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Mithila Makhana

Focus: GS III – Intellectual property rights

Why in News?

The government has recently awarded the Geographical Indication (GI) tag to Mithila Makhana.

About Mithila Makhana:

  • Mithila Makhana or Makhan (botanical name: Euryale ferox Salisb.) is a special variety of aquatic fox nut cultivated in Mithila region of Bihar and Nepal.
  • Makhana is the one of the three prestigious cultural identities of Mithila.
  • Pan, Makhan and Machh (fish) are the three prestigious cultural identity of Mithila.
  • It is also very famous in Kojagara festival of Maithil Brahmins celebrated for newly married couples.
  • Makhana contains protein and fiber, along with micronutrients like calcium, magnesium, iron, and phosphorus.

About GI Tag

  • Geographical Indications of Goods are defined as that aspect of industrial property which refer to the geographical indication referring to a country or to a place situated therein as being the country or place of origin of that product.
  • Typically, such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness which is essentially attributable to the fact of its origin in that defined geographical locality, region or country.
  • Geographical Indications are covered as a component of intellectual property rights (IPRs) under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.
  • GI is also governed by the World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
  • In India, Geographical Indications registration is administered by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 which came into force with effect from September 2003, this tag is issued by the Geographical Indication Registry under the Department of Industry Promotion and Internal Trade (DIPIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • The first product in India to be accorded with GI tag was Darjeeling tea in the year 2004-05.
  • The registration of a geographical indication is valid for a period of 10 years.
  • It can be renewed from time to time for further period of 10 years each.
  • The Geographical Indications Registry would be located at Chennai.
  • Any association of persons, producers, organisation or authority established by or under the law can be a registered proprietor.
  • Their name should be entered in the Register of Geographical Indication as registered proprietor for the Geographical Indication applied for.
  • Karnataka has the highest number of GI tags i.e. 47 products followed by Tamil Nadu (39).

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