Registration of newspapers and periodicals goes online through Press Sewa Portal;

azadi ka amrit mahotsav

The Government of India has notified the historic Press & Registration of Periodicals Act (PRP Act), 2023 and its Rules in its Gazette and consequently the Act has come into force from 1st March, 2024.

From now on, the registration of periodicals shall be governed by the provisions of the Press and Registration of Periodicals Act (PRP Act), 2023 and the Press and Registration of Periodicals Rules. As per the notification, the office of Press Registrar General of India – PRGI (erstwhile Registrar of Newspapers for India – RNI) shall be carrying out the purposes of the new Act.

In tune with the ethos of Digital India, the new Act provides for an online system for facilitating the registration of newspapers and other periodicals in the country. The new system replaces the existing manual, cumbersome processes involving multiple steps and approvals at various stages which were causing unnecessary hardships to the publishers.

Earlier, Shri Anurag Singh Thakur, Minister of Information and Broadcasting, had launched the Press Sewa Portal (, the online portal of the Press Registrar General, for receiving various applications as mandated by the new Act. All applications, including the intimation by the printer of a periodical, application for registration of facsimile edition of a foreign periodical, application by a publisher for obtaining a certificate of registration of a periodical, application for revision of certificate of registration, application for transfer of ownership of periodicals, furnishing annual statement by the publisher of a periodical, and procedure for desk audit for verification of circulation of a periodical will be online through the Press Sewa Portal.

The Press Sewa Portal ensures paperless processing and offers services with e-sign facility, digital payment gateway, QR code-based digital certificates for instant download, online system for providing intimation by printing presses, percentage of probability for title availability, online access to registration data for all publishers, filing of annual statements, among others. It also intends to put in place a chatbot-based interactive grievance resolution mechanism. The Press Sewa portal is accompanied by a new website ( with all the related information and a user-friendly interface. 

The new PRP Act removes books and journals from the purview of registration necessitated by the old PRB Act; the new Act defines a periodical as “any publication including a newspaper which is published and printed at regular intervals containing public news or comments on public news but does not include a book or a journal of scientific, technical, and academic nature.” Therefore, “book, or a journal including a book or journal of scientific, technical and academic nature” does not require registration with PRGI.

As per the new Act, all applications for registration of periodicals shall be made in online mode through the Press Sewa Portal only. Accordingly, publishers intending to bring out periodicals need to register their title before publishing it. As the registration process will be online and guided through the software, the chances for discrepancies in the application will be drastically reduced resulting in faster processing of applications. The status of application will be updated at all stages and the same will be informed to the applicant through SMS and email ensuring transparency and eliminating delay due to miscommunication.

The steps involved in the registration of Periodicals through the new Press Sewa Portal are as follows:

  • Signing up and Profile Creation by the Owner of a Periodical: To begin the registration process, the owner of the proposed periodical is required to sign up and create a profile on the Press Sewa Portal by furnishing relevant documents/details as required, along with 5 proposed Titles in the order of priority. These title options shall not be same or similar to a title already held by any other owner of a periodical either in the same language anywhere in India or in any other language in the same State, and these title options shall conform to the guidelines made by the Press Registrar General for this purpose.
  • Simultaneous submission to Press Registrar General and the Specified Authority in the District: The Applications submitted through the Press Sewa Portal will be accessible/available to the Press Registrar General and the Specified Authority in the District simultaneously. Therefore, there is no need for any separate application to be submitted to any other office/portal. 
  • Invitation to the Publisher/s by the Owner: After creation of profile, the owner shall extend invitations to their designated publisher/s associated with their periodical/s, through the portal.
  • Signing up and Online Intimation by the Printer (owner/keeper of Printing Press): The Printer (owner/ keeper of the printing press) is required to create an online account on the Press Sewa Portal by furnishing relevant details as required in the portal.
  • Signing up and Profile Creation by the Publisher: The publisher/s so invited/appointed are required to create their profile on the portal by furnishing relevant documents/details.
  • Selecting/Nominating the Printer by the Publisher: As part of the Registration process, the publishers are required to nominate/select their respective Printing Press from the Press Sewa database in instances where the Printing Press account is already available in the database. Otherwise, they may request the Printer to create an online profile in the Portal, and thereafter select them as Printer for the proposed periodical.
  • Periodical Registration Application to be submitted by the Publisher: After creation of their profiles, the Publisher can submit the application for registration by filling/furnishing all relevant details/documents, e-signing the application, and by payment of prescribed fee through Bharatkosh.
  • Correction Window after submission of Application: Subsequent to submission of applications, the publishers have 5 days (120-hour time-window) for making minor modifications in the application. No modifications in the application is possible after this period.
  • Acknowledgement with a unique Application Reference Number: Upon successful uploading of the application, the Press Sewa Portal will generate an acknowledgement along with a unique ten-digit alphanumeric Application Reference Number (ARN), and the publisher and the Press Registrar General shall use the Applicant Reference Number for all future correspondences and references.
  • Deficiencies in the Application and Timely Response: Following the initial scrutiny, the office of Press Registrar General of India (PRGI) will issue a deficiency communication, if warranted. The Publishers are required to submit their responses within a 30-day timeframe. Failure to adhere to this specified period will result in rejection of the application.
  • Online Payment of Registration Fees through Bharatkosh: It is mandatory for all publishers to remit a registration fee of Rs.1000 (Rupees One Thousand Only) through the Bharatkosh digital payment system integrated into the Press Sewa Portal.
  • Revision of Registration details: The Press Sewa Portal also provides online facility for revision of registration details. All applications for revising the registration vis-à-vis changes in particulars of the Periodicals are to be made through the Portal. These options will be available in the owner/ publisher profile.

The Press & Registration of Periodicals Act, 2023 is an initiative to introduce a paradigm shift from the traditional approach to registration processes, and would create a more conducive environment for publishers ensuring ease of doing business. The enactment of the new Act also testifies the Government’s efforts to remove obsolete and archaic provisions from the existing statutes.

For detailed information, the publishers and other stakeholders are advised to carefully go through the provisions of the Press & Periodicals Act and PRP Rules.

Read more:

Press & Registration of Periodicals Act, 2023:


Saurabh Singh

Source PIB