GI Tag to Mithila Makhana

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    • Recently, Bihar’s Mithila Makhana has been awarded the Geographical Indication (GI) Tag by the Union Government.
      • The GI has been registered in the name of Mithilanchal Makhana Utpadak Sangh.

    Mithila Makhana and Bihar

    • Fifth Product
      • This is the fifth product from Bihar which is awarded the GI Tag.
        • Bhagalpur’s Jardalu Mango, Katarni Dhaan (rice), Nawada’s Magahi Paan and Muzaffarpur’s Shahi Litchi have got GI tag prior to this.
    • 80% of India’s total supply
      • Bihar harvests 80% of India’s total Makhana or Fox Nut supply.

    What is Mithila Makhana?

    • Botanical name 
      • Mithila Makhana is locally known as Makhan in Mithila.
      • Its Botanical name is Euryale Ferox Salisb.
    • Region associated 
      • This special variety of Aquatic Fox Nut is cultivated in the Mithila region of Bihar and adjoining areas of Nepal.
    • Micro-nutrients 
      • Fox Nuts are rich in protein and fiber and have various micronutrients such as magnesium, calcium, phosphorus and iron.
    • Significance
      • The Maithili Brahmin community extensively uses and distributes Makhana during the Kojagara Puja festival.
      • This move is expected to help growers get the maximum price for their premium produce.

    What is a GI Tag?

    • Meaning:
      • GI or Geographical Indication Tag is used for products which have specific geographical origin or have qualities that can be attributed specifically to the region.
        • A GI is primarily an agricultural, natural or a manufactured product (handicrafts and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory.
    • Paris Convention:
      • It is a part of the intellectual property rights that comes under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.
    • Act in India: 
      • In India, Geographical Indications registration is administered by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act of 1999.
    • Protection:
      • Once a product gets this tag, any person or company cannot sell a similar item under that name.
    • Validity:
      • This tag is valid for a period of 10 years following which it can be renewed.
    • Benefits of GI Tag: 
      • It confers legal protection to Geographical Indications in India
      • Prevents unauthorised 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.

    Some other Products having GI tag

    • The famous goods which carry this tag include Basmati rice, Darjeeling Tea, Chanderi Fabric, Mysore Silk, Kullu Shawl, Kangra Tea, Thanjavur Paintings, Allahabad Surkha, Farrukhabad Prints, Lucknow Zardozi and Kashmir Walnut Wood Carving. 

    Source: IE