Presentation on theme: "ORIGIN AND ACTIVITIES OF NSSO, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA By T.J.Rao* Adjunct Professor, CR Rao Advanced Institute of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science,"— Presentation transcript:
ORIGIN AND ACTIVITIES OF NSSO, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA By T.J.Rao* Adjunct Professor, CR Rao Advanced Institute of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, Hyderabad, India
India becomes independent in 1947. Standing Committee of Departmental Statisticians appointed in 1948 for coordination of statistical work. National Income Committee (NIC) with P.C. Mahalanobis as Chairman, D.R. Gadgil and V.K.R.V. Rao as members started to work on a methodology for the computation of national income in 1949.
Both Committees found large gaps in the statistical information available and felt an urgent need to collect quality information. On 18 December 1949, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru desired that a sample survey covering the whole country to collect essential information should be organised on a large scale Mahalanobis quickly prepared an abstract scheme for organising a National Sample Survey (NSS) within a week by 25 December 1949
Approval by the Government in 1950. On 10 March 1950, NIC recommended the use of sampling techniques to fill the gaps in information for the estimation of national income. Around the same time, the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics in Poona was also conducting socio economic surveys under the direction of Gadgil.
Thus both the Calcutta Institute, ISI and the Poona Institute were entrusted with the collection of data. At the ISI, the selection of villages was attempted directly from a 'map' frame. Later abandoned because large scale maps were not available at one place.
Finally a 'list' frame of villages was used with their area/population figures. Standing Finance Committee approves the plan of survey a week after it was submitted on 21 April 1950 with a sanction of Rs. 2,500,000 released in May 1950.
Three week training of the officers was completed by August who in turn trained the field investigators. Data collection in the first round of National Sample Survey thus started on 1 October 1950 for Rural India.
Two approaches to embark upon a nationwide large scale survey: To cover two or three local areas and expand for the whole country which would be time consuming. To plan a general frame work of the survey for the whole country and improve its operations as one proceeds further.
With his experience in organising other surveys at the I.S.I., Mahalanobis preferred the second approach of a large survey for the whole country. For the first round, the overall sample was divided into two groups of villages – Calcutta schedule was used in the first group of 1189 villages while the Poona Schedule was used in the other group of 644 villages
Reference period for Poona schedule was shorter. Reference period for Calcutta scedule was ‘one year preceding the survey’. The total sample size of 1833 villages was allotted to the 16 blocks into which the country was divided proportionately to the 1941 population.
Each block was further divided into smaller areas so that six (or multiple of 3) villages get surveyed in these. Calcutta Schedule was used in 4 villages and Poona Schedule in 2 Villages. From each selected village, households are listed and after a stratification based on occupation of the household, a random sample of households is drawn.
Data was then collected by the personal interview method from these households and recorded in the schedules. It was noticed by the 350 odd investigators, that 15 local languages and 140 local systems of weights and measures are to be taken care of.
The first-ever electronic computer in India - the Hollerith Electronic Computer Model 2M (HEC 2M) from the UK installed at ISI in 1949, followed by the Russian URAL II machine were used mainly for complex calculations and were not found suitable for survey data processing. Exclusive tabulation work of the NSS began at ISI in 1965 on the more versatile IBM 1401 computer system.
Kautilya’s Arthasastra (321B.C.) discusses not only collection and compilation of data at that time, but also mentions cross checking by an independent set of agents working under disguise. Perhaps this prompted Mahalanobis to have an independent supervisory staff during the conduct of field operations of a survey.
The First Review Committee: R.A. Fisher (Chair), Hansen, Kitagawa, Linder and Yates(members).
Initially, field work was organised by NSS Directorate excepting West Bengal and Bombay. ISI was responsible for the survey design, data processing, report writing and field work of West Bengal and Bombay.
This caused extensive delays and created many problems in the organisation of the survey. A three-man Committee consisting of the Cabinet Secretary, B. Sivaraman and V.M. Dandekar and R.R. Bahadur was set up to review the operations of NSS.
With a view to bringing the different stages of data collection, processing and publication under the same umbrella, it was recommended that a National Sample Survey Organisation(NSSO) should be created under a government set up. Thus NSSO was established by a resolution dated 5 March 1970.
