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Statistical Data

This is a collection of the codified regulations in India that govern statistical data.

Published onApr 01, 2020
Statistical Data


The Collection of Statistics Act, 20081

This statute aims to facilitate the collection of statistics on economic, demographic, social, scientific and environmental aspects, and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

As per Section 3 of the Act, the appropriate Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, direct that statistics on economic, demographic, social, scientific and environmental aspects shall be collected through a statistical survey or otherwise, and thereupon the provisions of this Act shall apply in relation to those statistics. However, the state government is not authorised to give out any directions regarding collection of statistics for any matter that maybe falling under the Union List. Under the Act, the Government may appoint a nodal officer and a Statistics officer.

Section 5 gives the statistics officer the power to call for information for the purpose of data collection, and while doing so, there has to be a notice issued to the said informant, so as to ask him to furnish the same information.. Section 6 of the Act imposes a duty on informants to furnish any information under the provisions of this Act. Further, the statistics officer or any person or agencies authorised under this Act shall, for statistical purposes, use any information furnished under Section 6 in such manner as may be prescribed. Under Section 8, the statistics officer or any person authorised by him has the right to access to records or documents, right to inspect it, take copies of it for obtaining of any necessary information

Chapter III of the Act lays down provisions for the disclosure of information in certain cases and restrictions on their use. It provides for the duty of the statistics officer to ensure security of information. The appropriate Government has the authority to disclose certain information. The disclosure of information schedules can only be done for bona fide research or statistical purposes. The Government may also disclose documents that have a historical significance. The Act also provides for security of recorded information, restrictions on use of information, and penalty for neglect or refusal to supply particulars.

The Collection of Statistics Rules, 20112

Rule 2 defines “personal information” as any information whether true or not,and whether recorded in material form or not about an informant, whose identity can be ascertained by such information. . Under Rule 4 the Nodal Officer has been bestowed with various duties including maintaining the registers of statistics, promoting sharing of statistical information, etc. As per Rule 5, while notifying the collection of statistical data, the said notification must contain the purpose for collecting information, geographical area, method, nature, period, language, etc. Rule 6 lays down the principles for prescribing information schedules. Rule 11 lays down the duty of the informant to furnish information. Rule 12 lays down the general terms and conditions for outsourcing. Rule 13 places an obligation on the agencies to take steps to protect the personal information, and places restrictions on its use. Rule 16 provides for storage of data or records.

Data under this Act could be collected through any of the prescribed modes, as decided by the Statistics Officer. The data collectors authorised in writing by statistics officers may enter upon any premises at any reasonable time for data collection and also inspect any record/ document for the purpose.3 Data would be collected from any informant, who could be any person, who supplies or is required to supply statistical information and includes an owner or occupier or person in-charge or his authorised representative in respect of persons of a partnership firm or a co-operative society or a company or a society or any association recognised or registered under any law for the time being in force.

Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation (Notifications)

The MOSPI concerns itself with the coverage and quality aspects of statistics released. The surveys that are conducted by the Ministry are based on the scientific sampling methods. The ministry has two wings - one relating to statistics and the other one relating to Programme Implementation.

Statistics Wing4 (Also called the National Statistical Office)

The methodological issues concerning the compilation of national accounts and other statistics are overseen by the Advisory Committee on National Accounts, Standing Committee on Industrial Statistics and Technical Advisory Committee on Price Indices. The Ministry compiles data sets based on current data, after applying standard statistical techniques and an extensive scrutiny.

India subscribes to the International Monetary Funds (IMF) Special Data Dissemination Standards (SDDS) and is currently fulfilling the Standards. The Ministry maintains an ‘Advance Release Calendar’ for dissemination on the Ministry’s website as well as on the Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board (DSBB) of the IMF.

The Ministry releases the data sets covered under the Real Sector of SDDS through press notes and its website, simultaneously. The Ministry has been designated as the nodal Ministry to facilitate the implementation of the SAARC Social Charter in India. The Ministry also organizes technical meetings on a regular basis on various topics, so as to assess the data gaps in the system as well as the quality of statistics currently released, at the same time. The Ministry’s officials have been associated with various international agencies for the development of methodologies, particularly in the area of national accounts, informal sector statistics, large-scale sample surveys, conduct of censuses, service sector statistics, non-observed economy, social sector statistics, environmental statistics and classifications.

Inter alia, the Statistics Wing is mandated with the following responsibilities:

i. It prepares national accounts (including Gross Domestic Product) as well as publishes annual estimates of national product, Government and Private final consumption expenditure, Capital Formation, Savings,   and comparable estimates of State Domestic Product (SDP).

ii. It compiles and releases Consumer Price Index (CPI) Numbers and Annual Inflation rates based on these CPI numbers.

iii. It compiles and releases the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) every month; conducts the Annual Survey of Industries (ASI); and provides statistical information to assess and evaluate the changes in the growth, composition and structure of the organized manufacturing sector.

