Every year on June 29th, India celebrates National Statistics Day to recognise the accomplishments and contributions of the late Professor and Scientist Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis in the fields of economic planning and statistics.
Through awards created for this purpose, the MoSPI (Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation) additionally acknowledges exceptional contributions to the official statistical system through top-notch research in the areas of practical and theoretical statistics.
What were the day’s major highlights?
To increase public awareness of statistics’ use in daily life and their role in formulating and forming public policy.
to increase knowledge of the use of statistics in socioeconomic planning among the general public, particularly among the younger generation.
“Data for Sustainable Development” is the theme for 2022.
Every year, a topic of contemporary national significance is used to celebrate Statistics Day.
Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis: Who Was He?
The Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) was established in 1932 by renowned Indian statistician Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis.
His interest in statistics began after reading Biometrika, a respected peer-reviewed statistics publication at the time. He was trained as a physicist. He bought the complete set of journals out of fascination.
He quickly realised that statistics could be applied to many different disciplines, such as anthropology and meteorology, and this proved to be a turning point in his scientific career.
Mahalanobis made a lot of contributions to statistics, notably the statistical measure known as the “Mahalanobis distance.” He also had a key role in the development of large-scale sample surveys and sampling techniques. He was a pioneer in the discipline of anthropometry, or the study of human measurements, in India.
In addition, he developed the Feldman-Mahalanobis model, a Neo-Marxian economic development model that was employed in India’s Second Five Year Plan to encourage the nation’s rapid industrialization.
Mahalanobis was a member of the first Planning Commission in India. Additionally, he was given a number of honours, including the Padma Vibhushan.
Rabindranath Tagore and the couple initially met in 1910 at Shanti Niketan.
According to Rabindranath Tagore, a personal friend of Mahalanobis, “These are the dance steps of numbers in the arena of time and space, which weave the maya of appearance, the unceasing flow of changes that ever is and is not,” in the second volume of Sankhya.
For the prominent Bengali magazine Probashi, Mahalanobis authored a collection of essays named “Rabindra Parichay” (“Introduction to Rabindra”).
Rabindranath Tagore received assistance from PC Mahalnobis in establishing Vishva Bharti.
In 1930, the Mahalanobis Distance, a metric for contrasting two data sets, was first proposed.
Based on measurements in many dimensions, the formula is used to determine the separation between a point and a distribution. In the field of cluster analysis and classification, it is frequently employed.
The ISI was established in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) in 1932, and it was designated an institute of national importance in 1959.
‘Sankhya: The Indian Journal of Statistics’ was introduced in 1933.
1950: The National Sample Survey was launched, and the Central Statistical Organization was created to oversee statistical operations.
1955: Joined the Planning Commission and served in that position until 1967.
He played a key role in the creation of India’s second five-year plan (1956–1961), which provided the framework for the country’s industrialization and growth.
awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 1968.
Additionally, he received numerous honours from international organisations.
Bilateral Relations between India and Tajikistan
In News, why?
A bilateral meeting was held between the Minister of Science, Technology, and Earth Sciences of India and the Minister of Energy and Water Resources of the Republic of Tajikistan.
To promote global water action and climate resistance on water for sustainable development, topics such water resources research, particularly glacier monitoring, non-conventional energy, peaceful use of space technology, and disaster management were discussed.
How are relations between India and Tajikistan?
Foreign Office Consultations are a mechanism for consultation.
Counterterrorism Joint Working Group
Cooperation in Trade
Economics, Science, and Technology Joint Commission
Defense Cooperation JWG
Peaceful Use of Space Technology for Development Joint Working Group
Cooperation in International Forums: Tajikistan offered its support to India’s bid for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for the years 2021–2022.
Tajikistan vigorously backed India’s membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
India has repeatedly backed Tajikistan’s resolutions on water-related concerns at the UN.
In March 2013, Tajikistan applied to join the World Trade Organization (WTO), and India backed that application.
Partnership for Development and Aid: Development Assistance:
An information and technology centre (Bedil Centre) was established in 2006 with a grant of USD 0.6 million.
The programme trained nearly all first-generation IT specialists in Tajikistan’s government sector over the course of a full hardware cycle of six years.
In August 2016, a project for establishing computer laboratories in 37 schools in Tajikistan was finished and delivered.
Providing humanitarian aid
India provided Tajikistan with cash support in the amount of USD 200,000 in June 2009 to help the country recover from flood damage.
In November 2010, India donated 2 million doses of the oral polio vaccination through UNICEF in response to the polio epidemic in southwest Tajikistan.
Human capacity building:
Tajikistan has benefited from the Indian Technical & Economic Cooperation Programme ever since the Indian embassy was established in Dushanbe in 1994. (ITEC).
2019 saw the training of some Tajik diplomats at the Delhi-based Foreign Service Institute as part of the India-Central Asia Dialogue Process.
Trade and Economic Relations:
The primary goods that India sells to Tajikistan are medicines, cane or beet sugar, tea, handicrafts, and machinery.
On the Tajik market, Indian pharmaceutical products account for about 25% of sales.
