March 14, 2023:
Nine products of Assam are at the pre-examination stage for getting GI (Geographical Indication) tags. Eleven other products from the state already have this status, the latest being Assamese gamosa.
A geographical indication (GI) is a sign used on products that have their specific geographical origins and qualities or reputations due to their origins. The Department of Industry Promotion and Internal Trade under the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry issues this tag as per the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.
The nine products from Assam that are at the pre-examination stage for GI tags are Assamese jewelry, Majuli masks, Majuli’s manuscript painting, Assamese jaapi, Assam Asharikandi terracotta crafts, Misings’ handloom products, Assam Bihu Dhol, Assam pani meteka (water hyacinth) crafts, and Jotha, a Bodo musical instrument.
The GI Registration Office rejected two more products from Assam, Assam’s elephant apple (ou tenga) and Karbi textile products, for GI tags. The NERAMAC (North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation) Ltd. applied for a GI tag for elephant apples in 2017. However, there aren’t adequate documents to establish the link between its (the elephant apple’s) features and data related to the craft.
The eleven products that have the GI tag are muga silk (2007-08), Assam Orthodox Tea (2008-09), Assam muga silk logo (2013-14), Karbi Anglong ginger (2014-15), Tezpur litchi (2014-15), joha rice (2016-17), boka choul (2018-19), kaji nimu (2019-20), chokuwa rice (2019-20), Judima (a drink of the Dimasas) (2021-22), and Assamese gamosa.