Q What is the context ?
A In Tamil Nadu, the Karuppur kalamkari paintings and the Kallakurichi wood carvings recently received the geographical indication (GI) tags.
Q What are details about Kallakurichi Wood Carvings ?
A Kallakurichi Wood Carvings
- The Kallakurichi wood carvings are a unique form of wood carving practiced in Tamil Nadu.
- It involves the application of ornamentation and designs, derived from traditional styles by the craftsmen.
- They are mainly practiced in Kallakurichi, Chinnaselam and Thirukkovilur taluks of Kallakurichi district.
Q What are details about Karuppur Kalamkari Paintings ?
A Karuppur Kalamkari Paintings
- Kalamkari paintings are done on pure cotton cloth, predominantly used in temples for umbrella covers, cylindrical hangings, chariot covers and asmanagiri (false ceiling cloth pieces).
- Documentary evidence shows that kalamkari paintings evolved under the patronage of Nayaka rulers in the early 17th century.
Q What is Geographical Indication?
- A 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 w.e.f. September 2003.
- GIs have been defined under Article 22 (1) of the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement.
- GI is granted for a term of 10 years in India. As of today, more than 300 GI tags has been allocated so far in India.
Q Why must we promote GI?
A Several studies show that the patents and copyright protection of products under GIs result in higher economic gains, fostering quality production and better distribution of profits.
- Lost in history: Most GI are either assigned to the dusty pages of history books or left to rural artisans to propagate and preserve.
- Source of income: Today, with the emphasis on climate change and sustainability, these products can be ready revenue generators.
- Demand in e-com market: A modern distribution system exists in India’s robust global e-commerce backbone which will propel the nascent GI industry onto the national and world stage.
Q What are Socio-cultural benefits offered by GI ?
- GI protection has wider positive benefits, especially for local communities.
- In particular, it encourages the preservation of biodiversity, local know-how and natural resources. And this is where India can do well.
- Multiple benefits flows from a strong GI ecosystem, which can be a wellspring of economic and soft power.
- It will automatically resolve the three fraught India issues of poor pay for talent, low female participation in the labour force, and urban migration.
Q How can GI induce economic transformation?
A (1) Promotes Entrepreneurship and ‘Passion Economy’
- It will convert talent into entrepreneurship with gig workers, and create a “passion” economy, that is, a new way for individuals to monetise their skills and scale their businesses exponentially.
- It removes the hurdles associated with freelance work to earn a regular income from a source other than an employer.
(2) Employment generation
- The labour-intensive nature of GI offers the best solution to boosting the employment-to-population ratio in India.
- India presently has an abysmal 43 per cent compared with the 55 per cent global average.
(3) Women Empowerment
- GI production mostly involves artisanal work-from-home culture.
- Monetising this artisanal work done at home will increase India’s low female labour force participation rate, which at 21 per cent in 2019 was half the 47 per cent global average.
(4) Prevents migration
- The hyper-localised nature of GI offers solutions to reverse urban migration and conserve India’s ancient crafts, culture and food.
(5) MSME Promotion
- A rejuvenation of MSMEs, which account for 31 per cent of India’s GDP and 45 per cent of exports, will follow.
- An estimated 55.80 million MSMEs employ close to 130 million people; of this, 14 per cent are women-led enterprises and 59.5 per cent are rural.
(6) GI Tourism
- Another revenue-earner, GI tourism, is typically a by-product of a strong GI ecosystem.