Tajikistan exports a variety of ores, slag and ash, aluminium, organic chemicals, herbal oils, dried fruits, and cotton to India.
Eight Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed in 2018 in the fields of disaster management, renewable energy, agricultural research and education, and peaceful use of space technology.
Deeply ingrained historical and cultural ties have served to deepen and expand the relationship, taking it to a new level.
All facets of human endeavour are included in the two nations’ cooperation, with a particular emphasis on their relations in the military and defence.
Teachers sent by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations from India provide Kathak & Tabla courses at the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Center in Dushanbe. The centre also provides Hindi and Sanskrit language instruction.
The ‘My Life My Yoga’ video blogging competition in 2020 attracted participants from Tajikistan.
Central Asian Relations between India
Since the nation’s collapse on the legendary Silk Road in the third century B.C., India and Central Asia have had diplomatic ties.
In the form of stupas and monasteries, Buddhism gained ground in a number of Central Asian cities, including Merv, Khalachayan, Tirmiz, and Bokhara, among others.
For India, Central Asia is a geopolitically important region since it acts as a land bridge between Asia and Europe.
Natural resources like coal, uranium, antimony, aluminium, gold, silver, and natural gas are abundant in the area and can be used to meet India’s energy needs.
The industrial, raw material supply, and service sectors of the Central Asian Regions are quickly becoming integrated with the global market.
Additionally, they are becoming more and more integrated into the East-West Trans-Eurasian Economic Transit Corridors.
India and the Central Asian nations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan have a ministerial-level discussion going on.
Following the conclusion of the Cold War in 1991 and the fall of the USSR, all five countries achieved independence.
Except for Turkmenistan, all of the nations taking part in the dialogue are also SCO members.
The conversation focuses on a variety of topics, such as how to increase connectivity and stabilise Afghanistan, which has been devastated by conflict.
India’s USD 1 billion Line of Credit for projects in Central Asia, connectivity efforts by leveraging the Chabahar Port to increase trade between the two sides, and the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline are recent developments in the relations between India and Central Asia.
The Ashgabat Agreement on International Transport and Transit Corridor (ITTC) and the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) are improving connectivity between India and the Central Asian nations.
To participate in the third India-Central Asia Dialogue, the foreign ministers of the five Central Asian countries travelled to New Delhi in December 2021.
During its early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Central Asian countries valued India’s support in the supply of Covid-19 vaccines and necessary medications.
The inaugural India-Central Asia Summit in virtual format was convened by the Indian Prime Minister in January 2022.
Infrastructure Coalition for Disaster Resilience (CDRI)
In News, why?
The Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) has been approved as a “International Organization” by the Union Cabinet.
It also approved the signing of the Headquarters Agreement, which grants it additional exemptions, immunities, and privileges under the United Nations (Privileges and Immunities) Act, 1947. This means that member property and assets, no matter where they are located or who holds them, are exempt from being subject to legal process unless the member has specifically waived their immunity in a given situation.
What is the Categorization’s Significance?
It would be beneficial to send specialists to other nations that are particularly at risk for disaster and/or need help recovering after one, as well as to send experts from member nations to India for same purposes.
It will provide assistance to nations in building adequate risk governance frameworks and resilient infrastructure strategies. It will make technical expertise accessible to help countries develop resilient infrastructure in accordance with their disaster and climate risks and resources.
Enhancing Funding and Cooperation:
It will aid in accepting contributions from member nations and distributing cash internationally for CDRI initiatives.
According to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Climate Agreement, and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, it will offer member nations every support it can to upgrade their systems to ensure disaster and climate resilience of current and future infrastructure.
It would employ international involvement to promote domestic infrastructure that is robust to disasters and give Indian scientific and technical institutes and infrastructure developers the chance to communicate with specialists from around the world.
The CDRI stands for Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.
The CDRI is a multilateral development bank and financing mechanism, a global cooperation of national governments, United Nations agencies and programmes, the private sector, academic and research organisations, and the finance mechanisms.
It strives to make infrastructure systems more resilient to risks associated with the climate and natural disasters, ensuring sustainable growth.
At the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York in 2019, it was introduced.
It shows India’s leadership in climate change and catastrophe resilience issues and is the country’s second major international endeavour after the International Solar Alliance.
Since the organization’s founding, 31 nations, 6 international organisations, and 2 business sector organisations have joined CDRI.
Six international organisations are involved: the European Union, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the World Bank Group, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR).
The Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies and the Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment are two private sector organisations.
By drawing members from a variety of economically developed, developing, and disaster-prone nations, CDRI has consistently grown its membership.
Groups for self-help
In News, why?
By 2024, the government wants to see each woman in Self-Help Groups (SHGs) earn Rs 1 lakh annually.
Self-Help Groups (SHGs) are unofficial organisations where people gather to discuss how to better their living circumstances.
It can be characterised as a self-governing, peer-controlled information group of individuals with a comparable socioeconomic background and the willingness to work together to accomplish a common goal.
SHG use the idea of “Self Help” to promote entrepreneurship and poverty eradication.
