New Delhi: Aiming to preserve the indigenous knowledge of tribals and products manufactured by them with the help of natural resources, government is planning to patent some of these under the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).

"Tribal Affairs Ministry has taken an initiative to patent the forest by-products and indigenous knowledge of making these products through the Intellectual Property Rights," Tribal Affairs Minister V Kishore Chandra Deo said here.

"The use of products and the indigenous knowledge tribals have in different parts of the country can be patented. I think that is their intellectual property right," he said on the sidelines of a function to felicitate tribal artists who participated in the Republic Day function.

The Tribal Affairs Ministry has already started the process of recording several forest products and indigenous knowledge of the tribals and has sought assistance from the state governments in this regard.

"We are informing the state governments and NGOs. We are making the people aware of their rights. We have advised them that as and when they come across this kind of indigenous knowledge which is there with the people, these have to be protected," Deo said, adding products which are "natural or have been gifted by nature" cannot be included in this list.

On steps taken by his Ministry in this regard, Deo said, "Every effort is being made for this and we have to further strengthen such measures and this drive to ensure that this indigenous knowledge is preserved."

The Ministry has also launched a special logo to create a distinct identity for the tribal products.

'The Tribal Craft Mark' has been designed by the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) as an embossed seal to testify the age-old lineage of triabls crafts, Deo said.

"This Tribal Craft Mark will testify that the product is traditional and has been made by tribal communities of India. It will also help in ensuring remunerative price of the product has been paid to tribal craftsmen which will help in improving their economic condition," he said.

(Agencies)