National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) Becomes National Statistical Office (NSO)

The National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), formerly called the National Sample Survey Organisation was the largest organisation in India conducting periodic socio-economic surveys. This topic comes under the subject of Indian Economy in the IAS Exam. The aspirants can expect questions from this topic for UPSC prelims, mains or even Economics optional.

Merger of NSSO with CSO to form NSO

The National Sample Survey Office used to work under the Ministry of Statistics of the Indian government until May 2019. On 23rd May 2019, the NSSO merged with the Central Statistics Office (CSO) to form the National Statistical Office (NSO). The Government stated that the NSO will be headed by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI).

National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) – Background

The NSSO was set up in 1950 to conduct large-scale sample surveys throughout India. The employees of the NSSO are from the Indian Statistical Service (appointed through the UPSC) and the Subordinate Statistical Service (appointed through the Staff Selection Commission).

Similar to NSSO, there are various Indian Government Ministries, Departments & Other Agencies which you may check in the linked article.

The details of the NSSO are mentioned in the table below:

Divisions of the NSSO

Division

Responsibilities

Headquarters

Survey Design and Research Division
  • Technical planning of surveys,
  • Formulation of Concepts and Definitions,
  • Sampling Design,
  • Designing of Inquiry Schedules,
  • Drawing up of Tabulation Plan,
  • Analysis and Presentation of Survey Results.
Kolkata
Field Operations Division
  • Collection of primary data for the surveys undertaken by NSSO
Delhi/ Faridabad
Data Processing Division
  • Sample Selection,
  • Software Development,
  • Processing,
  • Validation And
  • Tabulation of the data collected through surveys.
Kolkata
Co-ordination & Publication Division
  • Coordinates all the various departments and divisions in the NSSO
  • Also publishes its annual journal.
Delhi

NSSO – Background of Central Statistics Office (CSO)

Earlier known as the Central Statistics Organisation of India, CSO is responsible for the coordination of statistical activities in India, and evolving and maintaining statistical standards.

  1. The CSO is headed by the Director-General who is assisted by Five additional Director-Generals and four Deputy Director-Generals, six Joint Directors, seven special task officers, thirty deputy directors, 48 assistant directors and other supporting staff.
  2. It has a well-equipped Graphical Unit. The CSO is located in Delhi.
  3. Its activities include:
    • National Account Statistics (NAS)
    • Conduct of Annual Survey of Industries (ASI), Economic Censuses and its follow up surveys,
    • Index of Industrial Production Compilation, as well as Consumer Price Indices for Urban Non-Manual Employees
    • Human Development Statistics
    • Gender Statistics
    • Imparting training in Official Statistics
    • Five Year Plan work relating to Development of Statistics in the States and Union Territories
    • Broadcasting statistical information, energy, construction, and environment statistics, work relating to trade revision of National Industrial Classification, etc.

National Statistical Office (NSO)

When the government passed the order for the merger of NSSO and CSO, it didn’t mention any role of the National Statistical Office (NSO), reinforcing the long-held belief that the government was undermining it.

  • This merger will lead to depriving the Autonomy of NSSO as it will be a part of the MoSPI.
  • This order from the government clearly puts the merged entity under MoSPI Secretary, raising questions about the independence of the process through which official survey data is collected and published.

Aspirants reading the topic, ‘NSSO’ can also the read the following articles linked:

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