The preamble of the Societies Registration Act,1860 states that it is an Act for the registration of literary, scientific, and charitable societies.
Whereas it is expedient the provision should be made for improving the legal condition or societies established for the promotion of literature, science, or fine arts, or for the diffusion of useful knowledge, the diffusion of political education, or for charitable purposes.
The Societies Registration Act 1860 is an all India Act but many States, while applying the act to themselves have enacted their own Societies Registration Act. Hence, a Society can be registered either under central Act or the respective State Act.
A society can be registered by minimum 7 individuals which may include foreigners, or registered society for the promotion of literature, science or fine arts or diffusion of useful knowledge and political education or charitable purposes.