New Delhi, Sept 9 : Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Tuesday asked the country's statisticians to develop a system for independent evaluation of flagship programmes in education, health and rural employment sectors.
Dr. Singh was addressing a conference of representatives of State and Union Territories on Management of Statistics here today.
Pointing that the Government is pumping in massive funds for flagship programmes like Bharat Nirman, education and health. Dr. Singh said: "At present the evaluation function is done by several wings of the government and cannot be called independent. The performance evaluation has remained a missing link."
"We need independent evaluations of these programmes based on data that is generated both by Government and by others. I am asking the Planning Commission, the Ministry of Finance and the Department of Statistics to collectively work out details for setting up such an office," Dr. Singh said.
Complimenting the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation for organizing the conference to discuss the organisation and management of statistics in the country, Dr. singh said: "The acquisition, processing and dispersal of information are essential activities for any modern State to perform its role of economic management. It is of special importance in an open economy where information needs to be made available to non-government stakeholders. Information contributes to knowledge. Information also confers power. Information is undoubtedly a great economic asset."
Dr Singh said the Government is also considering data sharing to bring all non-strategic information in the public domain.
"A pro-active policy of disclosure will be in keeping with the spirit of the Right to Information Act. Information collected at huge cost, with the tax payers' money, should be made available to the general public without their having to ask for it," the Prime Minister added.