TODAY -

Statistics: Better data, better lives

Ranjan K Baruah *



Like many other days , 20th October is observed as Statistics Day by different members states of United Nations.

Statistics happens to be one of the popular and common subjects in senior secondary, graduate level and beyond. It is a subject that deals with the collection, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of masses of numerical data.

An individual who study this subject is called as statisticians. They collect, verify and interpret data and use the same to solve problems in a wide variety of fields. There are opportunities in government sector as well as private sector for the statistician.

Different areas of statistics are crime statistics, census statistics, ecological statistics, medical statistics, statistics on job-seekers, on education, film statistics, cricket statistics, oil statistics, market statistics, accident statistics, labour statistics, population statistics, election statistics, district-city-state statistics, tourism statistics etc.

All these make it easy about the importance and opportunities of the statisticians. In a country like India, there is always great demand for the aspirants as there are many things related to the field. There are various means of collecting information by means of surveys or questionnaire.

They collect data from reliable sources, evaluate it using scientific methods, make use of statistical tools and present their findings in the form of graphs, charts, tables etc.

On the basis of their findings they suggest potential applications of the results of their survey and help to find solutions to the problem at hand. With the development in technology there are different software which are used by them for the analysis.

Teaching and research field are open to candidates with a master’s degree and doctorate. The apex body of the official statistical system in India is the Department of Statistics in the Ministry of Planning and Programme Implementation.

Aspirants may appear in Indian Statistical Service (ISS)-. This is for those who are interested in having a career with the government. Every year the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts an All India Level Competitive Examination to fill vacancies in the Indian Statistical Service (ISS).

The academic eligibility is Post Grade Degree from an Indian university in Statistics/Applied Statistics/Mathematical Statistics. Candidates appearing in qualifying degree exams are also eligible provisionally subject to producing proof of passing along with Detailed Application Form. Details related to ISS including its syllabus may be obtained from the official website of UPSC.

20th October is observed as Statistics Day which is to be observed once in five years. It emphasizes the critical role of high-quality official statistical information in analysis and informed policy decision-making in support of sustainable development.

It also reflects the importance of sustainable national statistical capacity to produce reliable and timely statistics and indicators measuring a country’s progress. The UN General Assembly decided with resolution 69/282 to celebrate the day every five years.

The first World Statistics Day was celebrated in 2010, as decided in resolution 64/267, and was deemed an overwhelming success, with activities organized in more than 130 Member States and by at least 40 international and regional organizations and entities.

Acknowledging that the production of reliable, timely statistics and indicators of countries’ progress is indispensable for informed policy decisions and monitoring implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, the United Nations General Assembly adopted on 3 June 2010 Resolution A/64/267, which officially designated 20 October 2010 as the first ever World Statistics Day.

ISI: Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) is an academic institute of national importance as recognised by a 1959 act of the Indian parliament. Established in 1931, this public institute of India is one of the oldest and most prestigious institutions focused on statistics.

The Headquarters of ISI is located in the northern fringe of the metropolis of Kolkata. Additionally, there are four centres located in Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Tezpur , Assam . Research in Statistics and related disciplines is the primary activity of the Institute.

Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation: The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation came into existence as an Independent Ministry on 15.10.1999 after the merger of the Department of Statistics and the Department of Programme Implementation.

The Ministry has two wings, one relating to Statistics and the other Programme Implementation. The Statistics Wing called the National Statistical Office (NSO) consists of the Central Statistical Office (CSO), the Computer Centre and the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO).

With the progress of private sector it has more horizons then it was before. Students from north east may take up this subject and build their career related to same.

A successful statistician may be engaged in different sectors like government or private. Colleges and Universities employ statisticians for teaching, statistical research, etc. Aspirants should have a mathematical aptitude and be able to reason logically.


* Ranjan K Baruah wrote this article for The Sangai
The writer is a career mentor and can be reached at bkranjan(AT)gmail(DOT)com for any career related queries
This article was webcasted on October 20 2019.



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