INDIA-UK FTA ON GI TAG (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – IR)

News-CRUX-10     20th November 2023        
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Context:  Recently, the unresolved issue of the UK's demand for a higher level of protection for its GI products from the agriculture sector under the proposed free trade agreement (FTA) with India has gained attention as talks for the pact continue to iron out differences.

Key Points

  • India normally provides general protection for violation of GI rules, but the UK is seeking a higher level of protection.
  • GI is an intellectual property right. On this subject, under a free trade agreement, normally two countries include rules prescribed in the TRIPS and do not go beyond that.
  • India has been advocating for extended protection to other products beyond wines and spirits to prevent misuse of its labels like Basmati rice by other countries.
  • The famous Indian goods carrying GI tag include Basmati rice, Darjeeling Tea, Chanderi Fabric, Mysore Silk, Kullu Shawl, Kangra Tea, Thanjavur Paintings, and Kashmir Walnut Wood Carving.
  • British GI products include Scotch whisky, Stilton cheese and Cheddar cheese.

Geographical Indication (GI) Tag

  • About:  It is a symbol used on items that come from a particular geographical area and have qualities or a reputation linked to that place of origin.
  • Nodal Ministry: Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • Tenure: 10 Years
  • Regulated By: Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act, 1999.
  • The World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) also regulates Geographical Indications.
  • India’s First GI Product: Darjeeling Tea (2004-05)