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

The National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) merged with the Central Statistical Office (CSO) to form the National Statistical Office (NSO). On 23rd May 2019, the Government of India has approved the merger of NSSO and CSO. 

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

IAS 2023 results

To complement your Indian Economy preparation for UPSC 2023, check the following links:

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 Indian government passed the order to merge the NSSO 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).

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

Interim Budget Fiscal Deficit Analysis of Interim Budget 2019-20
Important Economic Terms Related to Union Budget Economic survey Taxation in India

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




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.
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.
Co-ordination & Publication Division
  • Coordinates all the various departments and divisions in the NSSO
  • Also publishes its annual journal.

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. (Read about Index of Industrial Production (IIP) from the linked article.)
    • Human Development Statistics
    • Gender Statistics
    • Imparting training in Official Statistics
    • Five Year Plan work relating to the 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.

Also, read about the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which is released by CSO, in the linked article.

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). As of February 2021, the official website of NSO is inactive. Any updates related to NSO will be provided here. Candidates must use the following points to critically analyse the merger of NSSO and CSO:

  • 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.

NSSO, CSO & NSO – UPSC Notes:-Download PDF Here

UPSC Preparation:

India Year Book – 5 Things to Know UPSC MCQ On Economy
Documents Required for UPSC Exam Language Papers in UPSC – Tips to Study
UPSC Admit Card IAS Eligibility Criteria

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