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The RNI is entrusted with –

  • Compilation and maintenance of a Register of Newspapers.
  • Issue of Certificate of Registration to the newspapers (RNI Registration)
  • Verifying circulation claims and other non-statutory functions.

RNI Registration

In order to establish a newspaper or periodical or printed publication in India, it is necessary for the owners to obtain a RNI registration from the Registrar of the Newspapers. Our Ministry of Information and Broadcasting controls and frame rules for the Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI) under the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867 (PRB). Approval of the RNI is required to start a business of Newspaper, Magazine, Journals, etc.

Process of Registration

The process of registering a publication/periodical has been divided into the following steps:
Verification of the title
The first and the most important step for registration of a newspaper is the verification of the title. The purpose of this practice is to ensure the availability of the title and to avoid conflict in the future. The District Magistrate (DM) verifies these details and accordingly give his approval.
An application is required to be made for title verification, containing:

  • The name of the newspaper
  • The name of the owner
  • The language of circulation
  • Periodicity
  • The proposed area of publication

This information must be submitted to the concerned District Magistrate. The DM then verifies these credentials and forwards the application to the RNI. Subsequently, a letter of title verification is issued by the RNI to notify the District Magistrate and publisher about the title availability.
A declaration is required to be filed by the publisher with the District Magistrate to start publishing the newspaper.You can also get you RNI title verification done online.

Authentication Of Declaration
After obtaining the title verification letter from the RNI, it should be presented to the authority concerned (DM/DC/SDM/DCP/JCP/CMM etc.), along with a properly filled declaration (Form-I) for authentication.

In an event, the publisher and printer are different individuals, separate declarations from both publisher and printer are required.
In case, the place of publication and printing press are in different districts, separate declarations are required from both the districts.The publisher can file the declaration from the district or place of publication, and printer can file it from the district of the printing press.

Publication of the first issue

The PRB Act 1867 states that the first issue should be brought within 42 days of authentication of declaration, in case periodicity is daily or weekly. If the periodicity is fortnightly or above, first issue should be brought out within 90 days of authentication of declaration.

In case, the place of publication and printing press are in different districts, then the date of authentication of place of publication declaration filed by the publisher will be considered for calculating 42/90 days for beginning of first issue. In case of a delay in the publication of the first issue, a revised declaration should be filed.

The publication must be printed in the press mentioned in the declaration. It should only contain news, views, articles etc. In case of bilingual or multilingual publications, news, views, articles, etc should be released in the languages mentioned.

List Of Documents Required For The Final Registration

Following is the list of documents required for the registration of a newspaper/publication:

  1. A copy of the title verification letter issued by RNI.
  2. Declaration (Form-1) filed by the Publisher and duly authenticated by DM/DC/SDM/JCP/CMM.
  3. A written agreement between owner of periodical. In case the owner of the periodical and  owner of the printing press are not the same, the agreement submitted must bear both the signatures.
  4. A copy of the first issue i.e. volume 1, issue 1. While submitting the first issue, please, make sure that:
  • The first issue of the periodical is published within 42 days of the date of authentication of declaration. ¬†
  • The first issue has Volume 1, Issue 1 clearly printed on the front page.
  • The issue carries the printed title, page numbers and full date of its publication.
  • The title or the masthead is presented in a uniform font/letter size. Any variation should not exceed 25%.
  • The published newspaper/periodical contains public news, views or comments.
  • The newspaper/periodical must only be published in the languages verified by RNI.
  • Use of symbols, graphics, emoticons, etc. in place of a syllable/letter in the title should be avoided.
  • The imprint line in every copy must carry the correct and complete information.
  1. A signed copy of the Printer agreement authorization in writing from owner(s), authorizing individual (by name) to make and subscribe declaration as publisher/printer, in the case where the publisher or printer making a declaration is not the owner thereof.

Certificate of Registration

The Certificate of Registration is issued by Press Registrar once:

  • The Magistrate issues a copy of the declaration, and
  • The first issue of the periodical is published.
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