Union Government has issued official order to merge National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) with Central Statistics Office (CSO) under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) to create overarching body — National Statistical Office (NSO). It was one of the last decisions taken by outgoing NDA government. The objective of this restructuring is to streamline and strengthen the present nodal functions of the ministry and to bring in more synergy by integrating its administrative functions within the ministry.
About National Statistical Office (NSO)
- It will be formed through the merger of the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) with Central Statistics Office (CSO). It will function under Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI)
- Composition: It will be headed by Secretary (Statistics and Programme Implementation). It is not yet clear whether Secretary (S&PI) will be equivalent with post of Chief Statistician of India.
- It will also have three Director Generals —DG(Statistics), DG (National Sample Survey) and DG (Coordination, Administration and Policy) — reporting to the Secretary (S&PI).
The recent Government order skips any mention of National Statistical Commission (NSC), which was overseeing body for all the statistical work done in the country. It was set up through Government resolution issued in 2005. It was established along with NSO, which was proposed as single executive wing of government for statistics and mandated to act according to the policies and priorities as laid down by the NSC. This order is also being widely perceived as Government’s move to dent on the autonomy of the Indian statistical system.