GI Tag - List of Geographical Indications (GI Tags) in India 2024




Science and Technology

1 min read

Prelims: General Science; Economy

Mains: Food Processing and Related Industries in India- Scope’ and Significance; issues relating to Intellectual Property Rights

Geographical Indications (GI tags) are signs used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess distinctive qualities, reputation, or characteristics attributable to that place of origin. GI tags serve as intellectual property rights that identify a product's unique geographical source, providing legal protection and preventing unauthorised use.

In India, the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, of 1999 governs the registration and protection of GIs. These tags play a crucial role in promoting and safeguarding the unique products and traditional knowledge of various regions, contributing to rural development, preserving cultural heritage, and enhancing the marketability of Indian products in the global market.

What is GI Tag?

A Geographical Indication (GI tag) is a sign used on products with a specific geographical origin, possessing unique qualities or reputation due to that origin. It serves as an intellectual property right (IPR), attributing a product’s quality, reputation, or other characteristic to its geographical origin.

  • GIs are recognized as an aspect of IPRs under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property and the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement.
  • Benefits: It lets approved users stop others from using the indication if their product doesn't meet the standards. A GI tag confers the following rights to the registered proprietors:
    • Legal protection against unauthorised use by others.
    • Exclusive right to use the GI tag for the specified goods or products.
    • Ability to prevent misuse, imitation, or misleading representations of the GI tag.
    • Legal recourse against infringement or unfair competition.
  • Type of products: Geographical indications can be used for a wide range of products, including agricultural products, foodstuffs, wines, spirits, handicrafts, and industrial products.
    • However, such products must possess specific qualities or characteristics attributable to their geographical origin.
  • Eligibility criteria: Any trader’s group, association, or organization can apply for a GI tag. They must demonstrate the product’s uniqueness with historical records and a detailed production process.
    • GI tags aren’t only for popular products; they exist for hundreds of items across states, each recognising a specific region and product.

International Conventions on GI Tags

These international conventions and systems play a crucial role in protecting and promoting products with a GI tag, ensuring they maintain their unique identity and quality.

  • Paris Convention: The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (1883) provides a multilateral framework for the protection of industrial property rights, including geographical indications.
    • It establishes the principles of national treatment and the right of priority.
  • Lisbon System: The Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration (1958) establishes an international registration system for appellations of origin, a specific type of GI.
    • It provides a centralised filing procedure and ensures protection for all contracting parties.
  • Madrid System: The Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks, while primarily focused on trademarks, can also be utilised for the protection of geographical indications through the registration of collective or certification marks.

GI Tag in India

The Geographical Indication Registry, a division of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry’s Department of Industry Promotion and Internal Trade (DIPIT), is responsible for issuing GI tags, further safeguarding these unique products and their geographical origins. The GI tag holds significant importance for India, as it:

  • Promotion and protection: It promotes and safeguards the unique products and traditional knowledge of various regions, contributing to rural development and empowerment.
  • Marketability and competitiveness: It enhances the credibility/marketability and competitiveness of Indian products in the global market.
  • Preservation of cultural heritage: It preserves the cultural heritage and traditional practices associated with the production of these products.
  • Prevention of misappropriation: It prevents misappropriation and misuse of traditional knowledge by unauthorized parties.
  • Sustainable practices and environmental conservation: It encourages sustainable production practices and environmental conservation in the designated regions.

GI Act of 1999

The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 is the main law in India that oversees the registration and protection of geographical indications. The Act’s key provisions include:

  • The establishment of the Geographical Indications Registry, which is responsible for processing and registering GI applications.
  • The criteria for registering a GI, include the association between the product and its geographical origin, and the reputation or quality attributable to that origin.
  • The duration of protection is initially 10 years but can be renewed indefinitely.
  • Provisions for enforcing GI rights, including civil and criminal penalties for infringement.
  • Provisions for registering authorised users and associations of producers.

GI Tag as an IPR

Geographical Indications are recognized as a form of intellectual property rights under the TRIPS Agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO). As an IPR, GIs:

  • Protect the collective rights of producers and communities associated with a particular product.
  • Prevent the misuse or misappropriation of a product’s reputation or characteristics by unauthorized parties.
  • Contribute to the preservation of traditional knowledge and cultural heritage.
  • Promote fair trade practices and sustainable development in rural communities.

