A delayed economic census exposes a federal faultline
The statistics ministry should take state officials into confidence for major policy initiatives
In the summer of 2019, a ‘technical report’ on a failed survey created an intense data storm in the country, exposing gaps in one of the key databases used in calculating India’s gross domestic product (GDP): the MCA-21 database of the ministry of corporate affairs. National Sample Survey (NSS) enumerators found that several firms listed in the database could not be traced, or were “mis-classified" (i.e. engaged in activities other than that reported in the database).