To increase the poor and the disadvantaged’ functional capacity in the area of employment and income-generating activities.
to resolve disputes through group decision-making and dialogue.
to offer a loan without collateral with terms set by the group and rates determined by the market.
to serve as a mechanism of collective assurance for members who want to borrow from institutional sources.
The savings of the impoverished are collected and kept in banks. In exchange, individuals are given simple access to financing with low interest rates so they can launch their micro unit business.
Why are SHGs Required?
Low access to credit and financial services is one of the factors contributing to rural poverty in our nation.
Four main causes of financial exclusion were identified by a committee appointed by Dr. C. Rangarajan to write a thorough report on “Financial Inclusion in the Country”:
Unable to offer collateral security, Limited ability to absorb loans, Limited institutional reach, and Weak community network
One of the most crucial components of credit linkage in rural areas is increasingly acknowledged to be the presence of strong community networks in villages.
They facilitate the poor’s access to finance and are therefore essential to reducing poverty.
They also support impoverished people, particularly women, in developing their social capital. Women are empowered by this and are given more societal voice.
Self-employment provides several positive externalities, including higher levels of literacy, greater access to healthcare, and even better family planning.
What are SHGs Important for?
SHGs promote teamwork in the fight against harmful customs like dowry and drunkenness.
Gender equity: SHGs
give women more influence and teach them leadership skills. Elections and gramme sabha voting are more actively participated in by empowered women.
There is evidence from both domestic and international sources that the creation of self-help groups has a multiplier impact on raising women’s position in society and the family, which in turn improves their socioeconomic situation and builds their self-esteem.
The majority of those who benefit from government programmes come from weaker, marginalised communities, therefore their participation through SHGs assures social justice. Voice of Marginalized Section
financial inclusion is a top priority.
Banks are encouraged to lend to SHGs because of lending standards and returns guarantees. The NABARD-initiated SHG-Bank linkage programme has facilitated credit access and decreased reliance on conventional payday lenders and other non-institutional sources.
Alternative employment source:
By helping to establish micro-enterprises including specialised businesses like tailoring, grocery stores, and tool repair shops, it reduces reliance on agriculture.
What Problems Exist?
Lack of skill upgrading: The majority of SHGs are not utilising new technology advancements and skills. This is a result of their lack of proficiency in using modern technology and their limited awareness of them. Additionally, there aren’t enough efficient mechanisms.
Weak financial management: It has also been shown that some units do not appropriately invest their business returns, instead using the money for other domestic and personal expenses like weddings and home building.
Inadequate Financial Assistance:
It has been discovered that the majority of SHGs do not receive enough financial support from the relevant agencies to cover their actual needs. Even the minimum requirements for labour costs are not being met by the financial authorities’ inadequate subsidies.
What part do SHGs play in empowering women?
In rural areas, the self-help group (SHG) movement is one of the most effective incubators of female entrepreneurship and resiliency. It is an effective way to change how people think about gender in rural areas.
Rural women can now establish their own independent sources of income. Even if there are a lot of young, semi-literate women with in-house abilities, their inability to fully participate in any decision-making processes and establish their own independent businesses is hampered by a lack of capital and outdated societal conventions.
Women work as Business Correspondents (BC), Bank Sakhis, Kisan Sakhis, and Pashu Sakhis in a variety of industries.
Women are more concerned with their liberty, rights, and freedom in this age of liberalism, privatisation, and globalisation than males are, but they continue to lack these things. As a result, they should be granted their rightful liberties and liberties with dignity.
The economic and social advancement of women from rural social strata is greatly aided by SHGs.
Additionally, a variety of SHGs can be used to conduct government programmes. This would increase efficiency and openness while also moving our society closer to Gandhi’s idea of “self-governance.”
In News, why?
For the second quarter of 2022–2023, the government recently decided to maintain the same interest rates on Small Savings Schemes, such as National Savings Certificates and Public Provident Funds, despite high inflation and rising interest rates.
Since the start of 2020–21, the interest rate for small savings plans has not been changed.
Given the rise in yields on government bonds, to which their returns are mathematically related, a rate increase was anticipated.
What are Small Savings Instruments or Schemes?
They consist of 12 instruments and are the main source of household savings in India.
Depositors receive a guaranteed interest rate on their funds.
The National Small Savings Fund receives payments from all small savings instruments (NSSF).
Small savings have become a crucial source of funding the government deficit, particularly when the Covid-19 outbreak caused the deficit to inflate and further borrowing became necessary.
Three categories can be used to group small savings instruments:
postal deposits (comprising savings account, recurring deposits, time deposits of varying maturities and monthly income scheme).
National Small Savings Certificates (NSC) and Kisan Vikas Patra are two types of savings certificates (KVP).
Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme, Public Provident Fund (PPF), and Senior Citizens’ Savings Scheme are social security programmes (SCSS).
Calculation of Rates
Rates are determined by adjusting them every three months in accordance with the movement of comparable-maturity benchmark government bonds. The Ministry of Finance frequently reviews the rates.
A market-linked interest rate structure for small savings accounts was recommended by the Shyamala Gopinath group on the subject in 2010.