Bengal gets GI tag for popular sweet at state’s cost

Kolkata: Nearly two-and-a-half years after West Bengal and Orissa started a bitter fight over the Geographical Identification (GI) of one of India’s signature sweets; Bengal won the GI battle over rosagolla, as the GI authorities in Chennai ruled that the sweet has its origin in Bengal.
Tuesday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that her state had been granted GI or the Geographical Indication status for the sweet.
“Sweet news for us all. We are very happy and proud that #Bengal has been granted GI… status for Rosagolla,” Banerjee, currently in London, tweeted.
Confirming the news, Sanjay Bhattacharya, deputy controller of patents and design in Kolkata, told the media here, “The GI authorities have ruled today that West Bengal is the origin of rosagolla. It has been settled under the GI Act that authenticates a product relating to either a geographical location, or community or society.”
Meanwhile, a late night press release from the Orissa CMO said that a GI tag has been granted to ‘Banglar rasagull’ and it has nothing to do with the state’s claim for the same. The release said that the state will apply for a GI status for its own variety of the sweet.
West Bengal and neighbouring Orissa and neighbouring West Bengal have been engaged in a legal battle over the origin of the cottage cheese-based sweet since June 2015. The GI under the World Trade Organization is a sign that identifies a product as originating from a particular place.
The debate over the origin of the rasgolla – as the sweet is called in north India – is not just about Bengali and Odia sentiments. The bragging rights may also help in translating into good business for the confectioners in these two states.
A GI tag is a sort of intellectual property identifier recognising the origin of a product. The GI registration office is based in Chennai. Orissa and Bengal have been locked in a bitter fight over the GI registration of rosagolla since 2015.

PNN and Agencies

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