How Ideology and actions destroyed two established Indian statistical organisations..

An interesting case study in EPW by Sheila Bhallaof the Institute for Human Development.

She points how ideology and actions destroyed two stats institutions in India – NSSO and Economic Census:

During the early 1990s, the stage was set for the initiation of institutional changes that affected both the demand for, and the supply of, data from India’s National Sample Survey Offi ce’s (NSSO) Field Operations Division (FOD). On the demand side, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expected that India would sign up to the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) agreement, which required that India provide it with a much expanded “economic performance” data set. On the supply side, the Ministry of Finance ordered the implementation of certain recommendations made by the Fifth Central Pay Commission, which included a 10% across-the-board reduction in the number of field investigators, and a new recruitment system. Concurrently, the weakening of the Central Statistics Office (CSO) during the second half of the 1990s and the restructuring of the Economic Census from 1998 onwards combined to reduce the capacity of the Economic Census to carry out its mandate.

How did this happen?

Interesting and a different kind of case.

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