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January 27 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm


India’s Geographical Indication (GI) tags, aimed at recognizing and protecting unique products linked to specific regions, face challenges that highlight the need for reforms in the registration processes. The GI system is a crucial tool for preserving traditional knowledge, culture, and fostering socio-economic development.

Geographical Indication (GI):

  • A GI is a designation given to products originating from a specific geographical area, indicating a connection between the product’s qualities or reputation and its place of origin.
  • Governed by the Agreement on TRIPS at the WTO, India’s Geographical Indications of Goods Act, 1999, aims to register and protect GIs in the country.
  • Unlike some EU nations with Protected Destination of Origin (PDO), India only has the Protected GI (PGI) category.
  • GIs extend beyond agricultural products to include handicrafts based on unique skills and resources available in specific areas.

Status of GI Tags Registration:

  • As of December 2023, India has received 1,167 GI applications, with only 547 products registered.
  • In comparison, Germany leads globally with 15,566 registered products, followed by China with 7,247.
  • Globally, wines and spirits constitute 51.8% of GIs, while in India, handicrafts (45%) and agriculture (30%) dominate.

Concerns Regarding GI Tags in India:

  • Outdated GI Act: The GI Act, formulated over two decades ago, requires amendments to address current challenges, simplify application processes, and reduce processing times.
  • Lack of Institutional Development: Insufficient institutional development hampers effective implementation and support for GI protection mechanisms.
  • Ambiguity in Producers’ Definition: Lack of clarity in defining “producers” results in the involvement of intermediaries, diluting benefits for genuine producers.
  • International Disputes: Disputes, especially with products like Darjeeling tea and Basmati rice, indicate less attention to GIs compared to other intellectual property rights.
  • Limited Academic Focus: Limited academic attention is given to GIs in India, with only seven publications, but there is a recent surge indicating growing interest.

Potential Reforms and Solutions:

  • Incentivize Producers: Government initiatives should incentivize grassroots-level producers to boost the number of GI registrations.
  • Define Producers Clearly: Laws should clearly define “producers,” excluding non-producers from benefiting to ensure direct advantages for genuine producers.
  • Technology and Skill-Building: Promote digital literacy, technology adoption, and skill-building among GI stakeholders for modernization.
  • Collaboration for Promotion: Government agencies should collaborate with trade associations to organize exhibitions and promote GI-based products through various media.
  • International Promotion: Indian embassies should actively promote GI-based products to encourage growth in foreign markets.
  • WTO Attention: Favourable international tariff regimes and special attention to GI products at the WTO can enhance their global presence.
  • Integration with One District One Product: Integrating GIs with the One District One Product scheme can enhance promotion and market reach.
  • Rural Market Promotion: Developing market outlet schemes, especially in rural markets (gramin haats), can boost the visibility of GI products.
  • Quality Assurance: Establishing testing laboratories at marketplaces is essential to ensure consumer faith in the quality of GI products.
  • Startups and SDGs: Aligning startups with GIs and linking their performance with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can contribute to social development.


January 27
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category: