Registrar of Newspapers for India

Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI)

History of Registrar of Newspapers for India

The Office of the Registrar of Newspapers for India, more popularly known as RNI, came into being on July 1, 1956, on the recommendation of the First Press Commission in 1953 and by amending the Press and Registration of Books Act 1867.

The Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867, and the Registration of Newspapers (Central) Rules, 1956, govern the printing and publication of newspapers and periodicals in India.

On August 3, 2023, the Rajya Sabha passed the Press and Registration of Periodicals Bill 2023 to simplify the registration of periodicals.  It proposes to repeal the Press and Registration of Books Act 1867.

According to the 1867 Act, no newspaper or periodical should bear a title that is the same or similar to any other newspaper or periodical already being published, either in the same language or state, unless the same person also owns the latter.

The 2023 Act allows newspapers, periodicals, and books to be registered.  It also provides for the cataloging of books.  The bill provides for the registration of periodicals, which include any publication containing public news or comments on public news.  Periodicals do not include books or scientific and academic journals.

The 2023 Act provides that a declaration specifying the printer or publisher be made to the District Magistrate (DM).  The DM sends the declaration to the Press Registrar, who then issues a registration certificate.

To ensure compliance with this condition, the Government of India has appointed the Registrar of Newspapers, also called the Press Registrar, who maintains a register of newspapers and periodicals published in India.

The Office of the Registrar of Newspapers for India is in New Delhi. It has three regional offices in Calcutta, Mumbai, and Chennai to cater to the needs of publishers in all corners of the country.

Registrar of Newspapers for India Functioning

Registrar of Newspapers for India

The Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI) plays a crucial role in regulating and monitoring newspapers in India. As the official authority responsible for maintaining a record of newspapers, magazines, and other periodicals published in the country, RNI ensures transparency, accountability, and adherence to legal requirements within the print media industry.

One of the primary functions of RNI is to issue registration certificates to publishers who wish to start a newspaper or periodical publication. This process involves verifying various aspects, such as ownership details, editorial control, circulation figures, and compliance with statutory guidelines.

RNI ensures that publications operate within established norms and standards by granting registration certificates.

RNI Title Verification
Online RNI Title Verification

Additionally, RNI is a repository of information regarding newspapers published in India. It maintains an extensive database that includes details about ownership changes, title modifications, periodicity alterations, and closures of publications.

This comprehensive record helps researchers, scholars, and stakeholders access accurate historical data on print media in India.

Furthermore, RNI plays a vital role in safeguarding press freedom by monitoring violations related to circulation figures, misrepresentation, or unauthorized publication of newspapers.

It investigates complaints from readers or other stakeholders regarding publishers’ non-compliance with ethical practices or legal obligations.

Registration for a newspaper involves two steps:

Verification of Title

It includes the applicant’s name, name of the owner, language, periodicity, state, district, and title options (up to 5 options only).

Registration of Title

The verified title is to be registered within 2 years from the title verification date to prevent deblocking or cancellation of the title. The ownership of the title is transferable after registration.

RNI Registration

Procedures and Guidelines for Verification of Titles

Step 1: Visit

Step 2: Read the “RNI Guidelines” title verification rules attentively.

Step 3: Click Online Title Application on the website homepage.

Step 4: Read and follow the online application instructions.

Step 5: Complete all required fields, including a functional mobile number and email address.

Step 6: Submit and print the completed application. Write down the print code to reprint the application if needed.

Step 7: Submit the application to the relevant authorities (DM/DC/SDM/DCP/JCP/CMM).

Step 8: The authority responsible for forwarding the application to RNI will include their name, signature, and seal. RNI will process the application only if the authority sends a hard copy. Applicants should keep a copy of the signed application that the authorities gave to RNI for future reference.

Step 9: The applicant will receive an RNI reference number (application number) via email and mobile phone when the authority sends the hard copy of the application to the RNI.

Step 10: Save the RNI reference number for future inquiries.

Step 11: Applicants can check the status of their application on the RNI website by using the forwarding authority’s DM number or the RNI reference number.

Step 12: Applicants can download Title Verification, Title Non-approval, and Discrepancy Letters from the RNI website. After title verification, applicants must submit the validated registration statement within six months to avoid deblocking or cancellation. Title ownership is non-transferable before registration.

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