TEZPUR, Nov 25 - Tezpur University, with its sustained efforts, has succeeded in securing registration of �Authorised User� tags for 92 grassroot muga stakeholders of the State.
It may be recalled that muga silk was given GI status in 2007, and subsequently in 2012, it got its own logo. Since then, there were only a few authorised users of the muga GI in the entire State against approximately 27,800 stakeholders mentioned during the time of GI registration. As per the Indian law on GI, only authorised users can use the GI mark and the logo on their products and registration procedure for the same is highly complicated and rigorous.
Muga, the golden-yellow silk, is a unique indigenous product of Assam. But, over the years, the local farmers and weavers have not sufficiently benefited with the GI tag due to lack of awareness. This has also been identified as one of the important reasons for bulk production of adulterated muga flooding the Assam markets. The Tezpur University Intellectual Property Rights (TUIPR) Cell took up the task of sensitising the stakeholders about the benefits of securing Muga GI and encouraging them to complete the application process. In this regard, a workshop was conducted in April 2015 at North Lakhimpur under the stewardship of the IPR Chair of the University for grassroot muga stakeholders (farmers and weavers) where �authorised users� applications� of 92 persons were filled up with the help of TUIPR Cell members. This was followed by a rigorous verification and systematic arrangement of the applications by TUIPR Cell before finally sending it to the GI office. Now these 92 applications have been accepted and published in the GI Journal No 72 of October 2015.
The task executed by the TUIPR Cell is a rare example where an activity of this magnitude has been undertaken and results achieved. Buoyed by this success, the TUIPR Cell proposes to help set up a State Level Group to formulate and set standards for Muga GI so that the GI can be more successfully enforced in Assam to check adulteration of muga.