All India household Consumer Expenditure Surveys (CES) started from the very first round while Employment and Unemployment Surveys were conducted from the 9 th Round(1955-56). Based on the Dantwala Committee’s(1970) frame work, the employment-unemployment surveys have become detailed and quinquennial along with CES.
Data collection through Organised Manufacturing and Trade surveys is not a problem for any country, but surveys related to Unorganised Manufacturing and Trade which contribute a big share of about a third of India's National Income are attempted by NSS. These are facilitated by the frame based on the Economic Censuses. The 5 th Economic Census was conducted in 2005.
Household surveys on land holdings started from the 8 th Round(1954-55), crop area and yield surveys operated from 1957-58. Data collection through crop cutting surveys is done by the State machinery and the field operations division (FOD) of NSS acts in a supervisory role only, under the 'Improvement of Crop Statistics’(ICS) Scheme.
Housing and Slums, Disability, Rural Debt and Investment, Social Consumption, Rural Retail prices for the construction of Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the Rural Agricultural Labour and Urban Retail Prices for the construction of Urban CPI, and Urban Frame Surveys are some of the other recurring surveys of the NSS. In order to review the functioning of NSSO, an expert committee headed by J. Roy and S. Ramanath Iyer was appointed in March 1999.
Criticised: Lengthy schedules, 'same old design', deeper stratification, hamlet group formation etc. are some points of criticism. Recommended: Establishment of a methodological studies unit, exchanges with universities and institutes, regular working groups and occasional pilot surveys as well as a data users forum.
The committee also wanted to improve the standard of the Journal Sarvekshana. It was not happy with the State sample data and thought of utilising the resources in a better way. On the administrative side, the Roy-Iyer Committee gave several suggestions on the human resource development and the Composition of the Governing Council which is the decision making authority.
The NSS is the largest survey organisation in the world providing important data on various socio-economic characteristics for policy making as well as for research purposes. The design of the surveys takes into account not only the sampling, but the non-sampling errors also. In most of the surveys the sample is obtained through independent sub samples. For the annual surveys, data is collected by spreading out the sample over four sub rounds to account for seasonality.
NSS population surveys during fifties leading to family planning measures, surveys on food production in the sixties making the country self- sufficient in food, land holdings surveys suggesting equitable distribution of land, surveys on disability enabling better medical facilities are some of the very early successes.
Surveys of the next two decades concentrating on changes in per capita expenditure and consumption patterns and employment rates leading to poverty alleviation programmes exhibited some of the land mark findings which greatly influenced administrative decisions of the government. The surveys greatly helped the government to introduce various reforms for the betterment of society and human welfare.
In 2000, the Government has set up a Commission to address appropriately the growing statistical needs of the society. This Commission was chaired by Dr. C. Rangarajan. Most of the defects in the system were summarised in the report of the Commission released in 2001, which are being addressed by the Ministry.
So far, the National Sample Survey Organisation has released nearly 550 Reports in its 60 plus years of existence, each consisting of 200 pages on an average. The Reports have been released within one year after completion of data collection. A law to enforce the collection of statistics which was recently enacted by the Government of India under the ‘Collection of statistics Act 2008’ would be helpful for developing a useful data bank.
The National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), as it is called now following the recent recommendation, is forging ahead with various activities of data collection and dissemination. NSSO’s main Divisions currently include the Survey Design Research, Field Operations, Data Processing and Coordination and Publication.
Socio Economic Surveys, Annual Survey of Industry, Urban Frame Survey, Price Collection Survey, Agricultural Surveys are some of the important surveys apart from certain Pilot and Adhoc surveys. Preliminary results of the Consumer Expenditure Survey of the 68 th Round (July 2011-June 2012) are just released. This survey consisted of a central sample of around 7400 villages and 5200 urban blocks.
In its 62 years of existence with around 550 reports and nearly 70 rounds of data collection, the National Sample Survey of India, which is one of the largest survey operations in the world, continues to go ahead with its contributions to help the Government of India in its policy decisions and to help the researchers world wide in introducing new methodologies.