India marks National Statistics Day on the birth anniversary of Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis, who was the iconic Indian scientist and statistician. He was popularly known as PC Mahalanobis and is remembered for the Mahalanobis distance, which is a key statistical measure.
This year's National Statistical Day celebration marks the 129th birth anniversary of the Professor, who was one of the recipients (1955-1967) who received Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award, in the Indian Planning Commission and was instrumental in designing India's industrialisation plans.
The Professor had established the National Sample Survey in 1950 and had also set up the Central Statistical Organisation to coordinate statistical activities in the country.
PC Mahalanobis is credited with calculating acreages and crop yields by using random sampling methods. He was a pioneer in applying statistics to planning for flood control.
Under his guidance during the Second Five-Year Plan, India taking a giant leap in industralisation had set up some of the biggest heavy industries. Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, thus, in 2006, named June 29 as National Statistics Day to honour the Professor.