[GS Paper 3 – Science and Technology]
Context – Every year, the Statistics Day is celebrated on 29th June, the birth anniversary of Prof. Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis, to recognise his invaluable contribution in establishing the National Statistical System.
- The day aims to popularize the use of statistics in everyday life and sensitize the public as to how statistics help in shaping and framing policies and raise public awareness, especially among the younger generation, about the role of statistics in socio-economic planning.
- The theme of the National Statistics Day 2022 announced by the Government of India is ‘Data for Sustainable Development’.
- National Statistics Day was first celebrated on June 29, 007 to acknowledge the outstanding contributions of Prof. PC Mahalanobis in the fields of economic planning and statistical development.
- His birth anniversary on June 29 was chosen as the National Statistics Day and a notification for this was first published in the Gazette of India on June 5, 2007.
About P.C Mahalanobis
- In the post-Independent era, Mahalanobis had emerged as one of the key figures in the field of collecting essential statistical data that further allowed the Government of India to set policies.
- After he graduated in Physics from Presidency College, Calcutta in 1912, Mahalanobis moved to England to study Physics and mathematics at the University of Cambridge.
- After returning from England, the academician taught at the Presidency College for a few years and was later established at the Indian Statistical Institute in Calcutta in 1931.
- Mahalanobis is also credited with establishing the National Sample Survey in 1950. Its objective was to provide comprehensive socio-economic statistics.
- He had also set up the Central Statistical Organization to coordinate the statistical activities in India. PC Mahalanobis was also a member of the Planning Commission of India from 1955 to 1967.
- The second five-year plan of the Planning Commission relied on Mahalanobis mathematical description on the Indian economy. It later was known as the Mahalanobis Model.