MoSPI is giving an increased focus on data quality, assurance, credibility: Government

The government had last month approved the merger of National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) with the Central Statistics Office (CSO) under MoSPI.

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This is the second clarification given by the ministry in the last three days, after it announced the restructuring of the statistical system on May 23.
New Delhi: Amid criticism on official statistics, the government on Monday said that the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) is giving an increased focus on Data Quality and Assurance. The ministry also said that it is redrafting the National Policy on Official Statistics and proposing to establish a National Data Warehouse on Official Statistics, where technology will be leveraged for using Big Data Analytical tools for further improving the quality of macro-economic aggregates.

Referring to reports on the ministry’s restructuring, the government in a clarification said: “What has been missed out, in particular, is the fact that MoSPI is giving an increased focus on data quality and assurance by repositioning the existing data processing personnel”.

This is the second clarification given by the ministry in the last three days, after it announced the restructuring of the statistical system on May 23.


The government had last month approved the merger of National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) with the Central Statistics Office (CSO) under MoSPI.

“The recent step for the merger of CSO and NSSO was aimed at leveraging the strengths of the two organisations so that it can meet the increasing demands,” MoSPI said.

On questions raised at the credibility of India’s official statistics, it said that India has adopted the United Nations Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics (FPOS) in May, 2016 and is committed to ensure and secure the autonomy and independence of the statistical system to produce appropriate and reliable data.
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“The reforms being undertaken in MoSPI are in consonance with these principles as also the various recommendations of the National Statistical Commission (NSC),” MoSPI said.

GDP revision
The government has faced flak for revising the GDP data under a new series with 2011-12 as the base year. One such case was the sharp revision in GDP growth for FY17, the year of demonetisation, from 7.1% to 8.2%.

A group of 108 economists had criticised the government when an estimate of back-series GDP data for the last decade by a committee appointed by the NSC was at variance with that of the Central Statistical Organisation. The CSO’s official data sharply lowered growth estimates for the period from 2005-06 to 2013-14.

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Former NSC members had blamed the government for its undue influence and delay in the publication of a NSSO report on jobs, which the NSC had cleared. As per the report- the Periodic Labour Force Survey-the unemployment rate in the country was 5.3% in rural India and 7.8% in urban India, resulting in an overall unemployment rate of 6.1% in 2017-18.

The clarification also mentioned media reports, while citing the changes in GDP growth likely to result from adopting the double deflation, realise the varying outcomes obtained by different authors from their own distinct assumptions.

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“It was because of such views that the Advisory Committee on National Accounts Statistics (ACNAS) had not agreed to the use of the double deflation at present stage,” it said.
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