National Statistics Day 2022 : All You Need to Know
National Statistics Day: Each year since 2017, India celebrates National Statistics Day on June 29th to remember and honour the exemplary contributions of Prof Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis to the field of Statistics.
The day also marks the birth anniversary of the renowned scientist who established the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) in Kolkata on December 17, 1981. We also know him as one of the first members of the Planning Commission of Independent India, who made tremendous contributions to the development of the nation.
Father of Modern Statistics
Prof PC Mahalanobis was born in Calcutta on June 29, 1893. Raised in a family of academicians, he was encouraged to follow his intellectual passion early on. He got the opportunity of being mentored by great minds like Jagadish Chandra Bose, Sarada Prasanna Das, and Prafulla Chandra Ray during his days in the Presidency College, Calcutta. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree with honor’s in Physics in 1912.
His unmatched intelligence and passion to learn got him admission to the prestigious King’s College, Cambridge, where he got influenced by the great Indian mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujam. It is here in Cambridge that he discovered his passion for Statistics and how it could solve problems in meteorology and anthropology. Upon his return to India several years later, he founded the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) along with a few fellow statisticians. For the profound contributions he has made to Statistics and Free India’s progressive thinking on industrialization, Prof PC Mahalanobis is rightly called The Father of Indian Statistics.
Why Do We Celebrate National Statistics Day?
Although the motto behind celebrating the National Statistics Day is remembering Prof PC Mahalanobis and his selfless works in the field of Statistics, it is also to spread awareness amongst the younger generation of how Statistics can accelerate socio-economic progress and policy-making in India. It is an opportunity for all of us to remind ourselves to walk the path of progress and contribute to making India, one of the best countries in the world in all aspects.
National Statistics Day 2022 : Theme
National Statistics Day has a unique theme every year. In 2021, the theme was Sustainable Development Goal and this year it is, Data for Sustainable Development.
While in 2021 specific goals were identified as a part of the Sustainable Development Goal, this year, the focus is on using valuable data collected and derived from satellite sources, latest tools and technologies, for making data-driven decisions.
We are also going to witness great improvements in the process of data collection, analysis, interpretation and actions. Any major gap in data related to policies that decide the progress of the nation will be identified and rectified.
The Man Who Introduced ‘Sample Surveys’
Prof PC Mahalanobis pioneered the concept of ‘sample surveys’, which is relevant even today, to understand the many facets and status of the economy. Renowned American mathematician Herold Hotelling once wrote “No technique of Random Sample has, so far as I can find, been developed in the United States or elsewhere, which can compare in accuracy with that described by Professor Mahalanobis.”
That was the level of commitment and passion Prof PC Mahalanobis had for Statistics during his entire lifetime, which is now a legacy for millions of youngsters who look up to him not just in India but worldwide.
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