Access to best stats crucial for public institutions: Ansari

Pat, June 24:  As the effectiveness of policy judgments depend on the quality of data, it is therefore important that public institutions have access to the best social statistics and statistical alysis, Vice President Hamid Ansari said here on Friday. Ansari said that the gaps in official data and alysis need to be identified and ways should be found on how to bridge these gaps.

He was delivering the iugural address at an intertiol semir on social statistics organised by the Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI), Pat. Citing the example of the period immediately after Independence, Ansari said that access to “good statistics was critical to the manner in which we addressed our developmental challenges, confronting limited resources on the one hand and the burgeoning needs of our teeming millions on the other”.

“The relevance and effectiveness of policy judgments, therefore, depended on the quality of data and the efficacy of alysis and interpretation. It was important, therefore, that public institutions had access to the best social statistics and statistical alysis,” he observed.

Ansari said that although India has a separate ministry looking after statistics, and a vast array of central and state government departments engaged in the task of collecting and alysing data, concerns have been raised about the quality of data being generated.

“All is not well in the Indian social statistics sector. Concerns have been raised about the quality of data being generated as also about the duplication of efforts to collect statistics across various government departments, iccessibility of tiol data archives and the infringement of privacy by government’s data collection machinery,” he said.

The vice president added that “some of the criticism of Indian public statistics”, especially when it comes to measurement of cross-cutting social issues such as gender disparity, inequality, poverty and growth “seems valid”. He said that given the fast pace of economic changes in the face of deregulation, liberalisation and competition, it is important that various indices that reveal the underlying mechanism of our society and economy are further refined and updated in order to provide relevant and timely information to the policymakers. (IANS)