Economic Indicators and Various Reports On It- GDP, FD, EODB, WIR etc

Standing Committee on Statistics (SCoS) to review all NSO Data


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: NSO

Mains level: Read the attached story

Central Idea

  • Revamping the SCES: Standing Committee on Economic Statistics (SCES) set up in late 2019 faced criticism for data quality issues in previous surveys.
  • Broader Mandate: The government establishes the Standing Committee on Statistics (SCoS) to replace the SCES, with a mandate to review all surveys conducted under the National Statistical Office (NSO).

Standing Committee on Statistics (SCoS): Composition and Mandate

  • Chairperson: Pronab Sen, India’s first chief statistician and former chairman of the National Statistical Commission (NSC), appointed as the chair of the new committee.
  • Membership: SCoS consists of 10 official members and four non-official members, including eminent academics.

Need for SCoS

  • Concerns from Economic Advisory Council: Members, including Bibek Debroy, called for an overhaul of India’s statistical machinery.
  • Lack of technical Expertise: SCoS aims to address critiques by providing technical advice on survey design and methodology.
  • Issues with Indian Statistical Service: Questions raised about the expertise of the Indian Statistical Service in survey design.

Roles and Responsibilities of the SCoS

  • Reviewing Framework and Results: SCoS is responsible for reviewing the framework and results of all surveys conducted under the NSO.
  • Data Gap Identification: SCoS identifies data gaps in official statistics and develops strategies to fill those gaps.
  • Use of Administrative Statistics: Committee mandated to explore the use of administrative statistics to improve data outcomes.

Back2Basics: National Statistical Office (NSO)

(a) Historical Background:

  • The NSO was established in 1950 as the Central Statistical Office (CSO) under the Ministry of Planning.
  • It was later renamed the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) in 1970 and subsequently became the NSO in 2019.
  • Over the years, it has evolved to become the primary statistical agency in India.

(b) Organizational Structure:

  • The NSO consists of several divisions and units responsible for different statistical functions.
  • These include the Survey Design and Research Division, Field Operations Division, Data Processing Division, National Accounts Division, Price Statistics Division, and Social Statistics Division, among others.

(c) Key organizations under NSO: Central Statistical Office (CSO)

  • The CSO is a part of the NSO and focuses on macroeconomic statistics and national income accounting.
  • It is responsible for producing key economic indicators such as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Index of Industrial Production (IIP), Consumer Price Index (CPI), and Wholesale Price Index (WPI).

(d) Important Surveys Conducted

  • Population Census: The NSO conducts a decennial Population Census in collaboration with the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India. The census collects data on population size, composition, and other demographic characteristics.
  • National Sample Survey (NSS): The NSS is a large-scale household survey conducted by the NSO to collect data on various socio-economic aspects. It provides valuable information on employment, consumer expenditure, poverty, education, health, and other important indicators.
  • Economic Census: The NSO conducts the Economic Census periodically to collect data on the number of business establishments, their distribution across sectors and regions, employment, and other relevant economic variables.
  • Annual Survey of Industries (ASI): The ASI is conducted by the NSO to collect data on the performance and structure of the industrial sector in India. It covers various aspects such as employment, wages, production, and financial indicators.
  • Agricultural Census: The NSO conducts the Agricultural Census periodically to collect comprehensive data on agricultural holdings, cropping patterns, land use, irrigation, livestock, and other relevant agricultural variables.
  • Health and Morbidity Survey: The NSO conducts surveys on health and morbidity to gather data on healthcare utilization, access to healthcare services, prevalence of diseases, and other health-related indicators.

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