Six traditional Kashmir Crafts awarded Geographical Copyright

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Aug 1: Six traditional crafts of Kashmir origin including Pashmina and Walnut woodcarving have been awarded geographical copyright that bars others from naming or marketing these products under the same name.
Director of Craft Development Institute (CDI) Farooq Ahmad has informed Chief Minister Omar Abdullah that Government of India has granted Geographical Indication (GI) certification to these six items.
Under GI, the right to marketing the concerned product is tied to a definite geographical territory and the manufactured goods should be produced or processed or prepared in that territory.
Popular items that have been granted GI tag world over include Champagne and Tequilla, and the procedure helps in preventing others from surreptitiously exploiting a brand name that has evolved over a period of time.
The GI status provides legal protection and facilitates action in case of infringement. GIs are covered as an element of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs).
Besides, pashmina and walnut woodcarving, the other four products which have got the GI cover are – Sozni-embroidery, Kani-shawl, Papier-Machie and Khatamband.
Ahmad said GI registration of these products are under process in 81 countries including in Europe, Asia, UAE and Middle East, Africa and North America.
He also said the process of recognition and representation to Kashmiri Pashmina trade for labelling and branding is in the process with the Boston-based Manufacturers Institute.
Highlighting the importance of handicrafts in the growth and development of State’s economy, Chief Minister, said that this sector has been providing employment to a large number of people since ages.
Inspecting the functioning of Craft Development Institute (CDI) and Indian Institute of Carpet Technology (IICT) at Nowshera, the Chief Minister said that imparting necessary trainings to the artisans to utilize modern technology and factoring it in the traditional and heritage characteristics of handicrafts is need of the hour to provide strong edifice to this activity and upgrade its marketing.
While granting revolving fund of Rs.75 lakh to the CDI for carrying out its functioning hassle-free, the Chief Minister underlined the need for early start of Pashmina Testing Laboratory and providing certificate of genuineness to each shawl manufactured in the State so that its marketing gets catapulted internationally bringing glory to the State and economic welfare to the people associated with this trade.
At the Indian Institute of Craft Technology, the Director, Zubair Ahmad said that Craft Institute has designed modern carpet looms to make the weaving of carpets easy and comfortable for the weavers. He said that the old fashioned looms were troublesome for the weavers while the new looms designed and manufactured have removed all such shortcomings.
He also gave details about the trainings being provided to the carpet weavers
The Chief Minister interacted with the students who are in process of getting admission for Masters Degree in Craft Management and Entrepreneurship and told them that Government would provide all help to them in self employment generating units after completion of training. He also interacted with carpet weavers under training in the IICT and enquired from them about the nature of training and their future plans.
The Chief Minister was accompanied by Minister for Industries, S. S. Slathia, MLA Zadibal, Peer Afaq Ahmad, Vice Chancellor Kashmir University, Talat Ahmad, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, B B Vyas, Commissioner Secretary Industries, Shantmanu and various senior officers from Industries Department.