IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


1st July, 2024 Science and Technology


Source: pib

Disclaimer: Copyright infringement not intended.


  • On the occasion of Statistics Day 2024, the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) launched the eSankhyiki portal.


Launch of eSankhyiki Portal

  • This portal aims to enhance the accessibility and usability of official statistics in India.
  • Sections of the eSankhyiki portal:
  • Data Catalogue: Centralizes major data assets of MoSPI, including:
    • National Accounts Statistics
    • Consumer Price Index
    • Index of Industrial Production
    • Annual Survey of Industries
    • Periodic Labour Force Survey
    • Household Consumption Expenditure Survey
  • Macro Indicators:
    • Offers time-series data of key macroeconomic indicators.
    • Features include filtering options, visualization tools, and the ability to download custom datasets.
    • Accessible through APIs, enhancing data reusability and integration into various applications.

Significance of eSankhyiki Portal

  • Enhanced Accessibility: Provides a centralized platform for accessing a wide range of official statistics.
  • Usability: Tools for filtering, visualization, and custom dataset creation make data more user-friendly for policymakers, researchers, and the public.
  • Timeliness: Aims to provide timely updates and inputs crucial for planning, policymaking, and research activities.
  • Integration: Facilitates integration of statistical data into decision-making processes across sectors, promoting evidence-based policies.

Statistics Day 2024

  • Statistics Day, celebrated annually on June 29th in honor of Professor Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis, emphasizes the importance of statistics in socio-economic planning and policy formulation.
  • The theme for Statistics Day 2024 is "Use of Data for Decision-Making".

Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis

  • Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis (1893-1972) was an eminent Indian statistician and scientist, who made significant contributions to the field of statistics and played a pivotal role in the establishment of statistical infrastructure in India.

Career and Contributions

  • Indian Statistical Institute (ISI):
    • Founded the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) in 1931 in Calcutta.
    • The ISI became a key center for statistical research and training.
    • Under his leadership, ISI grew into an internationally recognized institution.
  • Mahalanobis Distance:
    • Developed the Mahalanobis distance, a statistical measure that quantifies the distance between a point and a distribution.
    • Widely used in pattern recognition, classification, and cluster analysis.
  • Contributions to Large-Scale Surveys:
    • Advocated and implemented large-scale sample surveys in India.
    • Pioneered methodologies for agricultural surveys, leading to more accurate estimates of crop yields and other agricultural statistics.
  • National Planning:
    • Played a key role in India’s post-independence economic planning.
    • Developed the Mahalanobis model, a two-sector model of economic development which emphasized the importance of the heavy industry sector.
    • Served as a member of the Planning Commission of India and contributed to the Second Five-Year Plan (1956-1961).
  • Statistical Quality Control:
    • Promoted the use of statistical methods in quality control within Indian industries.
    • Established quality control and operations research units within ISI.
  • Contributions to Education:
    • Established the National Sample Survey (NSS) in 1950, which became a key source of socio-economic data in India.
    • Advocated for the teaching of statistics and the establishment of statistical departments in universities across India.

Awards and Honors

  • Fellowships: Elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1945.
  • Awards: Received the Padma Vibhushan, India's second-highest civilian award, in 1968.
  • Honorary Degrees: Received numerous honorary doctorates from various universities.




Q. Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis was a visionary who made monumental contributions to statistics and economic planning. His pioneering efforts in establishing statistical infrastructure and methodologies have had a lasting impact on both academic and practical aspects of statistics in India and beyond. Comment. (10 Marks)