1 . Bengal to apply for GI tags for Kalonunia and Randhunipagal varieties of rice.
- After getting GI ( geographical indication) for Rosogolla, West Bengal government is all geared up to apply for tags for Kalonunia and Randhunipagal varieties of rice.
- These two are indigenous varieties of aromatic fine rice available in the state.
- While Kalonunia is grown in the northern region of the state, Randhunipagal is grown in the western part.
- Kalonunia is cultivated in the districts of Jalpaiguri, Cooch Behar, Alipurduar and Darjeeling (plains regions of the district).
- Randhunipagal is cultivated in the districts of Birbhum, Pruba Bardhaman, Paschim Bardhaman, Bankura and Hooghly.
- Gobindobhog and Tulapanji, two other aromatic rice varieties, have already received the GI status, and the term ‘Bengal Aromatic Rice’ has been included in official documentation registered with the patent office.
- Kalonunia and Randhunipagal would fall under the same label.
WHAT IS GI TAGGING ?
- A geographical indication (GI) is a name or sign used on certain products which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin (e.g. a town, region, or country).
- India, as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), enacted the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 has come into force with effect from 15 September 2003.
- GIs have been defined under Article 22(1) of the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights(TRIPS) Agreement.
PURPOSE OF GI TAGGING
The GI tag was primarily developed with the purpose of recognising the unique identity connecting different products and places.
CRITERIA FOR GI TAGGING
For a product to get GI tag, it has to have a unique quality, reputation or characteristic which is attributable to its geographic origin.
SIGNIFICANCE OF GI TAGGING
Getting a GI tag helps a product to be marketed as exclusively from the geographical region it hails from, be it a food product, a beverage, a fruit, a handicraft, a handloom product or any other regionally exclusive entity.
GI TAG PRODUCTS FROM BENGAL
Of the 267 odd products that have received GI tags so far, around 12 are from Bengal, including Darjeeling tea, Santiniketan leather goods, mango varieties such as Laxman Bhog, himsagar and fazli, Santipore saree, Baluchari saree, Dhaniakhali saree, Joynagarer moa and the more recent entrants —Bardhman Sitabhog and Bardhman Mihidana (both sweets).
2 . USA and Canada were the top destinations of India’s export of software services – RBI
India’s export of software services rose by 10.3 per cent on an annual basis to USD 97.1 billion in 2016-17.The USA and Canada remained the top destinations of India’s export of software services, followed by Europe in which the UK accounted for nearly half, said RBI’s ‘Survey on Computer Software & Information Technology Enabled Services Exports: 2016-17’.
3 . Aqua Goa Mega Fish Festival 2017
- The festival is going on in Panaji, Goa.
- During the festival important facts have been given by the Government on the fisheries sector such as –
- India is second largest fish producer in the world.
- Overall fish production has increased from 0.75 million tonne of 1950-51 to 11.41 million tonne in 2016-17.
- Besides, this sector provides employment and livelihood support to more than 15 million people of in the country.
- Fisheries development in India is not only meeting the protein requirements of the country, but it is also making significant contribution of about 6.2 percent in the fish production of the world.
- If we compare the fish production of three years viz, 2014-15, 2015-16 & 2016-17 with last three years i.e., 2011-12, 2012-13 & 2013-14, it is observed that the overall fish production has achieved about 19 percent growth rate. Growth rate in marine fisheries was about 6.65 percent, whereas the growth rate of 26.07 percent has been achieved in inland fisheries in country.
- Country has earned more than 5.78 billion US dollars foreign exchange (i.e., Rs.37,871 crore) in 2016-17 through, exports of fish and fishery products.
- India is first in prawn production and it is the largest exporter of prawns in the world too.
- The average annual growth rate of fish and fish products in the world was 7.5% during the last decade, whereas India has attained first position with 14.8% average annual growth in the export of fish & fishery products.
- The Government has merged all the schemes of fisheries sector into an umbrella scheme of Blue Revolution: Integrated Development and Management of Fisheries and approved with the outlay of Rs. 3000 crores.
- Fishermen Housing Scheme has been merged with the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) Scheme and its financial pattern and guidelines are making uniform.
4 . Bodhi Parva : BIMSTEC Festival of Buddhist Heritage
- The three days ‘Bodhi Parva: BIMSTEC Festival of Buddhist Heritage’ was inaugurated in New Delhi on December 08, 2017.
- India is hosting the “Bodhi Parva: BIMSTEC Festival of Buddhist Heritage” from 8 to 10 December as part of celebrations of 20th anniversary of BIMSTEC.
- ‘Bodhi Parva’ has entwined various threads of the Buddhist heritage into a beautiful melange including an exhibition of international and Indian Buddhist art and architecture, discourses by eminent scholars and practitioners of Buddhism, guided meditation and chanting by Buddhist monks and choir, screening of film on Buddhism, dance and music performances, quiz show and a food trail.
- These will help in building an awareness of BIMSTEC’s rich and common heritage.
- Events such as ‘Bodhi Parva’ would also help immensely in promoting ‘Brand BIMSTEC’.