The outgoing NDA government in one of its last decisions has decided to merge the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) with the Central Statistics Office (CSO) under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI).This policy is based on a 2005 decision in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s tenure.
Government order has cleared restructuring of statistical system by proposing NSSO, CSO merger.The two will be treated as being under a single entity called the National Statistical Organisation (NSO).
The main objective of this merger is that it will streamline and strengthen the present nodal functions and to bring in more synergy by integrating its administrative functions within the ministry.
The proposed NSO would be headed by MoSPI secretary.
However, arguments put forward by the experts is that the NSSO earlier had a separate identity and was controlled by the National Statistical Commission which gave it a legally distinct identity from ministry and the NSC used to oversee all technical aspects of statistical work undertaken such as which survey needs to be done, when and how it needs to be done. With the merger of CSO and NSSO the autonomy of NSSO will be gone and the NSC’s control over NSSO will not be there.
According to the 2005 Resolution by MoSPI notified initiation of setting up of the NSC along with proposing the single entity named National Statistical Organisation that will act as the executive wing of government for statistics and would act according to policies and priorities as laid down by the NSC.
2005 resolution had also said that the NSO would be headed by an officer of rank of Secretary to Government of India (GoI), who will be designated as Chief Statistician of India and he will also function as the Secretary of the (National Statistical) Commission,but the recent order just mentions NSO to be headed by Secretary (S&PI), with various divisions reporting to Secretary through the Director Generals (DGs).
It states that there will be three Director Generals.First one is DG (Statistics).Second one is DG(Coordination,Administration and Policy)and the third one is DG(Nationa Sample Survey) who will be reporting to the Secretary (S&PI).