Expressing concerns over "political interference" in statistical data in India, as many as 108 economists and social scientists Thursday called for restoration of "institutional independence" and integrity of statistical organisations.
Their appeal comes against the backdrop of controversy over revision of gross domestic product (GDP) numbers and withholding employment data by the NSSO.
They said that for decades, India's statistical machinery enjoyed a high-level of reputation for the integrity of the data it produced on a range of economic and social parameters.
"It (statistical machinery) was often criticised for the quality of its estimates, but never were allegations made of political interference influencing decisions and the estimates themselves," they said in an appeal.
They have appealed to all professional economists, statisticians and independent researchers to come together to raise their voice against the tendency "to suppress uncomfortable data" and impress upon the government to restore access and integrity to public statistics and re-establish institutional independence.
The signatories include Rakesh Basant (IIM-A), James Boyce (University of Massachusetts at Amherst, US), Emily Breza (Harvard University, US), Satish Deshpande (Delhi University), Patrick Francois (University of British Columbia, Canada), R Ramakumar (TISS, Mumbai), Hema Swaminathan (IIM-B) and Rohit Azad (JNU).
Commenting on the statement, P C Mohanan, who resigned as acting chairperson of the National Statistical Commission, said that it is a timely message and political parties should take notice of sentiments expressed by the economists.
"The message is very timely and relevant in the backdrop of the recent issues and the concerns expressed by these eminent people...It is important that political parties take notice of this,"Mohanan told
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
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