Economics Prelims cum Mains

7th economic census, three new surveys, national-level data warehouse on the anvil: MoSPI

The News

  • The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) has completed the field work for NSSO’s quinquennial survey and various other surveys are due in next six months.



  • A recent report by the Committee on Real Sector Statistics had shown the economy grew at a faster rate in two terms of the UPA government against average growth recorded in the first four years of the NDA government.
  • The shift to 2011-12 as the new base year for national accounts had propelled the growth rates to much higher levels than the 2004-05 series, but had resulted in a statistical vacuum about the comparative GDP growth rates for pre-2011-12 years. To fill that statistical vacuum, the MoSPI is going to conduct various surveys.


Highlights of the news

  • Seventh economic census for 2019 (after a gap of five years), back series of GDP, a national-level data warehouse for all official statistics and three surveys — annual survey of services, annual survey of unincorporated enterprises and time use survey — are going to be the focus areas for the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) over the next six months.
  • While the back series of GDP is expected to be released this month, a national-level data warehouse for all official statistics from MoSPI and administrative schemes is expected to be prepared within next six months.
  • The results of National Sample Survey Office’s (NSSO’s) long pending quinquennial survey on Household Consumer Expenditure and Employment and Unemployment, last conducted in 2011–12, are also expected to come out within next 2 months.
  • The ministry is going to create a repository vault of all statistical information collected from administrative systems and surveys.
  • That’s a prime project and it will help streamline the availability across sectors, departments, ministries, state governments, where everyone has access to same set of data.
  • The ministry will also start work on the Seventh Economic Census and three surveys, for which it has already got approval from the Union Cabinet.
  • One is the annual survey of the services sector, annual survey of the unincorporated enterprises, time use survey and the Economic Census.


Challenges and solutions thereof

  • For all this additional work, apart from the usual work related to national statistics and inflation, the ministry would need to augment human capital.
  • All of this activity has to be done in a very short time span and the ministry is adopting an outsourcing model, where they get the field staff and they do the monitoring, supervision, training in house.
  • The ministry is trying to use technology in such a way that the results come out quickly.


About Economic Census of India

  • Indian economic census is the census of the Indian economy through counting all entrepreneurial units in the country which are involved in any economic activities of either agricultural or non-agricultural sector which engaged in production and/or distribution of goods and/or services not for the sole purpose of own consumption.
  • The economic census provides detailed information on operational and other characteristics such as number of establishments, number of persons employed, source of finance, type of ownership etc.
  • This information is used for micro level/ decentralized planning and to assess contribution of various sectors of the economy in the gross domestic product (GDP).
  • In 1976, Government of India launched a plan scheme called Economic Census and Surveys.
  • In 1977 Central Statistical Organisation conducted First economic census in collaboration with the Directorate of Economics & Statistics (DES) in the States/Union Territories.
  • The economic censuses of 1980 and 1990 were integrated with the house-listing operations of the population census.
  • However, the data collected by the census organization were handed over to the state Directorates of economics and Statistics for processing and publication.
  • All other economic censuses were conducted by the Directorates of Economics and Statistics of the states under the overall guidance of the Central Statistical Office.
  • Following is the details of the last six economic censuses of India:


Economic Census Year
First Economic Census 1977
Second Economic Census 1980
Third Economic Census 1990
Fourth Economic Census 1998
Fifth Economic Census 2005
Sixth Economic Census 2013

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