The government on Wednesday said Standing Committee on Economic Statistics has been renamed as Standing Committee on Statistics.
The committee will advise Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) on all surveys.
"The government has formed various committees after the year 1947...including Standing Committee on Economic Statistics (SCES)," Minister of State for Statistics Rao Inderjit Singh said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.
He further said SCES was renamed as Standing Committee on Statistics (SCoS), which was constituted vide a MoSPI order dated July 13, 2023.
SCoS will review the extant framework and address the issues raised from time to time on the subject/results/methodology, etc related to all surveys as brought before SCoS by MoSPI.
It will advise on survey methodology including sampling frame, sampling design, survey instruments, etc and to finalize tabulation plan of surveys. It will also aid finalization of survey results.
The panel will provide guidance to conduct pilot surveys/pre-testing, if necessary, before finalizing schedules for data collection.
It will also provide guidance for study and exploring the availability of administrative statistics relating to surveys/statistics.
SCoS will also provide guidance for studying/identifying data gaps/additional data requirements, if any, in respect of surveys/statistics and suggest appropriate strategy for improvement.
The panel will provide technical guidance to the central and state-level agencies for conducting the surveys.
It will also look into any other matter relating to the surveys/survey results referred to SCoS by MoSPI from time to time.
SCES chaired by former Chief Statistician Pronab Sen was set up in December 2019 for improving quality of data amid criticism of the government over political interference.
In March 2019, expressing concerns over "political interference" in influencing statistical data in India, as many as 108 economists and social scientists had called for restoration of "institutional independence" and integrity to the statistical organisations.
Their statement had come against the backdrop of a controversy over revision of gross domestic product (GDP) numbers and withholding employment data by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO).
Sen had said that for decades, India's statistical machinery enjoyed a high level of reputation for the integrity of the data it produced on a range of economic and social parameters.
In November 2019, MoSPI had decided not to release the Consumer Expenditure Survey results of 2017-18, citing data quality issues.
In another reply to the House, Singh said two meetings of SCES have been held till now. The first meeting was held on January 7, 2020 and the second was held on February 10, 2021.
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