoy from different parts of the country. After all, who hasn’t heard of Pashmina Shawls from Kashmir, Kathputlis from Rajasthan, Oranges from Nagpur, Kutch Embroidery from Gujarat, Agarbathi from Mysuru and Laddu from Tirupathi Balaji temple? These products command a significance in the minds of consumers as they come from specific cities, regions or states.
What are GI products?
Well, GI stands for Geographical Indication – a sign or a name which is specifically used to signify a product (with refined quality, quantity, characteristics and good features) corresponding to a specific geographical location. After becoming a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), India approved the Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection Act) in 1999, which later came into effect on September 15, 2003. There is a Geographical Indications (GI) Registry at the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) that evaluates and confers GI tag. This tag ensures that only registered authorised users can easily adopt a product name.
Interestingly, Darjeeling Tea was the first Indian product to get the GI tag. It means only the tea locally grown and produced in Darjeeling (India) is allowed to be sold as ‘Darjeeling’ tea! No other region in the world can claim to produce ‘Darjeeling’ Tea.
How does a GI tag help?
Addition of the GI tag adds instant charm and favourable reputation to a product. “Since the qualities depend on the geographical place of production, there is a clear link between the product and its original place of production,” says the World Intellectual Property Organisation explaining the GI tag.
Procurement of a GI tag leads to the following advantages for a product:
– The moment a product gets the special GI tag, it acquires a refined status, and can command increased prices in international markets.
– It makes a positive impact on local tourism.
– It reduces the bargaining power of an intermediary.
– Tags like these in the long run lead to sustainable development.
– Conferment of this unique tag on locally produced goods gives rise to a competitive spirit among the manufacturers, which never lets them compromise on their quantity.
– It also means that a similar product produced in another region can not appropriate the tag. For example, no other region in the world can name their local embroidery as Phulkari, except the special embroidery in Punjab.
Excited? If you want to know the names of some famous products in India with GI tags, here is an indicative list:
It is a beautiful northeastern state, peacefully situated in the eastern Himalayas along with the soul cherishing Barak and Brahmaputra river valleys. This state is famous throughout India for its Assam tea and silk. However, GI tag is granted to a few of its products, known to possess exceptional qualities such as:
- Muga Silk
- Tezpur Litchi
- Joha Rice
This Indian state is internationally known for its breath-taking Great Buddha Statue, situated at Bodh Gaya. Interestingly, this eastern state is the 12th largest in India. Meanwhile, this state has been honoured with GI tags for the following items:
- Sikki Grass Work of Bihar
- Madhubani Paintings
- Bhagalpur Silk
- Magahi Paan
Roaming in the breezy land near Loktak lake will give goosebumps to your skin. In case you are looking for something windy cool, then this northeastern state will fulfill your needs. Not only with its everlasting beauty but with the GI tag assured products, some of which are:
- Moirang Phee (fabric and sarees)
- Shape Lanphere
- Kachai Lemon (special lemon grown in Kachai region)
- Wangkhei Phee
4. West Bengal
This Indian state bordered by Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh welcomes people from all over the world to its enjoyable tourist attractions. Some of the most visited attractions include Darjeeling, Morgan House, Cooch Behar Palace, Dooars and many others. This state has been awarded with the GI tags for products such as:
- Darjeeling Tea
- Santiniketan Leather Goods
- Khirsapati and Fazli Mango
- Banglar Rosogolla
5. Uttar Pradesh
This north Indian state is visited by many tourists because of its famous tourist attractions such as Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri, Agra Fort, sangam at Prayagraj (Allahabad) etc. The list of popular products of this populous state doesn’t end here. The list of GI tags given to some products of this state includes:
- Banaras Brocades and Sarees
- Lucknow Chikan Craft
- Mango Malihabadi/ Dussehri
- Varanasi Glass Beads
- Khurja Pottery
- Mirzapur handmade Durrie
Famously known as the “Land of Kings”, Rajasthan is one of the most alluring places of India. The very sight of the grand architecture of Umaid Bhawan Palace, Amer Fort, Jantar Mantar and Mount Abu is absolutely magnificent. This awe-inspiring state has been recognised with GI tag for products such as:
- Sanganeri Hand-Block Printing
- Blue Pottery of Jaipur
- Makrana Marble
- Bikaneri Bhujia
7. Madhya Pradesh
This enchanting state is located in central India and is nicknamed as the “Heart of India”. In terms of area, it is considered as the second largest state in the country. Moreover, some of the famous tourist attractions which are amazingly loved by people include Khajuraho group of monuments, ancient city of Mandu, Great Stupa of Sanchi, Bhimbetka rock shelters and Kundalpur Jain temples. Some of the most acknowledged GI tag products of Madhya Pradesh include:
- Chanderi Fabric
- Ratlami Sev
- Kadaknath Chicken
- Leather Toys of Indore
The stupendous beauty of Kerala is astonishing in its own way, known as the “God’s Own Country” the bountiful back-water it serves, the romantic Kovalam Beach, Athirappilly Falls, lovely Boathouse and Niyamasabha Mandiram will make you fall in love with this beautiful state. Recently, the state has been honoured with the GI tag for some of the significant products, such as:
- Aranmula Kannadi
- Panchamirtham Prasadam
- Betel Leaf
- Palakkadan Matta Rice
- Balaramapuram Sarees and Fine Cotton Fabric
This is the second-most populous state of India, and believed to be spread over a substantial area of around 307,713 sq. km. This state is famous for the Padmapani painting, Kailasa Temple located at Ellora Caves, Hazur Sahib Nanded and Shaniwar Wada Fort. The state has been awarded the GI tag for the following items, among others:
- Warli Painting
- Nashik Valley Wine
- Puneri Pagadi (turban)
- Mahabaleshwar Strawberry
10. Tamil Nadu
This state was formerly known as Madras. Is a wonderful sight for the Great Living Chola Temple, Hogenakkal Falls, Shore Temple and Ranganathaswamy Temple Srirangam. Some of the best quality products served by this state have been accredited with GI tag, which include:
- Thanjavur Paintings
- Kancheepuram Silk
- Coimbatore Wet Grinder
- Temple Jewellery of Nagercoil
A beautiful valley which is said to lie between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal Range, Kashmir is adored by each one of us for its bountiful exotic beauty, which makes its visitors spellbound. Under the beautiful starry night sky, the interesting varieties its local manufacturers produce have been awarded with GI tag for the following famous items such as:
- Kashmir Papier Mache
- Kashmir Walnut Wood Carving
- Kani Shawls
- Kashmir Pashmina
The moment we come across the name of Karnataka, suddenly the images of grand Mysore Palace, Brindavan Gardens, Pattadakal, Shivanasamudra Falls, Hoysala Empire emblem, Virupaksha Temple and Hampi pictures start floating in front of our eyes. Karnataka ranks 6th in terms of area as an Indian state. Interestingly, many products of this state are honoured with GI tags, which include:
- Byadgi Chilli
- Mysore Agarbathi
- Kinnal Toys
- Mysore Pak
- Coorg Orange
- Mysore Silk
- Bangalore Rose Onion
- Bangalore Blue Grapes
The above list is not exhaustive, yet a good representation of how each and every region across the length and breadth of India has something different and unique to offer. Therefore, if you happen to visit any of these cities or regions, do not miss a chance to acquire and enjoy these special products. And if you are a manufacturer, then you can assure a golden future by judiciously using the GI tag to enhance your domestic sales as well s exports.