The National Sample Survey

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Read to know organization: National Sample Survey
 
Statistics in indispensable into planning in the modern age which is termed as "the age of planning". It properly evaluates the data that bombard us every day. If one cannot distinguish well from faulty reasoning, then we are vulnerable to manipulation and to decisions that are not in our best interest.
 
Statistics provides tools that you need in order to react intelligently to information you hear or read. Almost all over the world the governments resort to statistics for planning for economic development. India is no exception.
 
 
The National Sample Survey (NSS), initiated in the year 1950, is a nation-wide, large-scale, continuous survey operation conducted in the form of successive rounds. It was established on the basis of a proposal from Professor P.C. Mahalanobis to fill up data gaps for socio-economic planning and policy-making through sample surveys.
 
The NSS is the largest repetitive survey operation in the world. It provides important data on various socio-economic variables, to meet the needs of planners, policy makers, researchers and other users.
 
The NSSO functions under the overall direction of a Steering Committee with requisite independence and autonomy in the matter of collection, processing and publication of NSS data.
  
In additional to the non-official Chairman, the Steering Committee is composed of academicians, data users from Central and State Government departments and senior officers of the Ministry. The NSSO is headed by the Director General and Chief Executive Officer (DG&CEO), who is also the Member-Secretary of the Steering Committee.
 
The National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) conducts large scale sample surveys including socio-economic surveys, Annual Survey of Industries, collection of price data for rural and urban sectors etc., besides carrying out sample checks on area enumeration and crop estimation surveys and prepares the urban frames useful in drawing of urban samples.
 
The major activities of the NSSO pertain to Survey Design, Field Operations, Processing of NSSO data and Publication of NSSO Reports. NSSO has the central responsibility of coordinating the results of the crop estimation surveys conducted by the states.
 
The NSSO has four divisions namely Survey Design and Research (SDR), Field Operations Division (FOD), Data Process and Economic Analysis.
 
Some of the landmark findings of the NSS which greatly influenced administrative decisions were
• Alarming growth of population during early fifties.
• Self-sufficiency in food production in late sixties.
• Pattern of landholdings.
• Number of persons with different kinds of physical handicaps.
• Changes in consumption pattern, etc.
 
Some of the issues surrounding NSSO are that there is no regular mechanism in the NSSO to analyze the quality of the survey results. Very seldom does the NSSO provide the users an indication of the margin of error of the statistics published by it.
 
Other issue is that all the resources of the NSSO are at present tied up with the regular survey work. No separate resources are available for quickly conducting an enquiry, the need for which might suddenly arise. There is no resource available to take up methodological studies including trying out innovations in survey practice.
 
Recently, large divergences between NSS estimates and those based on other sources have drawn critical attention of the media. Very seldom have efforts been made by the NSSO to examine the nature of such divergences and offer an explanation.
 
All said and done, NSSO has played a major role in social, economic and demographic data reporting. Like any other institution, NSSO also has to update and revitalize itself from time to time.
  
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