From a Correspondent
Tezpur, Nov 21: With its continued efforts during the last two years, Tezpur University in collaboration with Dibrugarh University, conducted their second Muga camp in Dhokuakha in May, 2016 which has resulted in the filing of 149 additiol authorized Geographical Indications (GI) user applications of grassroots Muga stakeholders in Assam. These applications were published in the Geographical Indications Jourl No. 90 on November 17.
Muga silk was granted the GI status in 2007 and was granted its GI logo in 2014. As per the Indian GI Act, only authorized users are allowed to mark their products with the GI logo and also call their product as Muga. Unfortutely, till 2014 there was an insignificant number of authorized users of Muga GI in Assam. Tezpur University initiated a long-term programme to facilitate the process of registering authorized users of Muga GI with a series of ground-level steps that culmited into the first Muga GI camp in 2015 in North Lakhimpur which successfully resulted in the registration of 92 grassroots Muga stakeholders as authorized users of Muga GI. These efforts have fructified in the registration of about 250 authorized users, thereby setting a new record of having the highest number of authorized users for any single GI in India.
The Tezpur University Intellectual Property Rights (TUIPR) Cell took up the task of sensitizing the stakeholders about the benefits of securing Muga GI and encouraging them to complete the application process since 2014. With increased number of authorized users of Muga GI, it is imperative that an inspection body be set up and equipped with the equipment and methods to identify genuine Muga from adulterated Muga so that the stakeholders of genuine Muga products are able to mark their products with Muga GI logo and get a premium for their products. The two universities are now focusing to make this a thrust area of this project.
The task undertaken and executed by TUIPR Cell and Dibrugarh University is an example of the institutiol social responsibility (ISR) of academic institutions in their efforts to attain academic excellence by contributing to the socio-economic development of the region, especially based on traditiol skills and cultural values.