Procedure for Newspaper/Magazine License/registration in India

Publishing Industry is growing very fast in India. Publication of Books, Newspapers and Magazines are regulated by the Press and Books Registration Act, 1867. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting controls the office of the Registrar of Newspapers for India and it is also responsible for framing rules under the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867. So anybody willing to start a Newspaper or Magazine, Journals etc. will have to seek prior approval of RNI.

The first step to start a newspaper is to get the title (name of the proposed newspaper) verified from Registrar of Newspaper for India.

– For this the publisher has to make an application for title verification indicating the name, language, periodicity, owner name and place of publication of the newspaper proposed, and submit it to the District Magistrate concerned. From 1st March, 2015 the office of Registration of Newspapers in India has also provided the facility of filing online application for title verification. Online Application for title verification is very simple, easy and hassle free process.

– The District Magistrate after ensuring the credentials of the applicant, will forward the application to the RNI, who in turn checks the availability of the title and if found verifies it. RNI informs the DM and publisher, the availability of the title by issuing a letter of title verification.

– After this, the publisher has to file a declaration with the District Magistrate in the prescribed format available and can start publishing the newspaper.

– The first issue of the newspaper should be printed within 45 days from the date of authentication of the declaration if it is a daily or weekly and in case of other periodicals, within 90 days.

– The application for registration can be submitted to the RNI along with an attested copy of the declaration, copy of title verification, first issue of the newspaper and a ‘No Foreign Tie up’ affidavit duly attested by a Notary.

– The newspaper should contain volume number, issue number, title prominently displayed on the cover page and all pages, date line and page number on all pages and an imprint line containing the name of printer, publisher, owner and editor, address of the place of publication and name and address of the printing press.

– If the printer and publisher are different persons, separate declarations are required.

Formalities required after registration

A copy of the newspaper should be delivered to the RNI whenever it is printed. The first issue after the last day of February should contain the Form No. IV duly filled in (Statement regarding ownership and other particulars of the newspaper). It is also mandatory to submit an annual statement in form II , on or before the last day of May every year. In case of daily newspapers, an additional form AR-R may also be submitted.

Requirement of fresh filings

Whenever there is a change of publisher, printer, owners, periodicity and printing press, the publisher/printer has to make a fresh declaration.

RNI & Rules

The office of the Registrar of Newspapers for India, popularly known as RNI came into being on 1 July 1956, on the recommendation of the First Press Commission in 1953 and by amending the Press and Registration of Books Act 1867. The Office of the Registrar of Newspapers is responsible for implementation of the Press and Registration of Books Act. The Registrar of Newspapers for India has its Headquarters at New Delhi. The Regional offices of RNI are at Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.

Documents required for registration

The following documents are required for registration –

  1. Copy of the Title Verification Letter.
  2. Attested copy of the Declaration duly authenticated by the District Magistrate/Additional District Magistrate etc.
  3. Affidavit for No Foreign Tie-up duly notarized.
  4. Copy of first issue of the publication brought out within 42 days in case of dailies and weeklies and 90 days for fortnightly and above.
  5. Copy of the latest issue of publication.

In case the applicant does not apply for registration within the stipulated period of two years, the title is unblocked and may be made available to any other applicant.

In addition to the above said documents, following KYC documents are also required –

  1. Certificate of Incorporation, Memorandum/Articles of the Company and in case of Proprietorship, registration certificate issued under Shops and Establishment Act and in case of Partnership, Partnership Deed.
  2. PAN of the organization.
  3. List of Promoters/Directors/Partners
  4. Board resolution in case of Company.
  5. ID and Address proof of Partners/Directors/Proprietor

Detailed procedure for obtaining magazine license:

  1. Prepare the application form for title verification and approach to the Regional Magistrate Court;
  1. Obtain a Diary Number allotted by the Magistrate Court and apply to the Office of Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI), Delhi office for name availability through the magistrate court. It will take around three months time for the RNI, Delhi office to approve the title/name applied for;
  1. Once the title/name is approved by the RNI, Delhi office, and then approach the magistrate court to get a date allotted for hearing (date can be allotted anytime between one to four months from the date of request);
  1. Printer, Publisher & Editor are required to appear before the magistrate for taking oath with the following documents; a) Declaration copy which has to be filled by the Printer, Publisher & Editor; b) Address & ID Proof of the printer, Publisher & Editor; c) Printing Press License copy of the Printer;
  1. Once this is done, there will be an approval to this effect from the Magistrate Court and the magazine can be published and copies of the magazines have to be submitted to the RNI, Regional Office for the final approval, so the office of RNI can evaluate whether the magazine meets the criteria specified in the declaration.
  1. Once the office of RNI is satisfied, they will issue a RNI Certificate and both (the Diary Number issued by the Magistrate Court and RNI Number) will have to be mentioned on each copy of the magazine.

I hope you find this memo useful. Please let me know if you have any question(s) or need any clarification(s).

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