In this succinct edit piece for the Business Standard, TN Ninan makes a very astute observation. He highlights that over the past few years, for a variety of reasons – Covid, political meddling, etc – macroeconomic data made available by the Government of India has become more sporadic and less reliable. This has created a void into which the private sector has stepped in and become the “go to” source of data:
“Is India’s data market going increasingly private? It would seem that way, though of course not entirely so. Consider the following: The most commonly cited employment numbers are those put out by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), using surveys whose sample size matches those used by the government. Probably the most trusted source of data on the true state of Indian school education is Pratham, a non-profit organisation, which puts out a widely anticipated survey of education annually. Other numbers that are tracked closely include IHS Markit’s purchasing manager’s index, which serves as a reliable guide to the economic tempo. An analytics firm, CRISIL, is the go-to source on the creditworthiness of companies. And there is no rival to the Centre for Technology, Innovation and Economic Research (CTIER) for a range of data on technology issues.
Meanwhile, a private monsoon forecaster like Skymet has in at least some years done better than the government’s met department. And when the WHO says that Covid-related deaths in India are 10 times the….”c

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