Triggered by the recent controversy of International Herald Tribune (IHT) being published from India, the government on Monday announced an online initiative to maintain the records of newspapers registered in the country. Information and broadcasting minister S Jaipal Reddy inaugurated the service.
According to the minister, this is the first of the series of initiatives from the Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI). Online registration of newspapers and periodicals is expected to begin in January 2005.
Currently, the website offers details relating to newspapers and periodicals registered in India and also about the pending applications. The objective behind the online initiative is to have a transparent and rationalised system. Also, unused titles would be de-blocked now, Mr Reddy said.
The move would especially help those applying from far-flung areas. “In the current year 15,696 titles have been de-blocked... On an average, over 10,000 titles are approved annually,” the ministry said.
A few months ago International Herald Tribune (IHT) caught the I&B ministry unawares when it registered the title with RNI. IHT continues to be published from
India, even as government guidelines don’t permit foreign newspapers to be printed from India.