State Wise GI Tag Products in India

The GI Registry is located in Chennai processes and registers GI Applications. The tag was first given to Darjeeling Tea. However, GI tags aren’t only for popular products; they exist for hundreds of items across states, each recognizing a specific region and product. The various states' GI tags are as follows:

StateGI Tags
Andhra Pradesh

- Handicraft: Srikalahasti Kalamkari, Kondapalli Bommallu, Budithi Bell and Brass Metal Craft, Uppada Jamdani Sarees, Bobbili Veena, Durgi Stone Carvings, Etikoppaka Toys.

- Food Stuff: Tirupati Laddu, Bandar Laddu

- Agricultural: Guntur Sannam Chilli, Banaganapalle Mangoes.

Arunachal Pradesh

- Handicraft: Idu Mishmi Textiles

- Agricultural: Khaw Tai (Khamti Rice), Yak Churpi


- Handicraft: Muga Silk

- Manufactured: Judima


- Handicraft: Madhubani Paintings, Sujini Embroidery

- Manufactured: Bhagalpuri Zardalu, Katarni Rice

- Food Stuff: Silao Khaja

Chattisgarh- Handicraft: Bastar Dhokra, Champa Silk Saree and Fabrics

- Manufactured: Feni

- Agricultural: Khola Chilli


- Handicraft: Sankheda Furniture, Tangaliya Shawl, Jamnagari Bandhani, Mata ni Pachhedi

- Agricultural: Bhalia Wheat

Himachal Pradesh

- Handicraft: Kullu Shawl

- Agricultural: Kangra Tea

Jharkhand- Handicraft: Sohrai – Khovar Painting.

- Handicraft: Mysore Silk, Kasuti Embroidery, Molakalmuru Sarees Handicraft, Sandur Lambani Embroidery, Kinhal Toys, Kolhapuri Chappal 

- Manufactured: Mysore Sandal Soap, Mysore Agarbathi

- Agricultural: Coorg Orange, Coorg Green Cardamom, Devanahalli Pomello, Appemidi Mango, Byadagi Chilli, Indi Limbe, Monsooned Malabar Robusta Coffee, Monsooned Malabar Arabica Coffee


- Handicraft: Aranmula Kannadi, Alleppey Coil.

- Agricultural:  Navara Rice, Pokkali Rice, Kaipad Rice, Chengalikodan Nendran Banana, Nilambur Teak, Tirur Betel Leaf (Tirur Vettila), Attappady Thuvara

Madhya Pradesh

- Handicraft: Chanderi Sarees, Maheshwar Sarees and Fabrics

- Agricultural: Sharbati Gehu

- Food Stuff: Jhabua Kadaknath Black Chicken Meat, Ratlami Sev


- Agricultural:  Nashik Grapes, Ajara Ghansal Rice, Mangalwedha Jowar, Navapur Tur Dal, Lasalgaon Onion, Sangli Raisins, Ambemohar Rice, Alphonso

- Handicraft: Kolhapuri Chappal

Manipur- Handicraft: Shaphee Lanphee, Wangkhei Phee
Mizoram- Handicraft: Pawndum, Tawlhlohpuan

- Handicraft: Konark Stone Carving, Khandua Saree and Fabrics, Gopalpur Tussar Fabrics, Dungaria Kondh Embroidered Shawl

- Agricultural:  Kandhamal Haladi, Koraput Kalajeera Rice


- Handicraft: Thewa Art Work, Molela Clay Work, Sanganeri Hand Block Printing, Bagru Hand Block Print, Pokaran Pottery.

- Natural:  Makrana Marble


- Handicraft: Salem Fabric, Kancheepuram Silk, Madurai Sungudi, Thanjavur Paintings, Salem Silk (Salem Venpattu), Kovai Kora Cotton Sarees, Arani Silk, Pattamadai Pai (Pattamadai Mat), Toda Embroidery, Mahabalipuram Stone Sculpture, Thirubuvanam Silk Sarees, Dindigul Locks, Kandangi Sarees.

- Manufactured: East India Leather.

- Agricultural:  Madurai Malli, Erode Manjal (Erode Turmeric).

- Food Stuff: Kovilpatti Kadalai Mittai, Salem Sago.

- Natural:  Marthandam Honey.

Telangana- Handicraft: Pochampalli Ikat, Nirmal Toys and Craft, Gadwal Sarees, Cheriyal Paintings, Pembarthi Metal Craft, Adilabad Dokra, Telia Rumal
Uttar Pradesh

- Handicraft: Khurja Pottery, Mahoba Gaura Patthar Hastashlip, Mainpuri Tarkashi, Sambhal Horn Craft

- Agricultural:  Mango Malihabadi Dusseheri, Kalanamak Rice.

