On June 29th, every year, India observes National Statistics Day to honour the exceptional contributions made by Professor Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis in the fields of statistics and economic planning. This significant day commemorates Mahalanobis’ birth anniversary and serves as a reminder of the crucial role that statistics play in shaping policies, decision-making, and national development. Join us as we explore the history of National Statistics Day, dive into Mahalanobis’ life and achievements, and highlight the importance of statistics in today’s world.
National Statistics Day: A Tribute to Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis:
National Statistics Day was established by the Government of India in 2006 to pay tribute to Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis and his invaluable contributions to the field of statistics. On June 5, 2007, the declaration was published in the Indian Gazette, and the inaugural National Statistics Day was observed on June 29, 2007. Since then, this day has been celebrated annually to recognize the significance of statistics in driving socio-economic progress and informing evidence-based policies.
Unveiling the Theme: Alignment for Sustainable Development:
Each year, National Statistics Day focuses on a specific theme related to statistics and its role in national development. The theme for National Statistics Day 2023 is “Alignment of State Indicator Framework with National Indicator Framework for Monitoring Sustainable Development Goals.” This theme highlights the importance of aligning statistical indicators at the state and national levels to effectively monitor progress towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It emphasizes the need for consistent and standardized data collection and analysis to drive sustainable development efforts.
Remembering Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis:
Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis, an eminent Indian scientist and statistician, made significant contributions to the field of statistics. He played a pivotal role as a member of India’s first Planning Commission and was renowned for his work on big sample surveys and the development of the Mahalanobis distance. Mahalanobis founded the Indian Statistical Institute and contributed to anthropometry, making his mark on diverse areas of statistics. His birthday, June 29, is observed as National Statistics Day in India, honouring his outstanding achievements.
The Impact of Mahalanobis: Contributions to Mathematics:
Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis left an enduring impact on the field of mathematics, particularly in statistics. His contributions include the development of big sample surveys, which helped in obtaining accurate and comprehensive data for various socio-economic planning initiatives. Additionally, Mahalanobis is well-known for introducing the Mahalanobis distance, a statistical measure widely used in various applications, including data clustering, outlier detection, and pattern recognition. His innovative ideas and methodologies continue to shape statistical analysis and decision-making processes to this day.
Celebrating National Statistics Day:
The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) organizes various events to celebrate National Statistics Day and acknowledge exceptional achievements in the government’s statistical system. This includes honouring statisticians and researchers for their remarkable contributions to the field. Additionally, seminars, conferences, discussions, and competitions are held to promote public awareness of how official statistics contribute to national progress. MoSPI also delivers presentations on topics of national significance, emphasizing the importance of data-driven decision-making.
National Statistics Day serves as a powerful reminder of the transformative power of statistics and data. It is an occasion to honour the legacy of Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis and recognize the critical role he played in shaping the field of statistics in India. As we celebrate National Statistics Day, let us appreciate the impact of statistics in guiding policies, fostering sustainable development, and making informed decisions. May this day inspire a deeper understanding and utilization of statistics to build a brighter future for our nation.