Geographical Indication (GI) is an indication which identifies products as agricultural, natural or manufactured goods (including handicrafts, textiles and processed food items) with specific geographical origin, and process qualities and reputation attributable to its geographical origin. The GI registration of a product indicates the quality and distinctiveness of that product associated with the defined geographical territory. The registration and protection of Geographical Indications in India is executed under "Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999" effective from September 15, 2003.
The Geographical Indication (GI) under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade has recently registered four new GIs - Palani Panchamirtham from Palani, Tamil Nadu, Tawlhlohpuan and Mizo Puanchei from Mizoram, and Tirur betel vine from Kerala.
- Palani Panchamirtham, an abishegam prasadam, from Palani Town is one of the main offerings in the abishegam of Lord Dhandayuthapani Swamy, a temple situated in Palani Hills, Palani Town in Dindigul District of Tamil Nadu. The prasadam is made up of five natural substances, namely, banana, jaggery sugar, cow ghee, honey and cardamom in a definite proportion without addition of any preservatives or artificial ingredients. This is the first time a temple 'prasadam' from Tamil Nadu has been bestowed with the GI tag.
- Tawlhlohpuan, a medium to heavy, compactly woven, good quality fabric from Mizoram is known for warp yarns, warping, weaving & intricate designs handicraft. Tawlhlohpuan is produced throughout the state of Mizoram, Aizawl and Thenzawl town being the main centre of production.
- Mizo Puanchei is a colourful Mizo shawl/ textile from Mizoram. It is also the most commonly used costume in Mizo festive dances and official ceremonies. The weavers insert the designs and motifs by using supplementary yarns while weaving to create this beautiful and alluring textile.
- Tirur betel vine from Kerala, which is mainly cultivated in Tirur, Tanur, Tirurangadi, Kuttippuram, Malappuram and Vengara block panchayaths of Malappuram District, is valued both for its mild stimulant action and medicinal properties1 .
GI registration can benefit in growing income of the artisans, farmers, weavers and craftsmen by increasing the marketability and salability of their GI products. GI also protects the unique skills and knowledge of traditional and regional practices of GI producers by promoting their GI products.
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