Press Information Bureau
Government of India
04-May-2016 20:54 IST
Adoption of United Nations Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for adoption of United Nations Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics.


The adoption of the United Nations Fundamental Principles of Official   Statistics will bring professional independence, impartiality, accountability and transparency in methods of collection, compilation and dissemination of official statistics, besides adopting international standards. The adoption will also pave way for devising a National Policy on Official Statistics for improving systems, procedures and institutions consistent with these principles.


The ten Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics, as endorsed by the UN General Assembly, are set out below:


Principle 1. Official statistics provide an indispensable element in the information system of a democratic society, serving the Government, the economy and the public with data about the economic, demographic, social and environmental situation. To this end, official statistics that meet the test of practical utility are to be compiled and made available on an impartial basis by official statistical agencies to honor citizens' entitlement to public information.


Principle 2. To retain trust in official statistics, the statistical agencies need to decide according to strictly professional considerations, including scientific principles and professional ethics, on the methods and procedures for the collection, processing, storage and presentation of statistical data.


Principle 3. To facilitate a correct interpretation of the data, the statistical agencies are to present information according to scientific standards on the sources, methods and procedures of the statistics.


Principle 4. The statistical agencies are entitled to comment on erroneous interpretation and misuse of statistics.


Principle 5. Data for statistical purposes may be drawn from all types of sources, be they statistical surveys or administrative records. Statistical agencies are to choose the source with regard to quality, timeliness, costs and the burden on Respondents.

Principle 6. Individual data collected by statistical agencies for statistical compilation, whether they refer to natural or legal persons, are to be strictly confidential and used exclusively for statistical purposes.


Principle 7. The laws, regulations and measures under which the statistical systems operate are to be made public.


Principle 8. Coordination among statistical agencies within countries is essential to achieve consistency and efficiency in the statistical system.


Principle 9. The use by statistical agencies in each country of international concepts, classifications and methods promotes the consistency and efficiency of statistical systems at all official levels.


Principle 10. Bilateral and multilateral cooperation in statistics contributes to the improvement of systems of official statistics in all countries.




Most of the ingredients in these principles are already being adhered to by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) since they are, in any case, for qualitative improvements and good of the statistical system.


On a reference from the Ministry of External Affairs on the draft UN General Assembly Resolution on Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics, MoSPI supported the Resolution. The UN General Assembly endorsed the Principles in its Resolution in January 2014.


Subsequently, the matter was reviewed in the 46th session of the United Nations Statistics Commission held in New York in March 2015, in which Secretary, MoSPI represented India.  The progress of work in implementation of the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics is required to be reported by India to the UN Statistics Division for deliberation in the 48th session of the United Nations Statistics Commission to be held in 2017. Adoption of these Principles by Government of India is a basic requirement for their implementation and for reporting compliance to international obligation.