Streamlining the process of newspapers and periodicals registrations in india

May 31, 2024
Registration of Books Act of 1867

By Apalka Bareja and Vidhi Oberoi


The Press and Registration of Periodicals Act (PRP Act), 2023 has superseded the Press and Registration of Books Act of 1867, which was passed during the colonial era, making it easier than ever to register newspapers and magazines. The Press and Registration of Books (PRB) Act, 1867 was out of step with the evolving media landscape and the evolving forms of government that placed more of a focus on easily accessible and quicker service delivery via technology.

The PRB Act, a relic from the British Raj, was passed with the intention of imposing severe fines and penalties, including jail time, for numerous infractions, in order to exert total control over the press, printers, and publishers of books and newspapers. Even with numerous amendments made between 1870 and 1983, the Act’s complicated and onerous procedural requirements made it very difficult and time-consuming, particularly for small and medium-sized publishers, to verify a title and obtain a certificate of registration for publishing a periodical.[1]

The Press and Registration of Periodicals Act (PRP Act), 2023, and its Rules have been notified by the government in its Gazette, and as a result, the Act is effective since March 1, 2024.[2]

An online mechanism is made available by the new Act to make it easier for newspapers and other periodicals to register themselves effortlessly.

Where did the old Act outworn?

S No. KEY ASPECTS Under PRB ACT, 1867 Under PRP ACT, 2023
1. Necessary Registration of Books and Periodicals Mandatory Voluntary
2. Complicated Registration Process Complicated registration process due to multiple applications. The process is streamlined as the filing process is online.
3. Delays and Inconsistencies due to Physical Filing There were delays due to involvement of various filing at numerous stages and physical filing. No physical filing required as a single application is filed and submitted on the portal.


Timeline for Registration The entire process of registration must be completed within 2 years from the date of verification of title.[3] 3 days:  To make corrections to the submitted application.[4]

10-days: To file a reply in case of any complications.[5]

Authorities to scrutinize the application and within 60 days, issue a no-objection certificate or provide comments.[6]




Separate Filings for the Printer and Publisher Yes; Separate Filings for Printers and Publishers required. Publishers can invite printers through the portal.


Henceforth, applications now will be processed rapidly since there will be less opportunities for inconsistencies because the registration process will be led through software and conducted online. Transparency and the avoidance of delays resulting from misunderstandings are ensured by updating the applicant’s application status periodically and notifying them via email and SMS.

Highlights of the New Act:

The pertinent highlight of the New Press Sewa Portal and The Press and Registration of Periodicals Act (PRP Act), 2023 are as follows[7]:

  1. Submission of applications simultaneously to the Press Registrar General and the District’s Specified Authority: The Press Registrar General and the District’s Specified Authority will have simultaneous access to the applications that were filed via the Press Sewa Portal. As a result, no further application needs to be sent to any other offices or portals.
  2. Owner’s Invitation to the Publisher and Profile Creation by the Publisher(s): The owner can use the site to invite their chosen publisher(s) connected to their periodical(s) directly. The publisher who has been invited or appointed must sign up and create their profile on the platform by providing the necessary information and papers
  3. Registration and Online Notification by the Printer (Printing Press Owner/Keeper): The owner or keeper of the printing press can simply register online and then the owner can add the printer details for his/her periodicals.
  4. Application Correction Window: The publishers are allowed to make minor changes to submissions during a 72-hour (3- days) window starting five days after the applications are submitted. After this time, the application cannot be changed in any way.
  5. Acknowledgement with a unique Application Reference Number:The Press Sewa Portal will produce an acknowledgement and a unique ten-digit alphanumeric Application Reference Number (ARN) after the application has been successfully uploaded. The publisher and the Press Registrar General will use the Applicant Reference Number in all future correspondence and references.
  6. Deficiencies in the Application and Prompt Response: The Press Registrar General of India (PRGI) office would, if necessary, send out a deficiency communication after conducting a preliminary review. Within a thirty-day period, the Publishers must provide their answers. Applications that are not submitted within this time frame will be rejected.
  7. Registration fees must be paid online via Bharatkosh: All publishers must pay a registration cost via the Bharatkosh digital platform.
  8. Revision of Registration Details: Revision of registration details is another online feature offered by the Press Sewa Portal. All requests to update the registration in light of periodicals’ changing details must be submitted via the Portal. The owner/publisher profile will have these choices available.
  9. Transfer of Ownership: Subject to approval from the Registrar, the owner of the periodical may assign ownership to a third party by providing documents containing the necessary information and by paying a charge that the Union Government may specify.
  10. Foreign Periodicals: In accordance with the PRP Act, any facsimile version of a periodical printed and published outside of India may be printed in India with prior permission from the Union Government and in accordance with the guidelines established in this regard; additionally, the foreign periodical should be registered with the registrar.


Newspapers are a pragmatic instrument for rapidly and widely spreading ideas on a piece of paper. Printed materials, including treatises, books, bulletin, newspapers and magazines, were used to quickly and efficiently share ideas before invention of radio, television, the internet and other mass media. Periodicals are used to inform large audiences about current events, business opportunities, cultural and religious practices and educational goals. Thereupon, the significance of streamlining the process for diligent-writers and publishers was vital.

The Press and Registration of Periodicals Act, 2023 is an attempt to change the way that registration procedures are now handled. It would make things easier for publishers to do business by fostering a more favourable atmosphere. The government’s efforts to eliminate outdated and antiquated provisions from the current statutes are further evidenced by the enactment of the new Act.

Aishwarya Rajput , Assessment Intern at S.S Rana & Co. has assisted in the research of this article.

[1] Available at

[2] Available at,PRB%20Act%2C%201867%20stands%20repealed.&text=The%20Government%20of%20India%20has,force%20from%201st%20March%2C%202024.

[3] Available at

[4] Available at

[5] Ibid.

[6] Section 7(4) of PRP Act, 2023. Available at

[7] Available at

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