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Press and Registration of Periodicals Act, 2023 |

Press and Registration of Periodicals Act, 2023

Context: 

∙ Recently, draft Rules, 2024 have been proposed to implement the provisions of the Press and Registration of Periodicals Act, 2023.

Press and Registration of Periodicals Act, 2023.

∙ It replaces the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867, which governed the registration of print and publishing industry in the country since 1867.

∙ The Press & Registration of Books Act, 1867 is a colonial era Act enacted with an aim to regulate the Printing Presses and newspapers with severe penalties including imprisonment for non-compliances of its provisions.

∙ The processes under the Act were cumbersome and complex causing unnecessary hardships to publishers for running a newspaper.

Key differences between the PRB Act, 1867 and the PRP act , 2023:

∙ Registration of periodicals: The 1867 Act provides for the registration of newspapers, periodicals, and books. It also provides for the cataloguing of books.

∙ The 2023 act provides for the registration of periodicals, which include any publication containing public news or comments on public news.

∙ Periodicals do not include books or scientific and academic journals.

∙ Foreign periodicals: An exact reproduction of a foreign periodical may be printed in India only with the prior approval of the central government.

ο The manner of registration of such periodicals will be prescribed.

∙ No declaration for printing presses: The 1867 Act provides that a declaration specifying the printer/publisher be made to the DM.

∙ The 2023 act allows the publisher of a periodical to obtain a registration certificate by filing an online application with the Press Registrar General (PRG) and specified local authority.

∙ A person who has been convicted of a terrorist act or unlawful activity, or has acted against the security of the State will not be allowed to publish a periodical.

∙ Registration of a printing press: The 1867 Act requires a printing press to be declared before the DM. The PRP act , 2023 allows for information regarding printing presses to be submitted through an online portal.

ο Appellate authority: The new act also provides for an appellate authority.

∙ The Appellate Board (Press and Registration Appellate Board) will comprise the Chairperson, Press Council of India (PCI), and two members of PCI to hear an appeal against refusal of grant of registration, imposition of any penalty or suspension/cancellation of registration by PRG.

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