What Was The Adam's Regulation In 1823? | Licensing Regulation 1823

The Licensing Regulation (Adam's Regulation) Ordinance was introduced in 1823 by John Adams, the acting governor-general. By this rule, operating a press without a license was illegal. The prohibition was largely directed at newspapers published in India or edited by Indians. This led Raja Ram Mohan Roy, who had launched the Persian periodical "Mirat-ul-Akhbar" in 1822, to stop publishing it. 


  • Even though Adam's seven-month term was filled with enthusiasm, his efforts against the press and his vicious persecution of Mr Buckingham, who had moved to Calcutta in 1818 and started the Calcutta Journal, are what people remember most about it.
  • It was the most capable newspaper to have ever existed in India, and it raised the bar and piqued people's interest in journalism.
  • The editor commented on public policies with tremendous boldness and occasionally with a degree of severity that was regarded as dangerous, using the freedom of the press provided by Lord Hastings.
  • The journal's ability to criticize some of the top government officials, however, was its worst sin.
  • Their emotions of official complacency were forcibly rocked by the sarcasm showered on them because they had been raised in the lap of authoritarianism.
  • The 'freedom of unauthorized printing' was thus entirely outlawed by legislation that was enacted in April 1823, but the Calcutta Journal carried on with its writing in the same spirit.
  • The Privy Council was presented with a petition to revoke the press regulation, which was promptly dismissed.
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  • The government mandated that every publisher obtain a license.
  • The default fine was Rs 400, and the government would shut down the media in that case.
  • The license could also be revoked by the government.
  • Raja Ram Mohan Roy's journal "Mirat Ul Akbar" was forced to stop printing as a result of this limitation.


The licensing laws brought the license raj—the need for a license to start or operate a press into the Indian media landscape. This was especially focused on publications in Indian languages, which had started to criticize British policy more and more.

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