West Bengal

- Handicraft: Nakshi Kantha, Baluchari Saree, Dhaniakhali Saree, Purulia Chau Mask

- Agricultural:  Darjeeling Tea, Tulapanji Rice, Gobindobhog Rice

- Food Stuff: Joynagar Moa, Bardhaman Sitabhog.

Union TerritoryGI Tags
Jammu and Kashmir

- Handicraft: Kani Shawl,

- Agricultural: Ramban Sulai Honey, Mushqbudji Rice, Bhaderwah Rajmash, Kashmir Saffron

Pondicherry- Handicraft: Villianur Terracotta Works, Tirukanur Papier Mache Craft

- Handicraft: Pashmina Wool

- Agricultural: Ladakh Raktsey Karpo Apricot

Joint GI Tag Products of States

- Karnataka and Kerala: Monsooned Malabar Robusta Coffee, Monsooned Malabar Arabica Coffee 

- Kerala and TN: Alleppey Green Cardamom

- Maharashtra, Gujarat, Dadara & Nagar Haveli, and Daman Diu: Warli Painting

- Punjab / Haryana / H.P / Delhi / Uttarakhand / U.P / J&K: Basmati

- Punjab, Rajasthan and Haryana: Phulkari

- Manipur and Nagaland: Chak - Hao

PYQs on GI Tag

Question 1: Consider the following pairs: (UPSC Prelims 2018)

CraftsHeritage of
1. Puthukkuli shawlsTamil Nadu
2. Sujni embroideryMaharashtra
3. Uppada Jamdani sarisKarnataka

Which of the pairs given above is /are correct? 

  1. 1 only
  2. 1 and 2
  3. 3 only
  4. 2 and 3

Answer: (a)

Question 2: Which of the following has/have been accorded 'Geographical Indication' status? (UPSC Prelims 2015)

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

Select the correct answer using the code given below. 

  1. 1 only 
  2. 2 and 3 only 
  3. 1 and 3 only 
  4. 1, 2 and 3 

Answer: (c)

Question 3: Kalamkari painting refers to (UPSC Prelims 2015)

  1. a hand-painted cotton textile in South India
  2. a handmade drawing on bamboo handicrafts in NorthEast India.
  3. a block-painted woollen cloth in the Western Himalayan region of India
  4. a hand-painted decorative silk cloth in North-Western India

Answer: (a)

Question 4: Consider the following towns of India: (UPSC Prelims 2014)

  1. Bhadrachalam
  2. Chanderi
  3. Kancheepuram
  4. Karnal

Which of the above are famous for the production of traditional sarees/fabric?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1, 2 and 3
  4. 1, 3 and 4

Answer: (b)

Question 5: In order to comply with the TRIPS Agreement, India enacted the Geographical Indications of’ Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999. The difference/ differences between a “Trade Mark” and a Geographical Indication is/are (UPSC Prelims 2010)

  1. A Trade Mark is an individual or a company’s right whereas a Geographical Indication is a community’s right.
  2. A Trade Mark can be licensed whereas a Geographical Indication cannot be licensed.
  3. A Trade Mark is assigned to the manufactured goods whereas the Geographical Indication is assigned to the agricultural goods/products and handicrafts only.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 1 and 2 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (b)

FAQs on GI Tag

What is a Geographical Indication (GI) tag?

A Geographical Indication (GI) tag is a form of intellectual property protection that identifies goods as originating from a specific geographical region or locality, where the quality, reputation, or other characteristics of the goods are attributable to their geographical origin.

How are GI tags governed in India?

In India, GI tags are governed by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999, and the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) (Amendment) Rules, 2020. The Geographical Indication Registry, under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, is responsible for issuing GI tags.

Can a GI tag be used indefinitely?

GI tags are generally valid indefinitely, as long as the product continues to meet the specified standards and maintain its association with the geographical area of origin. However, periodic monitoring and renewal processes may be required in some cases.

Are GI tags recognised internationally?

Yes, GI tags are recognized internationally through various international agreements and treaties, such as the Paris Convention, the Lisbon Agreement, and the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement.

Can a GI tag be registered as a trademark?

No, a GI tag cannot be registered as a trademark. While trademarks are associated with specific companies or entities, GI tags are collective rights that belong to the producers or communities associated with a particular geographical region.