National Sample Survey Office (NSSO)5 [Office under the NSO]

  • The National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) headed by a Director General is responsible for conduct of large scale sample surveys in diverse fields on All India basis. Primarily data are collected through nationwide household surveys on various socio-economic subjects, Annual Survey of Industries (ASI), etc. 

  • The NSSO has four Divisions:

    1. Survey Design and Research Division (SDRD): This Division is responsible for 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.

    2. Field Operations Division (FOD): The Division is responsible for the collection of primary data for the surveys undertaken by NSSO.

    3. Data Processing Division (DPD): The Division is responsible for sample selection, software development, processing, validation and tabulation of the data collected through surveys.

    4. Co-ordination & Publication Division (CPD): This Division coordinates all the various activities undertaken by different Divisions of NSSO.

Data Systems Development Division (including Computer Centre)6

Computer Center is headed by Additional Director General (ISS) & Technical Director.. The Center is now equipped with servers- HP server, HCL server, Sun Micro systems web server and IBM Server.

The Computer Center is mandated with the following responsibilities:

  • Electronic Data Processing including Data preparation and Management.

  • CPI – Processing of pricing data, Compilation of Index and uploading monthly on web portal.

  • Data Documentation, Archiving & Dissemination in International standard using IHSN toolkit.

  • Development of GIS based web enabled online query system of 6th Economic Census and other Census & surveys conducted by the Ministry using SAS BI tool.

  • Development of National Fact sheet on India Economy (NFIE) indicators using SAS VA BI Tool.

  • Application software development for MoSPI

  • Design, Development and Maintenance of the Ministry’s website.

The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (Guidelines in 2011)

These to be followed by all Ministries in the Government of India while conducting statistical surveys in different sectors. The Government had noted that when different Ministries conducted independent surveys, they obtained different results as compared to the surveys conducted by the NSSO and CSO under this Ministry. Other Ministries are bound to check with the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation before conducting any survey, to avoid duplication of data.7 This also makes sure that a similar survey with varying results has not been conducted.

Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation Notification (6th April, 2018)8

The Government is adopting the Generic National Quality Assurance Framework endorsed by the United Nations Statistical Commission in its 43rd Session, which has also been considered beneficial to the Indian Statistical System. The Framework would be useful to producers of official statistics in the designing of a statistical collection or product that is fit for purpose. It would also be helpful to users in making informed decisions since the framework assesses whether the statistics produced are fit for use, or are of an acceptable level of quality for their purposes. In view of these reasons, it has been decided to promote implementation of the Framework on a voluntary basis in a phased manner, enlisting the support of Central Ministries/ Departments and the States/ UTs. Accordingly, broad guidelines have been issued for assuring the quality in order to use and for voluntary compliance by the Official agencies.

Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation Notification F. No. P-11021/1/2015-CAP9 (15th June, 2016)

The Government of India has adopted ten Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics based on the ten United Nations Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics passed by the United Nations General Assembly, in its 73rd plenary meeting held on 29th January 2014 (resolution 68/261). The Indian statistical system is founded on the principles of professional independence, impartiality, accountability and transparency about methods of collection, compilation and dissemination of official statistics, which are broadly in consistence with the United Nations Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics. Adoption of these basic principles by the Central Ministries/Departments as well as State Governments will lead to enhanced public trust in official statistics, thereby following the principles

The Census Act, 194810

The act primarily deals with matters that are connected to census. Under this Act a Census Commissioner is appointed to supervise the conduct of census survey in India. The Census Officers have been given wide powers in order to collect the census data. As per Section 15, the records of census are not open to inspection and are not admissible as evidence.

The Census Rules, 199011

Rule 5 enumerates the functions of the Census Officers. The Director of Census Operations has the onus of publishing statistics collected during the census. It is up to the Census Commissioner to decide what items on which data may be released. After completion of the census, the custody of the census schedules and connected papers shall be with the Director of Census Operations. These documents can be disposed of by the Director of Census Operations a year before the next census.

As per Government Notification S.O. 2172(E), dated 31.08.2010, the Central Government has directed all Census Officers to question all persons within their local jurisdiction, pursuant to the Household Schedule in connection with Census 2011. The information to be sought from the persons are enlisted in this notification.12

As per the Government Notification S.O. 517(E), and S.O. 518(E), dated 25.02.2010, the Central Government has enlisted what information should be collected for the house listing and Housing Census Schedules in connection with Census 2011.13

The Government has a Census Digital Library that provides for data processing, data dissemination, vital statistics, etc.14 The Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India (ORG&CCI) allows researchers to access sample micro-data from 2001 Census and 2011 Census for research to Universities/Institutes. They have issued guidelines to be followed for the same. The first Workstation for research on sample micro-data was established at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi under the supervision of Centre for the Study of Regional Development (CSRD). All published Tables from 1991 to 2011 Censuses in soft copy format and also 1% and 5% sample micro-data on Houselisting from 2001 and 2011 Censuses were made available.15

The Citizenship Act, 195516

The preamble of the Act provides for the acquisition and determination of Indian citizenship. A person can acquire citizenship in India by birth, descent, registration, naturalisation, or by incorporation of territory. The Act provides for the procedure for application for registration as citizens and for issuance of citizen certificates. Section 14A was inserted in 2004 that provides for the compulsory registration of every citizen of India, and mandates that a national identity card be issued to him. The Central Government is maintaining National Register of Indian Citizens and has established for that purpose National Registration Authority, functioning under the aegis of The Registrar General, India, appointed under sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Registration of Births and Deaths Act. The Central Government may also appoint other officers and staff as maybe necessary for assisting the Registrar General of Citizen Registration while he discharges functions.

