Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in the US for a three-day state visit, has gifted an eco-friendly lab-grown 7.5-carat diamond, placed in Kashmir’s exquisite Papier m ch box, to the US First Lady Jill Biden.
US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden hosted the prime minister for an intimate dinner at the White House, during which they discussed a range of issues, exchanged gifts and enjoyed a musical tribute to the regions of India. “Bharat Ka Heera! (India’s diamond) PM@NarendraModi ji gifts this beautiful eco-friendly lab-grown diamond, placed in Kashmir’s exquisite Papier m ch box to the U.S First Lady @FLOTUS,” commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal said in a tweet.
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The diamond is eco-friendly as resources like solar and wind power were used in its making. The green diamond is sculpted with precision and care using cutting edge technology. It emits only 0.028 grams of carbon per carat and is certified by the Gemological Lab, IGI (International Gemological Institute). India is promoting manufacturing of lab-grown diamond (LGD) in the country and for that the government announced steps in the last Union Budget. The government had announced elimination of customs duty on LGD seeds from 5 per cent earlier. It also approved a five-year research grant to the Indian Institutes of Technology, Madras to encourage the indigenous production of LGD machinery, seeds and recipe.
It is proposed to establish an India Centre for Lab-grown Diamond (InCent-LGD) at IIT Madras with the estimated cost of Rs 242.96 crore over 5 years. Lab-grown diamonds are produced through two technologies – High-Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD). India is one of the leading producers of these diamonds using CVD technology. As per industry estimates, India’s share in its global trade in the financial year 2021-22 was 25.8 per cent. However, India has to depend on other countries for the supply of critical machinery components and seeds — which are the raw materials for producing synthetic diamonds.
The aim of this (InCent-LGD) project is to provide, in mission mode, technical assistance to the industries, and entrepreneurs in the country, in promoting indigenous manufacturing of both CVD and HPHT systems along with the recipes for expanding the LGD business at the upstream end. Besides the jewellery industry, lab-grown diamonds are used in computer chips, satellites, and 5G networks as they can be used in extreme environments due to their potential to operate at higher speeds while using less power than silicon-based chips. LGD has a vast application in the field of defence, optics, jewellery, thermal and medical industry.
The lab-grown diamond jewellery market is expected to rapidly rise to USD 5 billion by 2025 and exceed USD 15 billion by 2035. The exports of cut and polished (worked) lab-grown diamonds stood at USD 1.4 billion during April-December 2022-23. It was USD 1.35 billion in 2021-22. On the other hand, Kashmir’s Papier m ch involves meticulous preparation of paper pulp and naqqashi, where skilled artisans paint elaborate designs. It has a GI (Geographical Indication) tag. A GI is primarily a sign of authenticity of an agricultural, natural or a manufactured product (handicrafts and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory.
Typically, such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness, which is essentially attributable to the place of its origin. There is a proper process of registration of GI products, which includes filing of application, preliminary scrutiny and examination, show-cause notice, publication in the geographical indications journal, opposition to registration, and registration. Any association of persons, producers, organisation or authority established by or under the law can apply. The applicant must represent the interest of the producers. It is a legal right under which the GI holder can prohibit others from using the same name.
Once a product gets this tag, any person or company cannot sell a similar item under that name. This tag is valid for a period of 10 years following which it can be renewed. The other benefits of GI registration include legal protection to that item, prevention against unauthorised use by others, and promoting exports. The famous goods which carry this tag include Basmati rice, Darjeeling Tea, Chanderi Fabric, Mysore Silk, Kullu Shawl, Kangra Tea, Thanjavur Paintings, Allahabad Surkha, Farrukhabad Prints, Lucknow Zardozi and Kashmir Walnut Wood Carving.