CSO, MOSPI to be merged into National Statistical Office1 min read . Updated: 25 May 2019, 08:18 PM IST
- The National Statistical Office (NSO) will be headed by MOSPI secretary
- The move will streamline and strengthen the current nodal functions of MOSPI and bring in more synergy by integrating its administrative functions within the ministry of statistics and programme implementation
New Delhi: Amid controversies regarding the functioning of India’s official statistical system, the government has decided to merge the Central Statistical Office (CSO) and National Sample Survey Office under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI) into a single entity.
The new merged entity has been named the National Statistical Office (NSO) and will continue to be headed by the secretary of MOSPI.
In an order dated 23 May, MOSPI said the decision made with the approval of the minister for statistics and programme implementation D.V. Sadananda Gowda will streamline and strengthen the current nodal functions of MOSPI and bring in more synergy by integrating its administrative functions within the ministry.
An official of MOSPI speaking under the condition of anonymity said the Cabinet's decision to merge the two entities of MOSPI was taken in 2005 but kept in abeyance for unknown reasons. “Now the decision has been notified after the Election Commission lifted the Code of Conduct," he added.
The allocations of work of the three director-generals of MOSPI have been revamped post merger. At present, the three DGs are allocated Economic Statistics, Social Statistics and Surveys. Under the new work allocation, the DGs will handle Statistics, National Sample Survey and Coordination, Administration and Policy.
The back-series data released in November 2018, which showed that the Indian economy grew at an average 6.67% in the nine years ended 31 March 2014 when the UPA was in power, slower than the 7.35% achieved in the four years ended 31 March 2018, with Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister, created a stir as the data was released by the Niti Aayog instead of the CSO. Later in January, 2019, two members of the National Statistical Commission, including acting chairman P.C. Mohanan and member JV Meenakshi, resigned from their post alleging interference by the government, including refusal to release the employment survey data. A leaked copy of the employment survey later showed unemployment at a 45-year high, which was contested by the government. Experts have also alleged that the GDP series with the current base year of 2011-12 have overestimated national income.