Business-standard, December 10, 2019
A parliamentary panel has sought regular recruitment and use of technology to improve efficacy and efficiency of Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI).
The panel in its earlier reports has pointed out the issue pertaining to the shortage of manpower in the ministry and its various filed offices.
“Ministry should carry out regular recruitment of qualified/trained staff for this purpose. It should not compromise in any manner on the quality of statistical staff at the field level, so that the credibility of the whole process is not jeopardized,” the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance said in its report on MOSPI tabled in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
The report further said appropriate IT systems may also be considered to improve efficiency and reduce manpower needs.
The panel was of the view that MOSPI has resorted to a hybrid model where the core statistical activities and supervision thereof are undertaken by available in-house expertise, while the primary level field work will be outsourced for conducting surveys.
The committee thinks that although the proposed method can be a stop-gap arrangement, it cannot be a replacement for the professionalism required for the data collection exercise.
It asked the ministry to provide necessary resources to enable the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) to fulfil its mandate, particularly completion of its ongoing projects including academic programmes.
It discerns that with its specific mandate, ISI strives to maintain a reliable reputation and commitment towards the field of education, national progress, social development and welfare.
The committee noted that the budget estimate for 2019-20 stands at Rs 276.52 crore, while for 2018-19 it was Rs 275.32 crore which was later revised to Rs 315.39 crore.
ISI is mainly engaged in conducting comprehensive programme of research, training and practical application of different statistics spanning various disciplines through a large number of projects/schemes.
The committee also hoped the enhanced allocations would help the ministry strengthen their data collection machinery and available infrastructure.
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