Rajeeva Laxman Karandikar appointed chairperson of the National Statistical Commission

Mr. Karandikar, a Professor Emeritus at the Chennai Mathematical Institute, is to be the part-time chairperson for a period of three years; he is known for his work on opinion polls, seat predictions for elections

Updated - December 02, 2022 03:15 pm IST

Published - December 02, 2022 03:08 pm IST - CHENNAI

Rajeeva Laxman Karandikar

Rajeeva Laxman Karandikar | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The Chennai Mathematical Institute (CMI) on Friday said that the Government of India had appointed Rajeeva Laxman Karandikar, Professor Emeritus at CMI, as the part-time chairperson of the National Statistical Commission (NSC) of India for a period of three years.

Mr. Karandikar will take up this role as an additional responsibility while continuing as Professor Emeritus at CMI. He joined CMI as a visiting professor in 2010, and officiated as the Director of CMI from January 2011 to April 2021.

NSC is an autonomous body formed in June 2005 under the recommendation of the Dr. C Rangarajan commission. The objective of its constitution was to reduce the problems faced by statistical agencies in the country with respect to the collection of data, and strengthen public trust in the numbers released by the Government of India.

The chairperson of the Commission enjoys the status of a Minister of State, Government of India.

“I am deeply honoured at being chosen for this position,” said Mr. Karandikar. “While India has been a pioneer in development of statistical techniques and its usage for long, we need to adapt to the changing world where statistics is increasingly playing a larger role in all walks of life — be it business, finance, medicine, environment, among others, leading to massive job opportunities in data science, analytics and AI. In this context, it’s imperative that we transform the government machinery to lead the country from the front,” he added.

Well known for work

Mr. Karandikar is widely known for his three decades of work on probability theory as well as applications of mathematics and statistics to real world questions.

He has designed, supervised and analysed nationwide opinion polls for the Indian parliamentary elections as well State assemblies since 1998. He is known for developing a new model and methodology for seat prediction, which has been quite successful for over the last 20 years.

Mr. Karandikar was a member of the committee constituted by the Election Commission (EC) of India to advice the EC on the sampling scheme for EVM-VVPAT verification.

The report was the basis of EC’s final reply to the Supreme Court just before the 2019 Parliamentary polls. He was also a member of the expert committee constituted by the Supreme Court in 2019 to suggest steps to deal with frauds in online examinations.

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