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In honour of Prof Mahalanobis, PM to inaugurate Statistics day

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, June 28 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will honour Late Prof P C Mahalanobis, the architect of India's planning, at the first ever Statistics day tomorrow.

The Prime Minister being an economist by training understands the importance of statistics and having worked with Prof Mahalanobis will use the opportunity to pay tributes to his multi-faceted contributions to the field and the planning and development process in general.

Prof Mahalanobis was a trusted advisory of Jawaharlal Nehru and had drawn up the statistical model for the second plan, which laid the formal basis of planning in India. It is popularly known as 'the Mahalanobis model'.

The Government has declared June 29 of each year as the Statistics Day. It is to be celebrated as a special day at the national level. The Statistics day is now in the league of other such celebrated events, such as Children's day or music day.

The day is intended to recognize the contribution of Statistics and of Indian statisticians to the development of the country.

The reason why June 29 has been selected for the purpose is that it happens to be the birth anniversary of Prof Mahalanobis, the doyen of Indian statistics.

The contributions of Prof Mahalanobis are indeed many and include academics, institution building and as a pioneer in the application of statistics to development issues.

The Prime Minister has taken several steps to improve the statistical system of the country. These include setting up of the National Statistical Commission of India and creating the post of Chief Statistician of India. The present incumbent of this post is Pranob Sen, a well known economist.

In the National Statistical Commission he has roped in some of the best known names, such as Prof Suresh Tendulkar and Prof Surjit Bhalla.

And now to give a bigger push, June 29 is to be observed as the Statistical day. The Prime Minister took the decision that he himself will launch the first ever day.

The event is to be held at Vigyan Bhawan.

On the occasion, Dr Manmohan Singh will also release a commemorative brochure dedicated to the memory of Prof Mahalanobis.

In the Technical Session, following the Inaugural National Statistical Commission Chairman Prof Tendulkar, will deliver the Prof Mahalanobis memorial address.

This will be followed by a documentary on Prof Mahalanobis, prepared by the Indian Statistical Institute.

The key-note address will be delivered by Dr I P David, an internationally reputed statistician from the Philippines, who is this year's winner of the International Professor Mahalanobis Award.

Dr David is well-known as an expert on issues of poverty measurement.

Minister of Statistics G K Vasan will confer the National Award in Statistics for Young Statisticians in honour of Professor C R Rao for the year 2006-07.

The award is to be given to Dr Ayanendranath Basu of ISI, Kolkata. Dr Basu is not only a well-known theoretical statistician, he has also done fundamental work on measuring the spread of HIV.

Dr Basu will deliver a lecture on this occasion.

Mr Vasan will also distribute prizes to eleven post-graduate students who have won the Essay Competition organised by the CSO in the memory of Prof Mahalanobis.


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