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Geographical Indication Tag: Nagaswaram- UPSC Current Affairs

Mar 30, 2022

Current Affairs 30th March

In today's edition of our Current Affairs Dialog box, we will discuss an important topic, Geographical Indication Tag: Nagaswaram. Read the entire article to boost your IAS Preparation.

For Prelims: Narasinghapettai Nagaswaram, GI Tag and Trade

For Mains: Benefits of GI Tag.

Why in the News?

Recently, the Narasinghapettai nagaswaram, a classical wind music instrument traditionally made by artisans based at a village near Kumbakonam, has received the Geographical Indication (GI) tag.

  • The application for the GI tag was filed by the Thanjavur Musical Instruments Workers Co-operative Cottage Industrial Society Ltd.

Probable Question

Recently Geographical Indication Tag status was provided to Narasinghapettai nagaswaram, a classical wind musical instrument. In this context, highlight the meaning of Geographical Indication and the significance of awarding GI status to any product?                               

Key Points

About Nagaswaram

  • It is a double-reed wind instrument with a large flaring bell. 
  • The unique feature of the nagaswaram is its production process - it is handmade in Narasingapettai village in Thanjavur, unlike the other machine-made ones.
  • Generally, it is made up of a type of ebony that does not absorb moisture. 
    • The top portion has a metal staple into which a small metallic cylinder is inserted to hold the mouthpiece made of reed. 
  • The reeds are made from the leaves of a locally grown plant called 'naanal' (a variety of bamboo). 
  • The instrument has a cylindrical body that flares out into a bell shape at the bottom. 

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What is a GI Tag?

  • A Geographical Indication (GI) is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. 
  • In addition, the qualities, characteristics, or reputation of the product should be essentially due to the place of origin.
  • A geographical indication right enables those who have the right to use the indication to prevent its use by a third party whose product does not conform to the applicable standards. 
  • GI tag in India:
    •  Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act, 1999 governs the GI tag in India.
    • It is issued by the Geographical Indications Registry (Chennai).
  • Products Covered: Agricultural products, foodstuffs, wine and spirit drinks, handicrafts, and industrial products.
  • Tenure: Geographical indications registered as collective and certification marks are generally protected for renewable ten-year periods.
Geographical Indication

Image Source: Times of India

Benefits of GI Tag

  • Prevents unauthorized use of a Registered Geographical Indication by others.
  • It provides legal protection to Indian Geographical Indications which in turn boost exports.
  • It promotes the economic prosperity of producers of goods produced in a geographical territory.

How are Geographical Indication Rights Enforced?

  • Like all intellectual property rights, the rights to geographical indications (GI) are enforced by the application of national legislation, typically in a court of law. 
  • The right to take action could rest with a competent authority, the public prosecutor, or to any interested party, whether a natural person or a legal entity, whether public or private.

How is a Geographical Indication Different from a Trademark?

  • A trademark is a sign which is used in the course of trade, and it distinguishes goods or services of one enterprise from those of other enterprises.
  • Whereas a geographical indication is an indication used to identify goods having special characteristics originating from a definite geographical territory.

News Source: The Hindu

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