The Government has enacted the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003. As per Rule 3, the Registrar General of Citizen Registration shall establish and maintain the National Register of Indian Citizens. This shall be divided into sub-parts consisting of the State Register of Indian Citizens, the District Register of Indian Citizens, the Sub-district Register of Indian Citizens and the Local Register of Indian Citizens. It specifies the relevant information of every citizen that shall be stored in the Register.

As per Rule 4, the Register shall be prepared by conducting a house-to-house enumeration for collection of specified particulars relating to each family and individual, residing in a local area including the Citizenship status, after due verification. This shall be done with assistance from the Officials of the Central Government, State Governments and local bodies. Rule 7 makes it compulsory for every Citizen of India to get himself registered in the Local Register of Indian Citizens during the period of initialization, and it shall be the responsibility of the head of every family, to give the correct details of name and number of members along with other particulars. The District Registrar, Sub-district or Taluk Registrar or Local Registrar of Citizen Registration have the power to obtain information.

Rule 9 prescribes the procedure to be followed for making of entries in National Register of Indian Citizens. Rule 10 provides the conditions under which the name and particulars of citizens may be deleted from the National Register. Further, the Registrar General of Citizen Registration has the duty to maintain and update the National Register of Indian Citizens. The entries in the National Register of Indian citizens may be modified in compliance with Rule 12.

It is the duty of the Registrar General of Citizen Registration to issue the National Identity Card to every Citizen whose particulars are entered in the National Register of Indian Citizens. These National Identity Cards are Government property.

As per the Citizenship Rules, 2009 the certificate granted to the citizen, must reflect the mode of acquiring citizenship. Further, as per Rule 28, when an order has been passed depriving a person registered or naturalised in India of his citizenship, such person is bound to surrender his certificate upon notice and the same shall be treated as cancelled. The Rules provide for the preservation of documents collected during registration of persons as citizens, cancellation of the certificate in certain cases, scrutiny of documents, maintenance of register, etc.

As per the recent amendment to the Rules, by Notification No. G.S.R. 576(E), dated 19th June, 2018, the schedules and other connected papers shall be disposed of totally or in part by the Director of Census Operations, after creating electronic record of such documents, in accordance with the general or special directions as may be given by the Census Commissioner in this behalf.17

The Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 196918

The preamble of the act provides for the registration of births and deaths and for the matters connected therewith. As per Section 6 of the Act, a District Registrar for each revenue district shall be appointed, who will superintendent the registration of births and deaths and carrying out the same into execution Section 8 enlists the duty imposed on various classes of persons to register births and deaths that is within their knowledge and belief. Section 10 imposes a duty of certain persons to notify births and deaths and to certify cause of death. Every Informant shall sign the register along with his/her name, description and place of abode. The extracts of registration entries are to be given to informant. The Act also imposes a fine for delayed information on the birth and death of persons. Section 15 provides for the correction or cancellation of entry in the register of births and deaths in case the entry was fraudulently or improperly made. The Registrars are bound to keep registers in the prescribed form as under Section 16. The Act allows for the search of births and deaths register on behalf of the State Government and for inspection of Registration Offices under Section 17 and Section 18, respectively.

As per Section 20, the Registrar-General shall cause to be registered information as to births and deaths of citizens of India outside India relating to the registration of such citizens at Indian Consulates made under the Citizenship Act, 1955. The Registrar has also been conferred the power to obtain information regarding birth or death from any person within the locality under Section 21 of the act

State governments have been conferred with the power under this Act to frame rules within their State. As per the Model Rules provided to states, the birth register, death register and still birth register shall be records of permanent importance and shall not be destroyed.19

The Information Technology (Electronic Service Delivery) Rules, 201120

These Rules shall apply while collecting information in electronic form while preparing statistical reports, and issuing citizenship registration certificates.

Rule 5 mandates the creation of a repository of electronically signed electronic records by Government Authorities. All authorities that issue any license, permit, certificate, sanction or approval electronically, shall create, archive and maintain a repository of electronically signed electronic records of such licenses, permits, certificates, sanctions or approvals. The appropriate Government may specify the security procedures in respect of the electronic data, information, applications, repository of digitally signed electronic records and information technology assets under their respective control and that security procedures shall be followed by the Head of the Department and the signing authorities. Further, Rule 6 lays down the procedure for making changes in a repository of electronically signed electronic records.

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