National Statistics Day

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    “National Statistics Day” is celebrated on 29th June each year.

    About

    • The day is celebrated as the birth anniversary of Professor Prasanta Chandra (PC) Mahalanobis
    • Theme, 2021: Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)- 2 (End Hunger, Achieve Food Security and Improved Nutrition and Promote Sustainable Agriculture).

    Significance of the Day

    • To popularise the use of Statistics in everyday life and sensitise the public as to how Statistics helps in shaping and framing policies.
    • On this occasion, the Ministry of Statistics and Plan Implementation (MoSPI) also recognizes the outstanding contribution for high quality research work in the field of applied and theoretical statistics benefiting the official statistical system. 
    • Every year, one particular theme of current national importance is chosen for focused discussions towards improvements in statistical systems of the area and filling the Data Gaps. 

    Importance of Statistics

    • Statistics help in forming economic plans and policies. 
    • It presents facts in a precise and definitive form. 
    • Statistics plays a vital role in the health field and helps conduct social surveys. 
    • It is also an essential part of Mathematics.

    P C Mahalanobis

    • Often referred to as the ‘father of Indian statistics’, Mahalanobis, was born on June 29, 1893, in Calcutta (now Kolkata), West Bengal.
    • He is remembered for being one of the members of the first Planning Commission of free India.
    • Contributions:
      • Founded the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI).
      • His most important contributions are related to large-scale sample surveys. He introduced the concept of pilot surveys and advocated the usefulness of sampling methods.
      • His variant of Wassily Leontief’s Input-output model, the Mahalanobis model, was employed in the Second Five Year Plan, which worked towards the rapid industrialisation of India. 
      • PC Mahalanobis is best remembered for the Mahalanobis distance, a statistical measure used to find the distance between a point and a distribution, based on measurements in multiple dimensions. 
      • He encouraged a project to assess deindustrialization in India and correct some previous census methodology errors and entrusted this project to Daniel Thorner.
      • He introduced a method for estimating crop yields which involved statisticians sampling in the fields by cutting crops in a circle of diameter 4 feet.
      • Launched ‘Sankhya: The Indian Journal of Statistics’.
    • Achievements:
      • He received India’s second highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan from the Government of India for his contribution to science and services to the country.In the 1950s, Mahalanobis played a critical role in the campaign to bring India its first digital computers.
      • He served as secretary to Rabindranath Tagore and also worked at Visva-Bharati University, for some time. 

    Source: PIB