The National Statistics Day is celebrated every year on June 29 in India to create public awareness about the importance of statistics in socio-economic planning and policy formulation. The day also acknowledges notable contribution of Late Professor Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis in fields of statistics, statistical system and economic planning. The 2018 theme is “Quality Assurance in Official Statistics”. It underscores importance of compliance with essential parameters of quality in statistical systems and products.
He was born on 29 June 1893 in Kolkata and died on 28 June 1972 in Kolkata. He was the first Indian statistician to receive world recognition. In 1933, he had founded the first Indian statistical journal Sankhya. He had founded the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) and contributed to the design of large-scale sample surveys.
He had made pioneering studies in anthropometry in India. He is also best remembered for the statistical measure Mahalanobis distance. He was also a member of the Planning Commission (PC) from 1955 to 1967. The Second Five-Year Plan had relied on Mahalanobis’s mathematical description of Indian economy. This plan had encouraged the development of heavy industry in India and later became known as Nehru-Mahalanobis model or Basic Industry strategy of economic growth.
The Union Government had designated June 29 as National Statistics Day in 2007 in recognition of notable contributions made by Late Professor PC Mahalanobis in the fields of statistics. Every year Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (MoSPI) and Indian Statistical Institute selects particular theme for the day based on current national importance for focused discussions and efforts throughout year to bring about improvements in selected area.