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Four years of Modi sarkar: Taking digitisation to another level

By Chennabasaveshwar
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During the four years of Modi sarkar, the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has undergone digitization for easy process of data collection to improve quality of its output, that are used by policy makers, planners, academia, etc.

The government has taken numerous initiatives to facilitate informed debate and better assessment of the performance of the Government by the general public.

Four years of Modi sarkar: Taking digitisation to another level

Most importantly, the Centre has changed the base year of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and related macro-economic aggregates from 2004-05 to 2011-12 in 2015. Also, new guidilnes have been issued for the implementation of Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS).

Following are the new initiative taken by the Centre in the MoSPI:

1. Adoption of the United Nations of Fundamental Principle of Official Statistics (UNFPOS): Recognising that official statistics are public goods, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution, on 29th January, 2014, concerning Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics, which propagate professional independence, impartiality, accountability and transparency about methods of collection, compilation and dissemination of statistics. The MoSPI notified formal adoption of the Principles by the Government on 15th June, 2016. The principles benefit statisticians, data providers, users and decision makers in different ways and promote public trust in statistics. It will facilitate informed debate and better assessment of the performance of the Government by the general public.

2. Launching of Annual Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS): PLFS has been launched by this Ministry from April, 2017 with the primary objective to measure quarterly changes of various statistical indicators of the labour market in urban areas as well as to generate the annual estimates of different labour force indicators, both in rural and urban areas.

3. Use of New Technology for Data Collection and Dissemination:

a. A web-based Survey Data Catalogue/ Micro Data Archive of the unit-level data using International Household Survey Network (IHSN) Tool Kit Software have been created covering the data sets available with the Ministry. These include the data of Annual Survey of Industries, Economic Census, and the National Sample Surveys. The micro data archive is being accessed by various national and international users to download metadata and various reports uploaded on the website.

b. A Computer Assisted Personnel Interviewing (CAPI) Solution with technical assistance from the World Bank has been developed for use in PLFS survey launched by NSSO. It will replace the paper schedules of NSSO surveys with the tablet based schedule for data collection and validation in the PLFS. This will help in faster data processing and will further reduce the time gap between completion of survey and release of results.

c. NSSO has initiated an ambitious programme for updating the urban maps used in sample surveys through digitisation of the urban frame survey (UFS). This is being done in partnership with National Remote Sensing Agency, Hyderabad.

d. NSSO has also initiated in partnership with Mahalanobis Centre for Crop forecasting, PUSA and Ministry of Agriculture, a programme for use of space technology in validating traditional estimates of acreage and yield through crop cutting experiments.

4. Launching of new website: The new website of the Ministry, launched in 25th October, 2016, is designed and developed as per the Guidelines for Indian Government Websites (GIGW) to facilitate the users. It will bring an improvement in overall usability quotient and technical competence thereby enhancing Government-Citizen relationship.

5. Sustainable Development Goals: The 70th Session of the UN General Assembly held on 25th September 2015 adopted the document titled "Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development" consisting of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and associated 169 targets. The SDGs seek to address not only the root causes of poverty but also the universal need for development to provide a life of dignity to all. The SDGs are most comprehensive list of global goals integrating the social, economic and environmental dimensions of development. A draft National Indicators framework for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has been prepared by MoSPI. Based on responses received from various stakeholders, the list is being examined for finalisation.

6. Revision of base year of National Accounts Statistics, Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Index of Industrial Production (IIP):

(a) The base year of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and related macro-economic aggregates has been revised from 2004-05 to 2011-12 by this Ministry in January 2015. As part of the base year revision exercise, a comprehensive review of methodology and data sets was made. The new series incorporates the latest available data sets along with the recommendations laid down under the United Nation's System of National Accounts, 2008.

(b) The revised series of CPI (Rural/Urban/Combined) with new base 2012=100 is being released with effect from January 2015. In the revised series, many methodological changes have been incorporated including improvement in measurement of Index and consumer basket, to make the indices more robust. It further gives an improved measure of inflation.

(c) The new series of IIP with base 2011-12 was released in May 2017 incorporating improved methodology of drawing items/ weights and factories. The structural changes in industrial sector over the years are better captured in the revised series.

7. Standardisation of Procedures: National Accounts Division of CSO and Survey Design and Research Division of NSSO have been certified ISO-9001:2008 compliant for quality of performance during January 2015 and September 2015, respectively.

8. Amendments in the Collection of Statistics Act, 2008: The Collection of Statistics Act 2008 (7 of 2009) was enacted to facilitate collection of statistics on socio-economic aspects by the Central Ministries, Departments in the States/ UTs and by the Local Governments. The Collection of Statistics (Amendment) Act, 2017 extended the jurisdiction of the Act to the State of Jammu & Kashmir in respect of statistical subjects falling in the Union List and the Concurrent list as applicable to the State. The Amendment will strengthen data collection mechanism in the State of Jammu & Kashmir.

9. General Guidelines on Quality Assurance for Official Statistics: MoSPI has notified General Guidelines on Quality Assurance for Official Statistics on 6th April, 2018 for use and voluntary compliance by all officers dealing with statistical matters including administrative statistics. These guidelines are useful to producers of official statistics in designing any statistical collection or product and are also helpful to user in making informed decisions regarding the use of statistical products.

10. Amendments in the Guidelines of Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS): A number of amendments have been made in the Guidelines for Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) during the last three years to cater to the welfare requirements of the general public, including convergence with flagship schemes of the Government.

Some of the major amendments in the Guidelines are:

  • Raising ceiling for contribution of Hon'ble MPs in case of calamity of severe nature to Rs. 1 crore
  • Purchasing of equipment for skill development allowed
  • Financial assistance allowed for purchase of tricycle, artificial limbs, visual and hearing aids for differently abled persons
  • Installation of fixed Wi-Fi systems allowed at places belonging to Central/ UT or Local Self Government
  • Provision of Solar Lighting systems under 'AtalJyotiYojna' etc.

In addition , a new website developed on the state-of-art Microsoft platform with built in security features for MPLADS has been launched. It provides a single point of reference for all stakeholders including Hon'ble MPs, District authorities and general public at large. It brings transparency and accountability in execution of works. All MPLADs fund releases are being made only through this website.

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