The last two outside members of the National Statistical Commission (NSC) resigned on Monday, allegedly in protest over the government’s sidelining of the body as well as its refusal to release an employment report that they had approved in early December.
Both PC Mohanan and JV Meenakshi submitted their resignations on Monday. Speaking with HuffPost India, Mohanan, who was the acting chairperson of the NSC, said, “Both of us have resigned from the commission since we were of the feeling that it was not very effective. We thought there is no point in continuing.”
When asked if the government’s failure to release the NSSO’s employment survey for 2017-18 was a factor, he said, “It was one of the reasons.”
Mohanan refused to answer when asked if the report painted a grim picture of India’s jobs scenario and whether that could be the reason for it not being released.
Another official source said, “The report was approved by the two-member commission in December first week but it is still not released. Generally the commission approves such reports and they are uploaded on the website by the NSSO as a way of releasing them.That has not happened in this case.”
This source also said that it was a “technical issue and ministers do not get involved. So failure to release the report has happened at the bureaucratic level”.
Mohanan retired from the Indian Statistical Service in 2016 and Meenakshi is an economics professor at the Delhi School of Economics.
Both their tenures were supposed to end in June 2020.
Now the NSC is left with just Amitabh Kant, NITI Aayog CEO who is an ex-officio member, and Pravin Srivastava, India’s chief statistician.