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18th Statistics Day: Background, Theme & contribution of Mahalanobis

Utkarsh Classes Last Updated 01-07-2024
18th Statistics Day: Background, Theme & contribution of Mahalanobis Important Day 4 min read

Every year since 2007, India has celebrated 29 June as Statistics Day in memory of Prof Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis who was born on this day in 1893 in Kolkata(then Calcutta) , West Bengal. The day is celebrated to honour the contribution of Professor Mahalanobis in the field of Statistics and to create awareness amongst the public about the role and importance of statistics in socio-economic planning and policy formulation.

However, it is worth remembering that World Statistics Day is observed on 20 October.

Background to the Statistics Day

The government of India decided during the Prime Ministership of  Dr Manmohan Singh decided to observe the birthday of Prof Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis to acknowledge his contribution to building the discipline of statistics in India and his overall contribution to the nation’s economic planning,

The first Statistics Day was observed on 29 June 2007.

Theme of the 18th Statistic Day 2024

The  annual Statistic Day is observed with a theme which has a contemporary relevance.The theme of the 18th Statistics Day 2024 is "Use of data for decision-making". 

About Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis

Professor Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis was born in Kolkata on 29 June 1893. He was a student of Presidency college Kolkata and  studied Physics and Mathematics at the University of Cambridge ,London.

  • He developed an interest in Statistics while studying at Cambridge.
  • After coming to India, he established the Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata on  17 December 1931.
  • He devised a range of innovative techniques in Statistics which have wide-ranging applications in economics. 
  • Mahalanobis was instrumental in setting up the National Sample Survey for data collection, which can be used in socioeconomic planning.
  • He also set up the Central Statistical Organisation in 1950  to coordinate statistical activities in India. 
  • He was a member of the Planning Commission from 1955 to 1967.
  • The second five-year plan (1956-61) of India, which was based on the heavy industrialisation model of economic growth, was based on the mathematical model devised by Professor Mahalanobis.
  • Mahalanobis has the distinction of being the chairman of the United Nations Sub-Commission on Sampling from 1947 to 1951.
  • He was appointed as the honorary statistical adviser to the government of India in 1949. 
  • Recognising the immense contribution of Professor Mahalanobis, the government of India bestowed India’s second-highest civilian award, Padma Vibhushan, in 1968.
  • For his contribution to statistics, Professor Mahalanobis is also fondly called the father of Indian Statistics.


Answer: 29 June

Answer: 29 June 2007.

Answer: Use of data for decision-making.

Answer: It is the birthday of Professor Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis, who is considered to be the father of Statistics in india.

Answer: Second five-year plan (1956-61).

Answer: Professor Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis on 17 December 1931.

Answer: 20 October.
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