To assist data users and allow closer scrutiny of official statistics, the government on Friday released a description of the sources and methods used by statistical agencies when collecting data.
Sources and Methods 2007 comes after a 17-year break during which definitions and methodologies used by the main statistical agency, the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO), were updated, yet their description was not changed.
“This has been something of a grey area for nearly 18 years,” India’s chief statistician Pronab Sen said while releasing the publication.
“Users now have a reference source that is up to date on the changes in complexity of the Indian economy and other developments,” he said.
The report will be in the public domain as a ready-reckoner for CSO’s clients, which include private sector companies, research organizations as well as the government. It details the standards followed by CSO in preparing its annual publication of National Accounts Statistics that lists subjects from public sector accounts to consolidated accounts of the nation, macro-economic data, consumption expenditure and national savings.
CSO is the most frequently used data source in the public and private sectors, but has of late been criticized for not being transparent about how its data is being collected, particularly those relating to employment.
Employment data released by CSO has, at present, a five-year time lag.
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