Govt forms panel for GI tag to Rasagola

Bhubaneswar: The state government has finally formed an eight-member committee to finalise the process to apply for Geographical Indication (GI) status for Rasagola.
The first meeting of the panel to chalk out the modalities will be held at the conference hall of Directorate of Industries here on Wednesday.
The committee headed by Industry Director has members representing Science & Technology, Industry, Culture, Agriculture departments and OUAT. The Additional Director of Industry department has been appointed as the convener of the committee.
The pearly white, mouthwatering Rasagola found itself amid a controversy over its origin about two years ago. While West Bengal argued that it was invented in then Calcutta by confectioner Nabin Chandra Das, Odisha traced its roots to Jagannath Temple in Puri way back in the 13th century.
The West Bengal government has already moved Chennai-based GI Registry – a wing of the Intellectual Property Office – for the GI tag to the famous sweet.
Earlier, a committee formed by Science and Technology department had concluded that Rasagola existed in Odisha since 15th-16th century as mentioned in the ‘Dandee Ramayana’. Despite historical proof and evidence, the state government did not proceed further to stake claim over the sweet.
Jagannath cult scholar Asit Mohanty too has submitted a 100-page report over the claim. The report claimed that the sweet was being offered to gods in mutts and temples for over 600 years.
Rasagola is offered at the time of Niladri Bije on the concluding day of the Rath Yatra, he added.
Meanwhile, the state government has decided to set up a Rasagola cluster at Pahala on the outskirts of the state capital at an estimated cost of Rs 7.70 crore.

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