Pranab inuagurates North East centre of ISI

Napam: The Indian statistical system was undergoing a steady transformation in response to the new challenges arising out of globalisation and liberalisation of the country`s economy, Union Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said here on Saturday.

The Indian statistical system resolved many significant structural and operational changes in the statistical system both at the Centre and the states, said Mukherjee inaugurating the North East Centre of the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) here in Sonitpur district.

"Statistics today has become a powerful tool for planning and reforms. It forms the foundation of all effective planning in the world today. All major nations use statistical tools and techniques for national planning," pointed out Mukherjee who is also the chairman of the Indian Statistical Institute.

"The importance of unbiased and trustworthy statistical data cannot be undermined for a democratic society. Decisions based on rigorous statistical outcomes are precise and, therefore, augment anticipatory results," he said.

"In any economy the industry and commerce bank critically upon statistical information on which they base their investment decisions," the minister added.

The North East Centre was the fourth centre of the Indian Statistical Institute, which was first started in 1931 in Kolkata and subsequently its two other two centres came up after 1949 at the initiative of then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru for better statistic connectivity with south Asia, he said.

The Union Finance minister also said "an India Statistical Strengthening Project (ISSP) has been taken up by the Centre to be implemented at an estimated cost of Rs 650.43 crore. 80 per cent of the funding will be through a World Bank loan and the balance 20 per cent will be borne by the Centre".

The objective of the ISSP was to strengthen and improve state statistical systems and statistical operations in accordance with prescribed standards in terms of quality, timeliness, adequacy, relevance, utility, user-friendliness and user-satisfaction, Mukherjee said, adding, the programme was already under implementation in four states.

All other states, including the North East region, are at various stages of finalisation of the state strategic plan with Mizoram and Sikkim in an advanced stage of finalisation of their MoU with the Union Finance ministry for early initiation of the projects, the minister said.

The fourth Centre of the ISI would be set up here at an estimated cost of Rs 150 crore, he said. The Assam government had allocated 75 acres of land at Napam for this.

The minister also said that an Indian Statistical University will be set up in the country within the next financial year.

Union minister of Statistics and Programme Implementation Srikant Jena presiding over the function said effective statistical data would be collected from this statistical centre using a scientific system.

Assam Chief minister Tarun Gogoi speaking as the guest of honour laid stress on collection of proper statistical data on unemployment and floods to find out solution to the two problems in the state.

Stating statistical data led to required correct assessment of the two problems, Gogoi asserted, "Assam is marching ahead developmentally in a better way in comparison to many other parts of the country".

The North East Centre of the IS was inaugurated at its temporary location in Tezpur (Central) University in Napam.

The Institute has its headquarters in Kolkata and its three other centres are in Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai besides branches and units across the country in Mumbai, Pune, Giridih, Hyderabad and Coimbatore.

Assam Governor J B Patnaik attended the function as chief guest. The function was also attended by Indian Statistical Institute director Prof Bimal Kumar Roy, Tezpur University vice chancellor Prof Mihir Kanti Choudhury and the North East Centre of Indian Statistical Institute head Prof S M Bendre.