PC Mahalanobis: ‘Plan Man’ of India

    0
    680

    In Context 

    • National Statistics Day is celebrated every year on 29 June to mark the birth anniversary of Professor Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis.

    Statistics 

    • Statistics’, derived from the Latin word “status” means “political state” or “government.” 
    • Centuries ago, the word statistics was used to refer to kings needing information about the land, agriculture, population, and their military.
    • Statistics play a significant role in analysis and decision-making. Today, statistics is not just limited to the economy but is used in all other spheres of life including health, hospitality, sports, weather, population, and more

    About National Statistics Day

    • Government of India in 2007 designated  June 29 as the “Statistics Day ” in the category of Special Days to be celebrated every year at the National level in recognition of Professor Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis’s notable contributions in the fields of statistics, statistical systems, and economic planning.
    • Theme :‘Data for Sustainable Development’. 
    • Objectives 
      • To spread awareness among the youth of the country about the importance of Statistics in policy formulation and socio-economic planning.

    About Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis 

    • He was born on 29 June 1893 in Calcutta and is known as the father of Indian statistics
    • A physicist by training, he got interested in statistics when he came across Biometrika, a reputed peer reviewed journal of statistics during his time.
    • He certainly believed data to be instrumental in efficient planning for national and human development. 
    • Contributions 
      • He made several contributions to the field of statistics, including the ‘Mahalanobis distance’, a statistical measure. 
      • He was also a pioneer in the field of anthropometry, the study of human measurements, in India and helped design large scale sample surveys and sampling methods. 
      • He also developed the Feldman-Mahalanobis model, a Neo-Marxian model of economic development, which was employed in the Second Five Year Plan of India, which promoted rapid industrialization of the country.
      • He was also one of the members of the first Planning Commission of India.
      • He introduced the concept of pilot surveys and advocated the importance of sampling methods. 
      • He also introduced a method for the estimation of crop yields using statistical sampling. 
      • The Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) at Kolkata, set up him

    Ties with Tagore 

    • Mahalanobis first met Tagore at Santiniketan in 1910.
    • Tagore  treated Mahalanobis as a close confidant, despite an age gap of 32 years, and they shared a three decades long friendship. 
    • With perfection, Mahalanobis wrote a series of essays titled ‘Rabindra Parichay’ (‘Introduction to Rabindra’) for the prestigious Bengali magazine, Probashi. 
      • He also wrote a book, Rabindranath Tagore’s Visit to Canada in 1929. 
    • Mahalanobis helped Tagore in the founding of Visva Bharati. 

    Importance 

    • Revisiting the life of India’s statistical inheritance from P.C. Mahalanobis is of utmost importance as various kinds of concerns regarding data collection, its publication, and data quality have emerged in recent years.
    • Professor Mahalanobis has made an immense contribution to the fields of economic planning and statistical development in the post-independent era.

    Awards to honour him

    •  He was also conferred with several awards including the Padma Vibhushan.

     

    Mains Practice Question

    [Q] Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis was known as the ‘Plan Man’ of India. Elaborate