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India Qatar GI Products Meet

  • 13 Sep 2022
  • 10 min read

For Prelims: Geographical Indication, India Qatar Trade, APEDA

For Mains: India Qatar Relations, Geographical Indication, APEDA

Why in News?

Recently, the government of India organized a Virtual Networking Meet for Agri and Food Geographical Indication (GI) products in association with the Embassy of India, Doha and Indian Business and Professionals Council (IBPC) Qatar.

  • This Meet provided a platform for interaction between the India exporters and importers of Qatar on the strength of India in export of agri and food products of Indian origin and distinct attributes.

What is a Geographical Indication (GI) Tag?

  • About:
    • Geographical Indication (GI) is an indication used to identify goods having special characteristics originating from a definite geographical territory.
    • The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 seeks to provide for the registration and better protection of geographical indications relating to goods in India.
    • It is governed and directed by the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
      • It was decided and also stated under Articles 1 (2) and 10 of the Paris Convention that the “protection of industrial Property and Geographical Indication are elements of Intellectual Property”.
    • It is primarily an agricultural, natural or a manufactured product (handicrafts and industrial goods).
  • Validity:
    • This tag is valid for a period of 10 years following which it can be renewed.
  • Significance:
    • Once a product gets this tag, any person or company cannot sell a similar item under that name.
    • GI registration of a product provides it legal protection and prevention against unauthorised use by others.
    • GI tag helps in promoting the exports of the product.
    • It also provides comfort to customers about the authenticity of that product.
  • Agri GI Products:
    • Presently, there are more than 400 registered Geographical Indications in India of which around 150 are agricultural and food products GI.
    • More than 100 registered GI products fall under the category of Agriculture and Processed Food Export Development Authority (APEDA) scheduled products (fresh fruits and vegetables, processed foods, animal products and cereals).

How has India’s Relations with Qatar been?

  • Developments during Indian Vice President visit June 2022:
    • India-Qatar Start Up bridge:
      • The Vice President launched the “India-Qatar Start Up bridge” that aims to link the start-up ecosystems of the two countries.
        • India has emerged as the 3rd largest ecosystem for startups globally, with over 70,000 registered Startups.
        • India is home to 100 unicorns with a total valuation of over USD 300 billion.
    • Environment and Climate Change:
      • The Vice President invited Qatar, as India’s trusted partner in its energy security, to be a partner in this journey for sustainability and join the International Solar Alliance (ISA).
    • Joint Business Council Between Business Chambers:
      • A Joint Business Council between Business Chambers of India and Qatar has been established and that a Joint Task Force on Investments would take its work forward.
      • Invest India and Qatar Investment Promotion Agency was appreciated for entering into a partnership of guiding and assisting businesses on both sides to tap new and emerging opportunities.
    • Collaborations at Multilateral Forums:
      • Greater collaboration between India and Qatar at multilateral forums like the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU), Asian Parliamentary Assembly, and others was emphasized.
  • Trade:
    • India’s Exports to Qatar:
      • In 2020, India exported USD 1.34 Billion to Qatar.
        • The main products that India exported to Qatar are Rice, Jewellery and Gold.
        • During the last 25 years the exports of India to Qatar have increased at an annualized rate of 16.5%, from USD 29.3 Million in 1995 to USD 1.34 Billion in 2020.
    • India’s Imports from Qatar:
      • In 2020, Qatar exported USD 7.25 Billion to India. The main products that Qatar exported to India were Petroleum Gas, Crude Petroleum and Halogenated Hydrocarbons.
      • During the last 25 years the exports of Qatar to India have increased at an annualized rate of 19%, from USD 94.4Million in 1995 to USD 7.25 Billion in 2020.
      • Qatar accounts for 41% of India’s total natural gas imports.

What is the Agriculture and Processed Food Export Development Authority (APEDA)?

  • About:
    • APEDA was established by the Government of India under the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority Act passed by the Parliament in December, 1985.
    • The Authority replaced the Processed Food Export Promotion Council (PFEPC).
    • APEDA, which comes under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry has contributed significantly in promoting export of agriculture and processed food products with a share of around 50% (USD 24.77 bn) in overall agri exports during 2021-22.
  • Functions:
    • Development of industries relating to the scheduled products for export by way of providing financial assistance.
    • Registration of persons as exporters of the scheduled products on payment of such fees as may be prescribed.
    • Fixing of standards and specifications for the scheduled products for the purpose of exports.
    • Improving packaging of the Scheduled products.
    • Improving marketing of the Scheduled products outside India.
    • Promotion of export-oriented production and development of the Scheduled products.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Q. Which of the following has/have been accorded ‘Geographical Indication’ status? (2015)

  1. Banaras Brocades and Sarees
  2. Rajasthani Daal-Bati-Churma
  3. Tirupathi Laddu

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (c)


  • A Geographical Indication (GI) is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.
  • India, as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), enacted the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999, which came into force with effect from 15th September 2003.
  • Darjeeling tea was the first product in India to get a GI tag.
  • Banaras Brocades and Sarees and Tirupathi Laddu have got GI tag while Rajathan’s Daal-Baati-Churma does not. Hence, 1 and 3 are correct.
  • Therefore, option (c) is the correct answer.

Q. India enacted the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 in order to comply with the obligations to (2018)

(a) ILO
(b) IMF
(d) WTO

Ans: (d)


  • Geographical indications (GIs) are a type of intellectual property (IP).
  • The World Trade Organisation (WTO) recognises intellectual property rights under TRIPS (Trade- Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) Agreement.
  • Under Article 22(1) of the TRIPS Agreement, the GIs are defined as “indications which identify a good as originating in the territory of a Member, or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographic origin”.
  • The GIs act as source identifiers as well as quality indicators. GIs let consumers know that the goods come from an area where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the goods is essentially attributable to their geographic origin.
  • Further, GIs as intellectual property rights enable relief from the acts of infringement and/or unfair competition.
  • Following TRIPS Agreement, the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 was passed by the GoI. The Act aims to provide protection by granting GI tags to agricultural goods, natural goods or manufactured goods or any goods of handicraft or goods of industry including food stuff.
  • Therefore, option (d) is the correct answer.

Source: PIB

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