Reality Check India

Politicians fake it on national statistics day

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on June 29, 2008

Any idea who the guy in the picture is ?

He is PC Mahalanobis, the founder of the Indian Statistics Institute. Read more about him here. Given the spirit of this blog, if we had to choose an “icon player” – it would have to be him

Here is the supreme irony.

Since last year (2007), the Indian government has been observing his birthday, June 29th as National Statistics Day. Today, there was an event at the India International Centre in New Delhi commemorating the occasion.

Here is what Pranab Mukherjee had to say (source  : Theindian )

We must continue to produce reliable, relevant and timely data for the formulation and monitoring of policies in the interests of poor and the most vulnerable groups,” Mukherjee told a gathering here to mark the National Statistics Day.

RC : Check !

“The quality of statistics being generated by a country contributes immensely to its reputation. It is not merely the question of availability of data, but its reliability and transparency,” he said.

RC : Great !

“Environmental degradation, climate change and its concomitant effects, disaster management, and global good and energy security are only a few examples of such imperatives that have come to the fore in recent years.”

RC says : Hey ! What about the “poor and vulnerable groups“. They dont give a shit about climate change. Arent you forgetting something ? Subtle Hint : measure the programs that target them.

They wont leave poor Mahanalobis alone. They make him watch this spectacle from above. All the “pillars of democracy”.

11 Responses

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  1. Barbarindian said, on June 30, 2008 at 2:41 am

    Welcome back, RC.

  2. Sharan Sharma said, on July 2, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    Hi RC, since your title talks about faking and the content is on Mahalanobis, here’s a very interesting piece on the late statistician: (begins somewhere in the 3rd para)

  3. Cupid said, on July 2, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    I was intrigued by Pranab Mukherjee’s remarks. Statisticians do not generate data, they analyze data that someone else has generated. If we need better quantification about impoverished/backward/other groups, the proper course is to sponsor studies to collect the data first. If raw data is easily and publicly available, analysis can be done by any interested party for their own purposes – that is the easy part.

  4. Sharan Sharma said, on July 3, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    > Statisticians do not generate data, they analyze data that someone else has generated.

    That’s not quite true. Statisticians are responsible for the generation of data as well. Survey Sampling and Experimental Design are two statistical areas that deal a lot with “generation”. Many consulting statisticians do not like being ignored when the data had to be ‘generated’ and only being asked when it had to be analyzed.

    >that is the easy part.

  5. realitycheck said, on July 4, 2008 at 2:47 am


    Wow, thanks for the link. You learn something new every day !

  6. Observer said, on July 4, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    Looks like the “creamy layer” criterion is going to be steamrolled over as the NCBC is planning to recommend that it be raised to 6 lakhs/annum. This should safely cover 99% of OBCs in my opinion. TN style reservations coming to the rest of India. And since the constitution has been amended, a permanent state of “backwardness” now has official sanction for perpetuity. I believe this will eventually sow the seeds for further fragmentation of India a couple of generations hence. I believe the resulting pieces may be simultaneously wooed by the US and China as they seek to expand their influence in this region. China shows no hesitation in contesting the US in their geopolitical neighborhood and they increasingly are likely to in the next quarter century. Ah well, India was good while it lasted I guess.

  7. Cupid said, on July 5, 2008 at 11:54 pm

    Thanks for correcting me. I did not know that statisticians themselves design projects – I do not usually see statisticians usually being included in any research grant application which made me believe that they only came into the picture later.

  8. Mahesh said, on July 12, 2008 at 5:21 am

    Well observed,Observer! This shit-kickers would go upto any extreme!

  9. […] they don’t give a **** about climate change How true RC says : Hey ! What about the “poor and vulnerable groups“. They dont give a shit about climate… Yes he is right, they don’t give, because they have always been taking that for the whole of […]

  10. ravi srinivas said, on July 25, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    Read the article by Rakesh Basant in July issue of Seminar and the paper by Sundaram he cites .

  11. […] gets to see is that which has been pre-sanitized by the Party. Remember the avian bird flu? Politicians fake it on national statistics day Reality Check India Indians talk about statistics being fake? News in our country about internal events is rarely […]

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