Chief Statistician of India: Government looking at non-intrusive ways of data collection

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Mr Pravin Srivastava, Secretary, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, said that the government is looking for non-intrusive ways of data collection and urged the industry to share related technologies.

Speaking at the inauguration of a two-day ‘India Sustainability Conclave 2019 – Balancing Business Goals in a Sustainability Paradigm’, organized by FICCI with the support of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, and Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, and partnered by the UN Environment Programme, Mr Srivastavasaid that the ministry, which has been gathering data through traditional door-to-door surveys, is bringing in new methods of data collection.

“We have shifted now to an electronic-based data collection mechanism. But door-to-door surveys are still there. We are exploring non-intrusive ways of data collection. We seek your help and cooperation for technologies that can measure data on several fronts, social and economic, and can give better insights,” he said.

Drawing a parallel between natural resources and data, the Chief Statistician of India said that everybody requires both natural resources and data but views these as free resources, and very few are ready to invest in these. As for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), he said much more data is needed.

“There’s a huge amount of data that still needs to be tapped. There’s a huge amount of information that still needs to be channelized before we can look at achieving these Sustainable Development Goals. All the international agencies are collaborating on this,” he said, adding that the SDGs have provided the platform for integration and collaboration across countries and sectors.

Dr Prodipto Ghosh, Mentor, FICCI Climate Change Committee, and former Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, said that the reversal of uncooperative policies in the environment and use of life cycle assessment technique in policies will help in achieving the SDGs.

Dr Mukund Govind Rajan, Chairman, FICCI Environment Committee, and Chairman, Q-ECube India ESG Fund, said that the corporates and businesses are embracing the concept of circular economy in which there is minimal waste of resources, and such companies are being rewarded by conscious customers.

Mr Mukund Vasudevan, Co-chair, FICCI Water Mission, and Managing Director, EcoLab India, said that the SDG-6, which calls for the availability of clean water and sanitation for all people, is closely tied with industrialization as sustainable water management is necessary for the survival and growth of the industry.

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