What is Press and Registration of Periodicals Act 2023

  • June 13, 2024
  • Dushyant Sharma
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The Press and Registration of Periodicals Act 2023 is a piece of legislation that deals with press, periodical registration, and any related or incidental matters. This Act came into force on 1st March, 2024 replacing the colonial act Press and Registration of Books Act 1867.


In this article, we will discuss Press and Registration of Periodicals Act 2023, all its important provisions and periodicals registration.

Important Definitions under the Press and Registration of Periodicals Act 2023

Facsimile Edition of a Publication: It refers to an exact reproduction of the foreign publication’s original edition in English or an Indian language included in Indian constitution’s 8th Schedule.


Journal: The term “journal” has been described in the Act as a periodical publication, other than magazine, which mainly focuses on academic, technical or scientific content pertaining to a particular profession or discipline.


Keeper: The Press and Registration of Periodical Act 2023 describes the term “keeper” as an individual involved in the management of day-to-day operations of a printing press, the owner of which is a non-individual entity. 


Owner: The term “owner” in the Act has been described as an individual, firm or any such legal entity that owns a periodical.


Printer: It means the printing press’ owner or keeper.


Periodical: Any publication which is published and printed at regular intervals, such as a newspaper, containing public news or comments on public news but doesn’t include a book or any journal which includes a book or a journal which is scientific, academic or technical in its nature.


Publication: It refers to newspaper, magazines, journals or newsletters that are printed periodically and published in India and includes its reproduction in electronic form or any syndication, facsimile edition for public access or distribution.


Specified Authority: It means a District Magistrate (DM) or Collector or such other officer as the State Government or, as the case may be, Union territory Administration may, by notification, specify.

Press Registrar General of India (PRGI)

According to the Act, all periodical printers are required to notify the Press Registrar General of India (PRGI) and the Specified authority within whose local jurisdiction their printing press is located via the online portal known as Press Sewa Portal. The notification should contain the necessary details and follow the prescribed format.  


Any Indian citizen or person who is an entity established and registered in India under any currently implemented law is permitted to publish a periodical after RNI registration granted by PRGI on the condition that they haven’t been convicted by a court of law for a crime involving a terrorist act or illegal conduct, or a crime against the state's security.


An Indian entity that wishes to publish a facsimile edition needs to apply on the National Single Window System. The application should be made for obtaining Central Government’s approval. 


A facsimile edition of a foreign periodical may be printed in India only with the prior approval of the Central Government in accordance with the applicable guidelines, and the registration of such facsimile edition shall be made with the Press Registrar General of India in a prescribed manner. Foreign periodical means any periodical which is printed and published outside India.

Functions of Press Registrar General of India (PRGI)

According to the Press and Registration of Periodicals Act 2023, the Press Registrar General has the following functions and responsibilities:

  • issue a certificate of registration or RNI registration to a periodical; 
  • maintain a register which contains a list of all the registered periodicals;
  • set guidelines for admissibility and availability of a periodical’s title;
  • collect the prescribed fees for applications for publication’s registration;
  • receive funds from the Central Government and utilize the same for implementation of Press and Registration of Periodicals Act;
  • prepare and publish a report on an annual basis containing details with regards to the periodicals in India;
  • any function which is either incidental to or connected with the aforementioned clauses;
  • any other function as may be assigned by the Centre for the effective implementation of the Act’s provisions.

What does Press and Registration of Periodicals Act 2023 say regarding Periodical Registration?

Any periodical shall be printed or published in India in accordance with the Press and Registration of Periodicals Act’s provisions and not otherwise. Every periodical’s publisher after the authorization of the periodical shall obtain a certificate of registration from the Press Registrar General.


For this purpose, an online application must be submitted on the Press Sewa Portal to the Press Registrar General and the Specified Authority of the local jurisdiction where such periodical is proposed to be published along with the prescribed fee and all the relevant documents.


The application for obtaining a certificate of registration must contain the title of the proposed periodical. The publisher may suggest one or more names for the title according to their order of preference. The suggested name must not be same or similar to a periodical title which already exists in the same language anywhere in India or in any other language in the same State. Additionally, the title must conform to the guidelines set by the Press Registrar General for the same.


The Specified Authority must issue a no-objection or furnish comments on the application to PRGI within 60 days. In cases where the application is for the registration of a periodical that is proposed to be published by the Central Government, a State Government, or any authority under such Government, no objection from the specified authority is not required. 


After receiving the application for periodical registration, if the Press Registrar General is satisfied with the application’s correctness and completeness after it has taken into account the comments received from the specified authority (if any such comments were furnished) and the guidelines relating to admissibility of titles, it shall issue a certificate of registration aka RNI registration. The certificate of registration shall contain particulars of the publication’s periodicity, language, place of publication, owner’s details and the periodical’s title. 


In case the Press Registrar General is not satisfied with the application, it’ll give an opportunity of being heard and for reasons to be recorded in writing. However, if it still isn’t satisfied, it can refuse to issue the certificate of registration. 


Once the publisher receives the certificate of registration, they can begin with the periodical’s publication. If the publisher fails to publish the periodical within a period of 12 months from the end of month in which the certificate of registration was issued, the Press Registrar General can cancel the certificate of registration and withdraw the title as well.


The Press and Registration of Periodicals Act 2023 replaced the outdated colonial era Act known as Press and Registration of Books Act 1867 as a major initiative to modernize the legal framework for periodicals such as newspapers, magazines and journals that are published in India.


This new Act has completely streamlined the periodical registration procedure and made it completely online through Press Sewa Portal. It includes provisions for digital media and also addresses the gaps in the erstwhile colonial Act. The Press and Registration of Periodicals Act 2023 promotes transparency, accountability, and supports the growth of the media industry. If you need help with periodical registration for your publication, feel free to get in touch with Registrationwala team. 

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Dushyant Sharma
Author: Dushyant Sharma

Hey there, I'm Dushyant Sharma. With the extensive knowledge I've gained in past 8 years, I have been creating content on various subjects such as banking, insurance, telecom, and all the important registration and licensing processes for various companies. I'm here to help everyone with my expertise in these areas through my articles.

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