Manmohan Singh expresses concern over lack of updated statistics

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New Delhi, Sep 18 (ANI): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said here on Friday that the government does not know whether its policies on poverty reduction or agriculture are moving in the right direction due to the lack of updated statistics.

Speaking after releasing the book "India: Perspectives equitable development" penned by S. Mahendra Dev and N. Chandrasekhara Rao, Singh expressed concern over lack of latest statistics on various subject fields in the country.

He emphasised the need to improve the quality of statistics on which various government police are formulated.

"Statistics are important to analyse the latest trends taking place in a field, to know what has happened in the past or to predict its future course," Singh said.

However, Singh, remarked that India still relies on data which may be five years old.

"There is a great talk about poverty or inequities, but the statistical data that we use does not go beyond the national sample survey of 2004-2005. In other words, what we have done in the last five years is there is no statistical framework which can tell us whether we are moving in the right direction or we are not moving in the right direction," Singh said.

Underlining the need of improving the quality of India's statistical system, Singh said that the country is an ever more need of conducting more qualitative as well quantitative researches to get fresh and authentic statistics for formulating effective policies.

"I think we may be, I think, working on the basis of... a roadmap which is out of date. So therefore, while analytical work relating to issues of poverty, relating to issues of equity is very important, new ideas are needed. But at the same time I think we need to pay a lot of more attention to improve the quality of India's statistical system," Singh said.

He called on the researchers to adopt new methodologies of collecting statistics.

"We have a virtual collapse of statistics... collecting... statistics relating to agriculture production. I think we have inherited a system from the British Revenue Administration as principle source of collecting statistics. That revenue administration has been more or less dismantled in almost all states. We must put in place I think new instrumentalities which will ensure a better idea about what is happening in India, in agriculture in terms of production and related variables," added Singh.

He said researchers, scholars and writers have a great role in guiding and formulating various policies of any country. (ANI)

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