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office of Registrar of Newspapers for India

Government of India

How To Start A Newspaper


Step1: Title Verification Step2: Title Registration




1.     The Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867 provides for registration of ‘newspapers’ which is defined as “any printed periodical work containing public news or comment on public news.”

2.     Any person desirous of publishing a newspaper shall file a declaration with the specified authority, along with the proposed Title(s) of the newspaper. The specified authority will authenticate the said declaration after ascertaining from Press Registrar that the proposed Title is not:

a.      Same or similar in a State in any language, or

b.     Same or similar to an existing Title, in the same language in the whole of India.

3.     Before applying for Title verification, the applicant may check the exhaustive list of verified Titles available at the link ‘Verified Titles/Title Search’ Menu on RNI website, and ensure that the proposed Titles are not the same or similar to those which have been already verified by RNI. While the Titles appearing on the website of RNI are those that have already been verified, it does not imply that the Title(s) which are not in the list of verified Titles are necessarily available.The final authority of approving or rejecting a Title is vested in the Press Registrar.


4.     The Application for Title verification of newspapers/ periodicals is to be filed in online mode. The Application Form in the prescribed format is on the website of RNI i.e.http//www.rni.nic.in. The applicant has to fill the form online and take a print out of the same for authentication by the Licensing Authority. The authenticated application must be forwarded by the Licensing Authority (District Magistrate of the district concerned) to RNI. The Licencing Authority can send the application to the O/o RNI through official email or Registered Post. The applications sent by the publishers directly will not be entertained.


5.     The official seal and signature of the specified licencing authority forwarding the application should be clear and legible on every page of the application for Title Verification.


6.     Only the original application forwarded by the District Magistrate/specified licensing authority will be processed in RNI for Title verification. The photocopies of applications will not be entertained. Any tampering or usage of white fluid or cancellation/rewriting will not be accepted in the application for Title verification.


7.     In case more than one language is mentioned in an application, it will be presumed that the application is for a bilingual/multilingual newspaper and will be verified accordingly.


8.     A newspaper or publication may either be in one language or it may be bilingual/multilingual. When the publication is bilingual or multilingual, it should contain news/articles in all the languages in which the Title has been verified. If a separate publication is to be brought out in a different language/s, separate applications should be submitted for each publication.


9.     If a new edition of an existing publication is to be brought out from another district in the same State and in the same language, no Title verification is required. The publisher may directly file the declaration for Registration (Form 1 as per PRB Act 1867) and then submit the required documents to RNI for issuance of Registration Number and Registration Certificate. However, if the proposed new edition is from another State or in a different language (within the same or different state), prior Title verification is mandatory.


10.  An applicant who owns a Title in a specific language, state and periodicity does not have any natural claim over the ownership of that Title in another language, state and periodicity.


11.  The verification of the pre-owned Title for another state, language or periodicity will be subject to availability as per guidelines.


12.  Those applicants who have registered publications already in their name in RNI records should ensure that the latest Annual Statement for the registered publication/s is duly filed online in the office of RNI, before applying for fresh Title(s).


13.  The Applications for Title verification incomplete in any respect will be liable for rejection.


14. The Titles once verified and registered to an individual will be non-transferrable for Three years from the date of registration except in the case of demise of the owner.


15. An individual cannot have more than 5 titles verified in his/her name.


16.  The titles which are already verified and registered but are in th category of the titles falling under clauses 18(a), 18(i), 18(k), 18(n), 18(o), and 18(x) will not be considered for new editions and/or for change in ownership. 


17.  The broad criteria for Title verification adopted by the Press Registrar in the processing of applications is given below:

a.      Same or similar Title in a State in any language or same or similar Titles in the same language in the whole of India will not be verified.

b.     Titles which are the same or similar to a prominent foreign newspaper /magazine will not be verified unless a valid license agreement is produced with the foreign Title owner.

c.      An applicant may apply for a new Title(s) only after she/he has submitted the application for the Registration of the Title(s) earlier allotted to him.

d.     Applicants will not submit more than one Title application at a time. If more than one application is received from an applicant, only one application shall be considered while the rest will be summarily rejected.


                                                             i.      In case of a foreign newspaper/publication where the applicant produces NOC from the Ministry of Information Broadcasting, Government of India.

