Planning Commission Current Affairs - 2019

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29 June: National Statistics Day

National Statistics Day is observed every year on 29 June to popularize use of Statistics in everyday life and sensitize public as to how Statistics helps in shaping and framing policies. 2019 is the 13th edition of National Statistics Day.

About National Statistics Day

Objective: To create public awareness among people about importance of statistics in daily life and in process of planning and development.

Theme for 2019 National Statistics Day- Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Why 29 June?

NSD is celebrated annually on occasion of Birth anniversary of India’s eminent statistician, Late Prof Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis, in recognition of his invaluable contribution in establishing National Statistical System. The day also commemorates contributions made by Mahalanobis in fields of statistics and economic planning.

Celebrations: To mark the occasion a series of events have been planned across India. Winner of Prof. C R Rao Award 2019 for notable contribution in field of Statistics was felicitated during the program on occasion of day held in New Delhi. Also winners of All India level ‘On the Spot Essay Writing Competition’ for Post Graduate Students on subject relevant to Statistics organized at were also felicitated.

About PC Mahalanobis

He was an Indian scientist and applied statistician who lived from 29 June 1893 to 28 June 1972. He became 1st Indian statistician to receive world recognition and is called as Father of Indian Statistics.

He is also referred as chief architect of Indian statistical system.

Establishments:

In 1931 he established Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) in Kolkata and contributed to design of large-scale sample surveys. In 1933 institute founded journal Sankhya, 1st Indian statistical journal, along the lines of Karl Pearson’s Biometrika. In 1959 ISI was made an autonomous body of Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (MoS&PI).

After 1947 (Post-independence), he served as the honorary statistical adviser to cabinet and helped in establishment of Central Statistical Organisation (CSO), the National Sample Survey (NSS) and the Annual Survey of Industries (ASI).

He had made pioneering studies in anthropometry India but in 1936 he introduced statistical measure called Mahalanobis distance, widely used in cluster analysis and classification techniques for which he is widely known.

He was also a member of the 1st Planning commission (1951-56) of free India. The II Five Year Plan (1957-62) relied on Mahalanobis’s mathematical description of Indian economy and this plan encouraged development of heavy industry in India and later came to be known as Basic Industry strategy of economic Growth or Nehru-Mahalanobis Model.

PM Modi reconstitutes NITI Aayog

Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the reconstitution of government of India’s policy think tank NITI Aayog (or National Institution for Transforming India). The decision was taken ahead of first meeting of NITI Aayog’s governing council scheduled on June 15.

Key Highlights

  • On 5 June, PM will chair 5th meeting of NITI Aayog’s Governing Council (first governing council meeting under new NDA government) to discuss various issues concerning agriculture, water management and security.
  • Rajiv Kumar will continue his designation as Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog.
  • Other members including V K Saraswat, Ramesh Chand and Dr. V K Paul were also reinstated barring economist Bibek Debroy.
  • Amitabh Kant, who served as CEO at NITI Aayog (in NDA-I) is not mentioned in reconstitution.
  • The NITI Aayog constitution is as follows-

Chairperson– Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Vice-Chairperson– Dr. Rajiv Kumar

Full-Time Members– includes (1) Shri V.K. Saraswat, (2) Prof. Ramesh Chand (3) Dr. V.K. Paul

Ex-officio Members (4) – includes (1)Rajnath Singh (Defence Minister), (2)Amit Shah (Home Affairs Minister), (3)Nirmala Sitharaman (Finance Minister and Corporate Affairs Minister), (4)Narendra Singh Tomar (Rural Development Minister, Panchayati Raj Minister and Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister)

Special Invitees to NITI Aayog (4) – includes (1)Nitin Gadkari (Road Transport and Highways Minister and MSME Minister), (2)Piyush Goyal (Railways Minister and Commerce & Industry Minister), (3)ShriThaawar Chand Gehlot (Social Justice and Empowerment Minister) and  (4)Rao Inderjit Singh (Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation and Minister of State (I/C) of Ministry of Planning).

About NITI Aayog

  • It was established on 1 January 2015 by replacing 65 years legacy of Planning Commission (PC).
  • It is India’s premier policy-making institution.
  • It was formed with aim to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and to enhance cooperative federalism by fostering state governments’ involvement in economic policy-making process using a bottom-up approach unlike the top-down model of planning commission.
  • Governing council is top body of NITI Aayog. It includes all chief ministers, lieutenant governors (LG) of Union Territories, several union ministers and senior government officials.