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Govt to merge CSO with NSSO to create new stats body

The restructuring is in line with the proposed National Policy on Official Statistics which was floated last year.

, ET Bureau|
May 26, 2019, 10.06 AM IST
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The ministry has also ordered constitution of a committee to recommend the operational level modifications required to give effect to this restructuring.
New Delhi: The government has approved the merger of National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) with the Central Statistics Office (CSO) under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI).

The restructuring is in line with the proposed National Policy on Official Statistics which was floated last year. The policy suggests discontinuing with the role of the Chief Statistician of India as secretary to the National Statistical Commission (NSC) and doing away with the usage of the terms CSO and NSSO Instead, the two will be treated as being under a single entity called the National Statistical Organisation (NSO).

The policy is based on a 2005 decision in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s tenure, following the recommendations of the report of the National Statistical Commission, headed by former Reserve Bank of India governor C Rangarajan.

MoSPI said the restructuring will “streamline and strengthen the present nodal functions” and “to bring in more synergy by integrating its administrative functions within the ministry.”

The proposed NSO would be headed by MoSPI secretary.

However, experts have questioned the timing of the decision and its impact on the autonomy of the statistical system as till now it has a separate identity and was controlled by the National Statistical Commission.

“It reduces the NSSO’s autonomy,” said Pronab Sen, former chief statistician.

As Pravin Srivastava, India’s chief statistician said there was no functional autonomy of the NSSO and it was under the ministry always.

“This was a cabinet decision of 2005 which was to get implemented then. We are not compromising on the autonomy. Globally, all countries have a common statistical organisation at the national level,” he said.

Explaining that the reorganisation will remove redundancies in the system as data collection is shifted towards technology, he said: “We can’t wait for months for reports to come out.”

The ministry has also ordered constitution of a committee to recommend the operational level modifications required to give effect to this restructuring.
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