India’s statistical performance on the global stage – India’s Statistical Performance Indicators (SPI) Ranking and Analysis | 2 October 2023 | UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis

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What's the article about?

  • It talks about India's performance in the World Bank's Statistical Performance Indicators (SPI).


  • GS2: Government Policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors and Issues arising out of their Design and Implementation
  • Prelims


  • The World Bank's Statistical Performance Indicators (SPI) ranks India 67 among 174 countries in 2019.
  • The SPI evaluates the performance of national statistical systems across five dimensions of performance, commonly referred to as the “five pillars” of a national statistical system.
  • This article analyzes India's SPI ranking and highlights both shortcomings and commendable performances in various aspects of SPI.


  • India's SPI Score and Rank:
    • India's overall SPI score stands at 70.4, placing it in the 67th rank among the 174 countries assessed.
    • The pillar-wise scores show India's lower performance in the 'Data use' and 'Data products' pillars, with scores of 80 and 60, respectively, resulting in poor rankings of 101 and 105.
    • India performs well in measures assessing the comparability of estimates of child mortality, debt reporting, drinking water, and labor force participation.
    • However, it loses 20 points due to the unavailability of comparable poverty estimates for the World Bank over the last 10 years.
  • Five Pillars of SPI:
    • The SPI is based on the assessment of five dimensions of performance, commonly referred to as the “five pillars” of a national statistical system.
    • These pillars are:
      1. Data use
      2. Data services
      3. Data products
      4. Data sources
      5. Data infrastructure
  • India's Performance in the Five Pillars:
    • India's performance in the five pillars of SPI is as follows:
      1. Data use: India's score is 80, and its rank is 101.
      2. Data services: India's score is 88, and its rank is 35.
      3. Data products: India's score is 60, and its rank is 105.
      4. Data sources: India's score is 68.9, and its rank is 31.
      5. Data infrastructure: India's score is 55, and its rank is 73.
  • Recommendations for Improvement:
    • To improve India's SPI ranking, the article recommends the following:
      • Proactive engagement with the World Bank to fortify the robustness of the SPI.
      • Use of “Vital Statistics of India” in place of the National Family Health Survey for estimating the registration of births and deaths.
      • Achieving a 20-point increase in each of the three pivotal pillars ('Data products', 'Data use', and 'Data infrastructure').

Way Forward:

  • The SPI for 2019 underscores India's superior performance in censuses and surveys in comparison to administrative data. A thorough examination of the SPI score is crucial to drive improvement and enhance international competitiveness. By identifying issues and establishing attainable goals, a substantial rise in rankings can be achieved.

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