It is reported that in the previous year India’s newspaper industry grew by 8%. The Credit goes to Registrar of Newspapers for India(RNI).
In India, print publications account for a surprising figure of 43% of all corporate advertising- a stark contrast to the figure in America which is less than 15%.
Between 2010 to 2014, it is seen that advertising revenues from newspapers in India rose by 40%. Most of this growth is driven by vernacular newspapers.
According to the 2014 Indian Readership survey results, Dainik Jagran- a Hindi newspaper- tops the chart with over 16.6 million readers. Surprisingly, Times of India is the only English newspaper to feature within the top ten list.
Improving literacy rates along with localized content coverage explains the sustained barb in regional newspaper sales. Physical newspapers have also flourished in part because their online versions have failed to win the interests of India’s 400 million internet users.
“Newspapers provide more clarity to readers who are confused and are looking for the facts- after viewing “shrill debates” on TV news channels” said Arun Jaitley, India’s minister of finance.
Registrar Of Newspapers For India(RNI)
Publishing Industry is growing very fast in India. Press and Books Registration Act, 1867 is the primary statue that governs and regulates the Publication of books, newspapers and magazines.
The office of the Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI) is controlled by The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and it is also responsible for framing rules under the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867. So, anybody who’s willing to start a Newspaper or Magazine, Journals, etc. will have to seek prior approval of RNI.
The Regional offices of RNI are in Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.
RNI – Registration Process
The primary step to commence a newspaper business 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 of the paper.
- The name of the owner.
- Language in which it would be circulated.
- Periodicity and area of publication of the newspaper proposed.
The publisher then has to submit it to the District Magistrate concerned.
With the growing popularity of the internet, the office of Registration of Newspapers in India(RNI) has also provided the feature of filing an online application for title verification.
- The District Magistrate after verifying the credentials of the applicant will forward the application to the RNI, who in turn will check the availability of the title.
- RNI will notify the District Magistrate and publisher about the availability of the title by issuing a letter of title verification.
- Subsequent to this, the publisher has to file a declaration with the District Magistrate in the prescribed format available to start publishing the newspaper.
- The application for registration can be submitted to the RNI – along with an attested copy of title verification, a copy of the declaration, the first issue of the newspaper and a ‘No Foreign Tie-up’ affidavit- duly attested by a Notary.
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 the case of other periodicals, it should be printed within 90 days.
A Newspaper Should Contain-
- Issue number, volume number, title- prominently displayed on the cover page and on all pages.
- Date line and page number and an imprint line containing- the name of publisher, printer, editor and owner, 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 to be submitted.
Documents Required For Registration-
- Copy of the Title Verification Letter.
- Attested copy of the Declaration duly authenticated by the District Magistrate/Additional District Magistrate etc.
- Affidavit for No Foreign Tie-up duly notarized.
- Copy of the first issue of the publication brought out within 42 days in case of dailies and weeklies and 90 days for fortnightly and above.
- Copy of the latest issue of publication.
The title becomes available for use and may be made available to any other applicant if the applicant does not apply for registration within the stipulated period of two years.
In addition to the above said documents, following KYC (Know your Customers) documents are also required –
- Certificate of Incorporation, Memorandum/Articles of the Company and in the case of Proprietorship- the registration certificate issued under Shops and Establishment Act and in the case of Partnership- Partnership Deed.
- PAN of the organisation.
- List of Promoters/Directors/Partners
- Board resolution in case of Company.
- ID and Address proof of Partners/Directors/Proprietor.
Formalities Required After Registration Under RNI
Whenever the first issue is printed, a copy of the newspaper should be delivered to the RNI. The first issue after the last day of February should contain the Form No. IV (Statement regarding ownership and other details of the newspaper) duly filled in.
It is also mandatory to submit an annual statement in form II- on or before the last day of May every year.
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.
Procedure for obtaining a magazine license-
- Submit an Application form for title verification and approach to the Regional Magistrate Court.
- Obtain a Diary Number which has been allotted by the Magistrate Court and apply to the Office of Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI) to check the availability of the name through the magistrate court.
- Approach the magistrate court to get a date allotted for hearing after the name has been approved.
- 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
- After these steps have been completed, the Magistrate Court will send an approval. The magazine can be published after that and the copies of the published magazines will have to be submitted to the RNI Regional Office for the final approval.
- Once the office of RNI is satisfied, they will issue an RNI Certificate and both (RNI Number and the Diary Number) will have to be mentioned on each copy of the magazine.
That’s all about Registration Of Newspaper & Magazine under RNI for now. Which part of the article do you find more informative? Comment below. And, Don’t forget to Share!!
LawSikho has created a telegram group for exchanging legal knowledge, referrals and various opportunities. You can click on this link and join: