Directorate of Economics & Statistics [DES]:

Statistics serve. It is said, as eyes and ears of administration. Statistics constitute the basic desiderata for arriving at objective decisions. With the advent of political freedom in 1947 and, particularly, with the commencement of the era of 'Planning' in India, the need for statistical data/information has been growing from plan to plan. This led to the creation and growth of the statistical machinery in the country as well as in the states. It is aptly said, "the statistical set up in any country depends on the range of governmental activities and the manner in and the extent to which statistics are required and used for the purpose of administration".

Historically, statistics were being collected in India by the imperial governments. These statistics related mainly to head counts for purpose of recruitment to the army. After the advent of British, attempts were made, depending upon exigencies, to collect statistics relating to agriculture, commerce etc. for Example in the late 18th century, after the introduction of the ryotwari system of land tenure, efforts were made to collect basic agricultural produce etc. The first "Statistical Abstract of British India" was published from London in 1868. It continued to be so till 1923, when its publication was started in India. However, responsibility for collection of data were dispersed among various ministries/departments of Government of India. The population census in the country conducted in 1881 was the first organised attempt at systematic collection of statistical data. 

The earliest attempt at establishing a statistical organisation was in 1875, when a Director of Agriculture and Commerce was appointed by the North Western Province (now Uttar Pradesh) based on the recommendations of Sir John Strachy (1874) for creation of a statistical department for regular collections of statistics relating to agriculture and trade. A little later, the Indian Finance Commission recommended establishment of a Directorate of Agriculture in each province and of Statistical Officers to assist the Director. Accordingly, some provinces and the Government of India set up departments of agriculture, which started collecting regularly statistics on agriculture. Later on in 1895, a statistical Bureau was set up by the Govt. of India to deal with agricultural statistics of foreign trade. A Director General of Statistics headed this Bureau. In 1905, the Director General of Commercial Intelligence was appointed to collect and publish statistics on exports and imports, etc. 

The Statistical Bureau was transferred to the Director General. Later on, in 1912 the Department of Commercial Intelligence and statistics was bifurcated (due to the shifting of the capital from Calcutta to Delhi). But, however they were once again merged in 1922 in to the directorate of commercial Intelligence and statistics. The Indian Economic Enquiry Committee set up in 1924, headed by Sir. M Vishveswaraya, a recommended creation of a statistical Bureau in each province Bureau and a Central Statistical Authority to co-ordinate on the need for collection of statistics on various activities. But, however, the commission suggested that the required statistics could be collected by the respective departments themselves. Again, in 1931, the Royal Commission on Labour emphasised the need for Labour Statistics and suggested suitable Legislation for the purpose. Based on the other recommendations of the Commission, an imperial Council of Agricultural Research (Later Indian Council of Agricultural Research) was also established. 

The ICAR was, among others, expected to function as a nodal agency for all agricultural statistics in the country. In 1933, a statistical Research Bureau was set up at the center for collection, analysis and interpretation of Economics Statistics. Further, in 1933, the first ever-Economic Census of India was conducted under the guidance of Prof. A.L. Bowely and Robertson. A Committee headed by Prof. Bowely also recommended establishment of a permanent agency at the center, headed by a Director of Statistics to co-ordinate the statistical activities in all other Ministries. In 1938, an Office of the Economic Adviser to the Government of India was created for collection and analysis of economic data. The Statistical Research Bureau was merged with the office of the Economic Adviser. However, the outbreak of Second World War accentuated the gaps in various types of statistical information. With the result, Statistical Organisations came to be established in a large number of Ministries of Govt. of India and under the provincial Governments. Around 1932, the Indian Statistical Institute was established by Prof. P.C. Mahalanobis at Calcutta, which made significant contribution to the development of the country's statistical system. In 1942,the industrial Statistics Act was passed. In 1946, the Directorate conducted the first census of Manufactures was conducted by the Directorate of Industrial Statistics. In 1947, the Economic Advisor's Office started publishing the Wholesale Price Indices for the Country. 

The advent of political independence and the consequent widening of the scope of activities of a welfare government gave further fillip to the development of the statistical system. In 1948, the "Census of India Act, 1948" was passed and the Census Organisation, till a temporary one, was made permanent. A National Income Committee, (Prof. P. C. Mahalnobis Committee) was set up in 1949. For assisting the committee, a nucleus Statistical Unit was set up at the centre, which later developed in, to the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) in 1951. The National Sample Survey was commenced in 1950, which was reorganised as the present day National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) in 1970. The Directorate of Economics and Statistics in the Department of Agriculture, Government of India was also streamlined and strengthened in 1948, following the recommendations of the committee on Co-ordination of Agricultural Statistics in the Country. In 1954, a National Income Unit was also added to the Central Statistical Organisation. Subsequently, certain major reorganisation/restructuring was effected by merging the Directorate of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics, a premier nodal agency till then, with CSO. Gradually, Statistical divisions came to be set up/strengthened in most ministries of Government of India and Statistics Departments in States. In the development of the system, the Planning Commission, the Reserve Bank of India and the Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta have played a significant role.

Prior to 1947, no statistical machinery worth its name, it may be said, existed in the states. It is the planning process and the considerable financial assistance provided by the Government of India that paved the way for the establishment and growth of statistical machinery in the states.

The Central Statistical Organisation, which also serves as "Surveys and Statistics Division" of the Planning Commission, constitutes the nodal agency for all statistical matters in the country. The CSO is charged with the functions of co-operation of all statistical activities at all India level. At the state level, the State Directorates of Economics and Statistics (DES) fill this role. Keeping liaison with the CSO for the purpose of co-ordination at all India level, the responsibility for collection, processing and analysis of statistical information is shared between the Central and State Statistical machinery according to the scheme of distribution of powers as per the "Union List", "Concurrent List" and the "State List" of the Constitution of India. Thus, the statistical system could be described as "Federal" in nature. However, in actual practice, it has become unitary in character. This is because of the need for following/adoption of uniform concepts/definitions in data collection and processing procedures and the need for generating comparable and comprehensive data relating to the diverse socio-economic aspects of various states and the entire country.

The Government of India set up in July 1979, a High Power Committee to Review the National Statistical System (CRNSS) and make suitable recommendations to streamline/strengthen the system, keeping in view the existing gaps in the data and the growing needs of planning in the near future. The Committee submitted its report in June 1980 to the Government of India. Wide ranging recommendations for improving the efficiency and utility of the national Statistical System were made by the Committee, most of which were accepted by the Government of India. One of the major recommendations was the creation of a "National Advisory Board on Statistics" at the National level.

The National Advisory Board on Statistics, constituted by the Government of India, is the apex body responsible for policy formulation on all matters relating to the development of official statistics in the country. The Governing Council of the National Sample Survey Organisation, likewise, guides and supervises the conduct of the socio-economic surveys by the e National Sample Survey Organisation.


The genesis of the Statistical System in Karnataka a date back to 1944 the princely State of Mysore and has gradually developed into a department which is of the present order. During 1949, the Department carved out itself into the Directorate of Statistics and had been under administrative control of Planning and Economic Development Commissioner. Because of the circumstances and the volume of the work, this was bifurcated into Planning and the Department of Statistics. The Department of Statistics was placed under the administrative control of Agriculture Department in 1954 and was headed by the State Statistician considered as ex-officio Director of Statistics.

Relating the importance of Statistics as one of the tools for decision making in the expanding area of Development Programmes, it was considered to amalgamate all statistical works of agriculture, public health and administration and intelligence section from the Secretariat Department (2) to from a separate department in 1955. Subsequently, in the advent of the State recognition, the department also had a new role to play. Thus the District Statistical Offices were established in all the districts except in Bidar and Kodagu where such officers were set up in 1965. Accordingly, the State Statistical Bureau was designated as the Directorate of Statistics.

With the increase in the workload and its variety, senior duty posts of Deputy Directors were created in 1964. In 1966, the Director of Statistics was appointed the Registrar General (later Chief Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages in Karnataka). Consequently, the connected work was transferred from the Directorate of Health and Family Planning Services. In recognition of the increased responsibilities and the vital role the department was redesigned, in 1968, as Bureau of Economics and Statistics. In 1969, the Bureau was declared as a major, technical department. Later in 1970, further senior duty posts of Joint Directors were created. The work of the first-ever Agricultural Census Programme, was also entrusted to the Bureau and the Directors was made Ex-officio State Agricultural Census Commissioner. At about this time, the Bureau was also instrumental in setting up a computer center which was later made an independent entity, namely, Karnataka Government Computer Centre". In 1973, the State Income Unit and Economic Study Division were created in the Bureau. In 1977, the first ever-Economic Census was carried out in the State in collaboration with the CSO 

In 1981, an In-house Computer Centre was established in the Bureau in the context of the voluminous growth of processing work as a sequel to the conduct of the agricultural and Economic Census, Family Budget enquiries (for revising the base of Consumer Price Index for industrial workers-state series), etc. Since then the computer Centre has been strengthened from time to time through acquisition of PCs-AT/XT, Pentiums, etc.,

In 1970, the Government took a decision to form the "Karnataka Statistical Service" with the object of evolving an Integrated Statistical System on scientific lines. The service was actually formed in 1972 . Later, in 1989, the service was renamed as Karnataka Economic Statistical Service . Under this system, posts of statistical nature of the rank of Statistical Inspector and above in other departments were encoded in the Bureau and these posts had to be filled up only on deputation from the Bureau. Initially, the statistical service covered only seven major departments. Later, in 1977, it is extended to 27 department's . Recognising the role, the Bureau had to play in the evolution of a sound statistical system, it was declared in 1982, a ' Nodal Agency ' for all statistical activities in the state. The nomenclature of the department was once again changed in 1984 as the "Directorate of Economics and Statistics".

Since its commencement, the tremendous growth was witnessed in the department is reflected by the fact that the total sanctioned strength as on 31.3.99 was 2133 including officers/officials on Deputation in other departments as against 335 as on 1.4.1961, an increase of 536%.


The statistical system in Karnataka consists of the Directorate of Economics and Statistics (DES) 
And the Statistical Divisions in other departments of the Government (DSD). The headquarters of the DES is situated at the State capital (Bangalore) and is headed by the Director. It is functionally organised into seven technical divisions each headed by a Joint Director and one Administration and Accounts Division headed by the Administrative Officer in the rank of a Deputy Director. The technical divisions are:- 
(I) Agricultural Statistics Division (AGS), 
(ii) Agricultural Census, Rainfall and Computer Division (ARC) 
(iii) Civil Registration, National Sample Survey and Local Body Statistics Division (CNL) 
(iv) State income, Industries and Prices division (SIP) , Co-ordination and planning (COP) attached to SIP division 
(v) Publication Division (PTG), 
(vi) Fourth Economic Census 
(vii) Crop Insurance Division (CIS). 
Each 'Division', is headed by a Joint Director and is divided into different sections. A group of sections, generally two or three is headed by Deputy Director. In all, there are 22 technical sections at the State Headquarters. Depending upon the workload each technical section is manned by Deputy Director/Assistant Directors/ Assistant Statistical Officers, Statistical Inspectors and Enumerators. The Administration and Accounts Division is manned by Superintendents, First Division Assistants and Second Division Assistants.

Each of the 20 districts of the State has a District Statistical Office headed by a District Statistical Officer in rank of a Deputy Director. The District Statistical Officer is assisted in technical matters, at the district headquarters, by the Assistant Director, Assistant Statistical Officers, Statistical Inspectors and Enumerators. The number of supporting staff in each District Statistical Office varies according to the size of the district. The District Statistical Officer is assisted by the ministerial staff for day-to-day administration work. At the Taluk (tahsil) level, one Statistical Inspector and one Enumerator are stationed at the office of the Tasildar for purpose of statistical work. These two functionaries are under the technical control of the District Statistical Officer and for day to day work, they are under the control of Tasildar. The Government of Karnataka has formed 7 new districts vide Govt. Notification No RD 42 LRD 87 DT. 2.8.97. Accordingly, the details of staffs created shifted for 7 new District Statistical Offices are given in GO No. PDS 125 SMC 97 dt. 17.11.1998. The seven new District Statistical Offices have started functionally since 1.6.1999. Thus, the total number of District Statistical Offices comes to 27.

The Statistical Divisions of other departments cater mainly to the specific needs of the departments concerned and are headed by officers in the rank of Joint Director/Deputy/Assistant Director depending upon the needs of the concerned departments. However, there are a couple of statistical Divisions manned only by non-gazetted staff. The number of supporting staff, viz., Assistant statistical officers, Statistical Inspectors and Enumerators vary from department to department

Apart from the departments coming under the purview of the Karnataka Economic and statistical Service, a few more departments/boards and corporations/ organisations of the Government of Karnataka such as BWSSB, KUWSDB, KHB, KSBPE/ BMP etc. have also borrowed personnel from the Directorate of Economics and Statistics. In particular, it may be mentioned that personnel on deputation from DES man the planning machinery of the Zilla Panchayats. In addition, sizeable officers and officials of the DES are on deputation to Planning Secretariat. In all, as on 31.3.1999, 719 personnel were on deputation from the DES. A list of such Departments/Organisations is given in 
Organisational Chart.


The DES is responsible for providing the necessary database for formulation of programme and policies by the State. Statistical data on various socio-economic activities of the state are being collected, processed, analysed and published from time to time. While the DES is responsible for collecting directly some amount of information through its own functionaries, a major part of the statistical information is being mobilised with the help of other departments. The main functions of the DES can broadly be classified as follows:

1) Collection, classification, tabulation, analysis and presentation of data on various socio-economic aspects of the State in a systematic manner and dissemination of the same through periodic publications.
2) Conducting, sample surveys and other adhoc field enquiries etc., on various aspects of socio-economic development
3) Co-ordinating the statistical activities of various departments of the State Government and rendering them technical guidance
4) Organisation of post-recruiting training to statistical personnel and
5) Liaison with the statistical organisations of the Government of India and of other State Governments. 

Among others, statistical information is being periodically collected directly/mobilised from other departments on the following socio-economic aspects

(i) Population, its composition, distribution etc., (ii) Vital Statistics and cause of morality, (iii) land use pattern, (iv) cropping pattern, (v) crop productivity and its product, (vi) irrigation, (vii) fisheries and fish catch, (viii) output of minerals, (ix) factory establishments and factory employment, (x) industrial production, (xi) electricity- installed capacity, generation, consumption etc., (xii) transport & communications, (xiii) banking and finance, (xiv) educational institutions - enrolment, out turn etc., (xv) health and family welfare services, (xvi) statistics of municipalities - finances, employment, development activities etc., (xvii) wholesale and retail prices and index numbers of wholesale prices, consumer prices and indices, etc., (xviii) state income, district income, per capita income, (xix) Rainfall, (xx) Gender issues etc. In addition, sample surveys and censuses are also being undertaken every year/periodically. Socio-economic surveys in collaboration with the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) of Government of India and sample surveys in the field of agriculture are the important surveys carried out annually. Agricultural Census, Economic Census are being conducted once in five/ten years. The DES also collaborates with other departments in the matter of conduct of population census, live stock census etc.

In fulfilling its role as the 'Nodal ' agency for all statistical activities in the State the DES is responsible for (i) advising Government in clearing any proposal of data collection submitted to it as a plan or non -plan scheme/ programme by any department, (ii) rendering advice to all departments in respect of their data collection programmes and other statistical activities,(iii) assisting in the evaluation of a sound statistical system/sub-system, (iv) standardisation/ clearance of all schedules/ formats. Etc. meant for collection of statistical data, (v) ensuring adoption of uniform concepts and definitions of terms used in collection of statistical data, (vi) ensuring elimination /minimisation of duplication of statistical work among other departments and (vii) suggesting ways and means for optimum utilisation of resources applied for collection of statistics. Further, DES is responsible for examining in detail the working of the Departmental Statistical Divisions (DSD) with a view to rationalise/streamline their working, in particular, (i) to orient the 'DSDs" data collection programmes to the needs of the Departments concerned, (ii) chalk out an annual data collection programme, (iii) lay down formats, periodicity, time-schedule, stages and types of tabulation, the content of the final output/publication etc.

The District Statistical Offices are mainly engaged in mobilisation of the data required by the DES for fulfilling its functions. The district and Taluk level staff of the District Statistical Offices are not only engaged in the field work relating to the surveys entrusted to them, but also in the collection of various types of data emanating from other departments for which the DES is dependent on them (all secondary data - on education, co-operation, health, etc.) In addition to the activities relating to feeding the data required at the State Head quarters, the District Statistical officers are also engaged in bringing out district level publications. All the 20 District Statistical Officers have been provided with a vehicle. It is proposed to provide a vehicle to 7 newly formed districts in a phased manner. As already noted above, the functions of the Departmental Statistical Divisions relate mainly to fulfilling the statistical needs of the departments concerned. In particular, they are engaged in mobilising data required for formulation of departmental programmes and policies and monitoring and evaluation of such programmes. They are also engaged in certain incidental items of work.

Collections, processing and analysis of statistical data culminates in the preparation and issue of statistical publications/ reports from time to time. Annually, around 70-80 reports/publications including the district level publications are being brought out by the DES.
As the bulk of basic work of the DES is initiated and carried out at the Taluk/District level, there is urgent need to strengthen these offices. In order to cope with the volume of work, 20 District Statistical Offices have been provided with personal computers and efforts are on to provide computers to the newly formed 7 districts.


The co-ordinating role of the DES has mainly tow aspects (a) ensuring adoption of uniform concepts and definition, minimising duplication in the system and (b) ensuring timely flow of data, from various sister departments, as are needed periodically for building up a comprehensive socio-economic profile of the State, such as Karnataka Statistical Abstract, State Income estimates etc.

Regarding adoption of uniform concepts and definitions and timely flow of data, Government have issued instructions to all departments to enable the DES to achieve these objectives.

The Statistical Abstract of Karnataka covering all the socio-economic aspects of the State is a prestigious publication being brought out once in 5 years regularly by DES. In order to ensure timely flow of data for this publication from all the sister departments, Government have further issued instructions to the effect that the statistical appendices of the 'Annual Administration Reports' of all departments should provide inter-alia for the relevant tables of the Statistical Abstract of Karnataka.

In addition, regarding the second aspect at Government have set up a number of committees to help the DES to achieve effective co-operation in the flow of data from other departments. Besides, for some of surveys/censuses (and even regular data collection programmes like land use, cropping pattern), the DES depends upon other departments. To bring about effective co-ordination/co-operation between the DES and the concerned departments such co-ordination Committees are constituted, with DES as Member Secretary/Convenor.

In turn, the DES is also required to help other departments by providing data needed for formulating departmental policies and programmes and render such other advise as may be required. These responsibilities of the DES are sought to be discharged through Co-ordination/Advisory Committee, constituted for other departments in which the DES is represented as a member.

Co-ordination between Centre and State is being achieved through periodical meeting/conferences (as for example the biennial Conference of Central and State Statistical Organisations - COCSSO). In addition, technical committees/working groups consisting of representatives of the Central and State Statistical Organisations have been constituted by the Government of India.