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Why Is Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis Is Regarded as the Father of Indian Statistics

Hello, I am Vishal Agarwal, a student pursuing my Masters in Economics. I write blogs on Economics, Analytics and Finance.


Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis was an Indian scientist and applied statistician who is best known for his work in India's National Sample Survey. He is recognized as the father of Indian statistics. Mahalanobis was born on 29 June 1893 in Calcutta, British India.

After completing his undergraduate studies at Presidency College, Calcutta, he moved to London, England, to pursue a doctoral degree in mathematics at the University of London. While there, he met and befriended statistician Karl Pearson, who had a significant influence on Mahalanobis's thinking about statistics.

Mahalanobis returned to India in 1919 and took up a position at the Indian Statistical Institute, which he founded in 1931. Mahalanobis is celebrated for his work in India's National Sample Survey, which was initiated in the early 1950s. The survey was aimed at understanding the country's economic development and social welfare.

Mahalanobis also developed new methods of statistical analysis, which helped improve the precision of survey data. Mahalanobis's work in Indian statistics has been recognized internationally. In 1948, he was elected as a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, and in 1962 he was awarded the prestigious Guy Medal in Gold by the Royal Statistical Society. In 1981, Mahalanobis was awarded India's highest civilian honor, the Padma Vibhushan.

Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis is celebrated as the father of Indian statistics for his significant contributions to the field. His work in the Indian National Sample Survey has been recognized as a major milestone in the development of statistics in India. Mahalanobis's innovative methods of statistical analysis have helped improve the accuracy of survey data, making it an important tool for understanding India's economic and social development. He is also recognized for his work in promoting the study of statistics in India, and for his efforts to build the Indian Statistical Institute into a world-renowned institution.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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