Jun 29, 2022
National Sample Survey: How India taught the world the art of collecting data
Soon after India became independent from British rule, the country took inspiration from the Soviet Union to organise its economy - through centralised five-year plans. The National Sample Survey has consistently yielded fine-grained detail about economic life in India, helping assess poverty, employment, consumption and expenditure, to mention just a few indicators. As Nobel Prize-winning economist Angus Deaton and co-author Valerie Kozel wrote in 2005: "Where Mahalanobis and India led, the rest of the world has followed, so that today, most countries have a recent household income or expenditure survey." "Most countries," they continued, "Can only envy India in its statistical capacity". What began as a chance encounter with a journal of statistics aboard a ship - when Mahalanobis was returning from Cambridge to Calcutta during World War One - resulted in the transformation of India's data infrastructure in the decade after the country's independence. As the world surges into the era of "Big data", India risks being left behind.
Make a complaint about National by viewing their customer service contacts.