                                                           ii.      In case of a specific direction from the Court or any statutory authority in India, which is binding and it has been decided not to appeal against such direction/order.

                                                        iii.      In cases where the applicant is a constitutional body, government organization/department, PSU etc.

                                                         iv.      In any other case in public interest with the approval of the Press Registrar.

f.       RNI will not be responsible for Titles rejected due to spelling errors committed by the applicant while filling out the application.

g.     RNI registers only newspapers and periodicals as defined under Section 1 of the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867.Applications for Title verification from the following categories of applicants will not be entertained:

1.     News Agencies

2.     Feature Agencies

3.     News Websites

4.     News Channels

5.     Electronic versions of publications, including Title options using words such as dot com, dot in, e-, blog, portal, Facebook, Twitter, Orkut, LinkedIn, YouTube, Yahoo, Google, Wikipedia, Wikileaks etc.



a.      Titles containing names of Government Departments, Government Organizations, Foreign Governments, International Organizations viz. UN, WHO, ILO, etc. which suggest a misleading association with them.

b.     Titles attributing association with public welfare schemes of Central/State Governments or its organizations or local bodies.

c.      Titles using words like ad/advertisement, classifieds, tender, real estate, press, calendar, panchaang, matrimonial, yellow pages/page (generally prefixed with white, pink etc.), guide, diary, gist, fact sheet, bulletin, pamphlet, brochure, directory, as such publications that do not contain news/views/articles etc.

d.     Titles containing abbreviations or acronyms Eg: B2B, A2Z etc.

e.      Titles containing any form of signs and symbols including pictographs, videograms, hallmarks, logos, monograms, abbreviations, phonograms, emojis etc shall not be verified for use in the Title.

f.       Titles containing non-alpha-numeric characters viz. pictures or symbols.

g.     The name of the applicant will not be permitted in Titles.Also non-generic names in title are not preferable.

h.     Titles which are prima facie absurd and meaningless will not be verified. Any form of mathematical symbols like +, * etc. should not be used in the Title. Title options with meaningless addition of numerals to an existing or new title will not be verified. Titles which are a meaningless combination of words such as ‘Saptahik Weekly', ‘Sandhya Evening’, ‘Daily Dainik News’ will not be accepted for verification.

i.       Titles which have negative religious connotations.

j.       Titles which are obscene and offensive to public sentiments shall not be verified.

k.     Titles having negative connotations or which could be misused with words like crime and corruption shall not be verified.


l.       Only Organizations/ Societies/ Companies/ Trusts may apply for Titles using words like Employment/ Rozgar/ Career/ Job/ Naukri etc. Such Titles will not be verified for individual applicants.


m.   Titles in violation of “The Emblem and Name (Prevention of improper use) Act, 1950.


n.     Titles which are the same or similar to any national symbol, national motto or give an impression of misleading association with Central Government/ State Governments/ Local bodies.


o.     Titles using the name of regulatory/ enforcement agencies in the country viz. ‘Police’, ‘Bureau’, ‘Investigation Department’, ‘Vigilance’, ‘CID’, ‘CBI’, defence establishment etc. except to the Department concerned.


p.     Titles in the names of present / former President and Prime Minister of the country, present Governor and Chief Minister of the State in which the publication is being registered, present Chief Justice of India, Comptroller and Auditor General and Chief Election Commissioner.


q.     Titles in the names of national leaders or resembling names of prominent national leaders, Heads of Government, and functionaries of Central and State governments will not be verified. However, names of recognized national and state political parties will be considered if applied by the organization concerned.


r.       Titles which are a combination of the titles of existing registered newspapers, Titles combining two or more existing Titles or a part of any existing Title which does not make the new Title substantially different will not be verified. Inserting a word between two words of an existing Title will be considered similar unless it makes a significant difference in the meaning.


s.      Titles containing the same words of an existing Title, whether in the same or in different order.


t.       Titles formed by suffixing or prefixing the words relating to City, State, Periodicities, Language, prepositions/adjectives, articles (A, An, The) etc., to an existing Title will not be verified. Examples are The, Times, Daily, Dainik, Weekly, V/Wartha, Aaj, Today, Express, News, Khabar, Samachar, Bulletin, Diary, India, National, Rashtriya etc.


