Subrata Dhar, Deputy Director General, NSSO (FOD), Thiruvananthapuram, inaugurating the celebrations, said Mr. Mahalanobis had laid the foundation for the modern statistical system in the country.

Centre for Development Studies (CDS) Director Pulapra Balakrishnan has said that the National Sample Survey’s contribution to planning in India has increased manifold over the years.

Addressing the Statistics Day celebrations organised by the Field Operations Division (FOD) of the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) here on Friday,

Mr. Balakrishnan said the NSSO should now expand activities to put its capabilities to better use. This would help in better estimates of the growth achieved in the State and the country, he said.

Mr. Balakrishnan suggested that CDS students be allowed as interns at the NSSO so that they would get a hands-on feel on how data they usually use was generated and how it was used to analyse various factors.

Huge synergies could be derived if the NSSO could join hands with the education sector, especially in applied economics, he said.

Earlier, Mr. Balakrishnan said it was a little known fact that P.C. Mahalanobis, founder of the Indian Institute of Statistics and whose birth anniversary was observed as Statistics Day, was part of the team that stimulated the Indian economy in the 1950s.

Arguments that Mr. Nehru and Mr. Mahalanobis had ignored the agriculture sector or the foreign trade were naïve, he said.

However, the duo appeared to have missed out on primary education, which had ever since fallen through the gaps.

Subrata Dhar, Deputy Director General, NSSO (FOD), Thiruvananthapuram, inaugurating the celebrations, said Mr. Mahalanobis had laid the foundation for the modern statistical system in the country. He had tried to bridge the gap between fundamental research and applied research, with his innovative findings. India had got to know of better statistical systems because Mr. Mahalanobis set up the Indian Institute of Statistics. The Indian statistical journal, ‘Sankhya’ that he started had reached international standards, with papers and works from across the globe seeking publication. For Mr. Mahalanobis, statistics was for human welfare, Mr. Dhar added.

A seminar on ‘Industrial Statistics’, which had an introduction by Sunil Mani, Planning Chair, CDS; a debate on the ‘Role of Public Sector in India’s Economy’; and a quiz were part of the celebrations. N.A. Noushida, Deputy Director, NSSO (FOD), spoke.