World Losing Faith in Indian Govt’s Data: Ex-Statistics Chief

PC Mohanan said the most worrying thing is mismatch between education and employ-ability of youth

Published08 Jun 2019, 01:15 PM IST
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Former Central Statistics Office Chairman, P C Mohanan, who resigned after the government refused to release a jobs report in January, spoke to The Quint about the report and why suppressing it has adversely affected the credibility of India’s official data in the international community.

Mohanan elaborates upon key insights from the report – that revealed unemployment to be at a 45-year high – and highlights the problem of educated unemployed youth and a worrying mismatch between education and employability in the services and manufacturing sector.

Mohanan explains why he resigned as chairman of the Central Statistics Office. He said that the non-publication of the report was a factor but the government had stopped consulting the statistics office on several major initiatives.

“Possibly the timing of the report just before the elections would not have been very appropriate. Maybe the government thought so. Now that the report has come out without any changes from the draft approved by the Commission, let us accept the report.”
P C Mohanan

Major Takeaway From High Unemployment

“A kind of mismatch between the education and the employability of the youth is equally worrying, that a larger number of the educated are really not suitable for the kind of jobs that are expected to come out from the investment in the services and manufacturing. So the skillset of the educated does not look appropriate for the employment that may come up.”
P C Mohanan

Why I Resigned

“I already explained that the resignation was when we found out that the commission’s recommendations were not being taken very seriously and the Commission was not being consulted on many major statistical initiatives of the government. The non-release of the report also was one of the reasons.”

Data Credibility Issue

“In the light of the recent debates on the GDP or unemployment that many of the analysts, economists or investors outside India are trying to create their own alternative datasets. Sometimes using our own data but of a different kind. Also trying to create benchmarks which help them in making decisions.”
P.C Mohanan

On Merging of NSSO and Central Statistical Office

“The order currently issued gives the impression that the CSO and NSSO have merged into a ministry and is more aligned with the ministry and the government now, and to that extent it is not clear how the independence and autonomy of these two institutions will be maintained in the new setup.”
P C Mohanan

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