u.     Titles formed by prefixing or suffixing the periodicity or the language of the proposed publication to an already existing Title will not be verified.


v.     Titles of publications with contents solely aimed at competitive examinations or study material/coaching material will not be verified.


w.   Titles appearing similar to an existing Title on account of phonetic similarity, even if the spelling of the proposed Title is different will not be verified. 


x.     Title options with words like Sarkar, Government, Parliament, Proceedings, Rebel, and Rebellion etc. will not be verified unless applied by the entity concerned.


y.     Title options with a proper noun (name of a particular person/name of applicant) as a part of it shall not be entertained.


z.      Root/generic/single words like Manthan, Darpan, Chronology, Inspire, Success, Khulasa, Rahasya, Katha, Herald, Batkahi, Nukkad, Crossroads, etc. will not be verified as a title.


aa.  Titles for publication of Journals will not be verified in the name of an individual. Journals will be verified only in the name of Organizations/ Universities/ Institutes/ Societies etc. In such cases, the name of such Institution/ Organization/ Company should be prefixed before the Title in order to clearly differentiate between various journals on the same/ similar subject/s.


a.      The owner/publisher has to apply for registration of the title verified to him to the office of Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI), within a period of 180 days from the date of Title verification. If the applicant fails to apply for Registration within 6 months (180 days) since the date of Title Verification, the verified title will be deblocked and it will be available for other applicants. When a title is deblocked, it becomes available for verification to other applicants.

b.     If a Discrepancy Letter (D/L) has been issued during the processing of an application for Title verification, the applicant has to reply within 30 days since the date of issue of the letter. The application will be rejected if no reply is received within the stipulated time. In such cases, a fresh Title application authenticated by the District Magistrate concerned has to be submitted.

c.      Under normal circumstances, all the applications will essentially be decided in the time limit of 30 working days as mentioned in the Citizen Charter. The Discrepancy Letters are accessible on RNI website, www.rni.nic.in. Non-receipt of the Discrepancy Letter will not be considered a reason for the delay in submission of a reply to the Discrepancy letter. The Discrepancy letters are issued primarily on the following grounds:

1.     If the meaning of the titles proposed is not clearly mentioned in the application

2.     If the nature and content of the title are not clearly mentioned in the application

3.     If there is no seal and signature of the forwarding authority

4.     If there is a penalty due towards non-submission of annual returns for any already-owned titles/editions

5.     If the title of the journal is not prefixed/suffixed with the name of the organization

6.     If the application does not clarify whether the same applicant owns any other titles 

7.     If an individual’s name is mentioned against the owner name despite applying under non-individual category

d.     An applicant will not have any claim over a deblocked Title previously owned by him/her. The verification of a deblockedTitle to any applicant will be governed by the current guidelines and rules.

e.      Once an application is rejected, the applicant is required to submit a fresh application through the Authenticating authority. RNI will not entertain Title options directly from the applicant without proper authentication from the Authenticating authority.

f.       The Press Registrar shall have the power to cancel a verified Title, if the same is not registered, after recording the reasons in writing.

g.     The applicants are advised to strictly adhere to the guidelines while applying for Title verification to avoid any procedural delays and rejections.

h.     In case of any doubt regarding the interpretation of the same or similar, the decision of the Press Registrar shall be final.

i.       The verified Title is subject to cancellation before registration if the content of the publication does not fall under the category ‘news and comment on public news’ or if the content of the publication does not match the nature of content mentioned while applying for the Title.

20.  If a newspaper/publication is proposed to be brought out by a Government Department/Organization, the application for verification of such Title will be made by the respective Head of Department and the Title will be verified in his/her name only.

21. Disclaimer: The verification of Title for the proposed newspaper/periodical is only for the purpose of Registration of the said newspaper with the Registrar of Newspapers under the PRB Act, 1867. It does not mean approval of the Title as a Trade Mark/Brand Name, Company name etc. and the necessary approval for such purposes should be obtained by the applicants from relevant authorities under the provision of relevant Acts like the Trade Mark Act, Companies Act, etc. Any dispute in this regard will be a subject matter of dispute between the two parties concerned and the Registrar of Newspapers for India will not be a party to it in any way.