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Data: NITI Aayog publishes a list of 81 All India Surveys, 70% of which are conducted by Government agencies


The NITI Aayog recently published an Inventory of All India Surveys, compiled by the Development Monitoring and Evaluation Office (DMEO). The list consists of 81 surveys, 57 of which are conducted by Government agencies. Here is a detailed analysis of these surveys.

The NITI Aayog recently in September 2021, published an Inventory of All-India Surveys, compiled by the Development Monitoring and Evaluation Office (DMEO) of the NITI Aayog. We analyse these surveys across multiple parameters in this story. 

NITI Aayog is a public policy think tank of the Government of India, also known as the National Institution for Transforming India. It was formed via a resolution of the Union Cabinet on 01 January 2015, replacing the erstwhile Planning Commission, which had been instituted in 1950.

The Development Monitoring and Evaluation Office (DMEO) on the other hand was constituted in September 2015 by merging the erstwhile Program Evaluation Office (PEO) and the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO). It is an attached office under NITI Aayog, aimed at fulfilling the organisation’s monitoring and evaluation (M&E) mandate and building the M&E ecosystem in India.

The DMEO has compiled this inventory of all India Surveys with an aim to assist development practitioners to undertake research/analysis based on existing secondary data collected by various agencies.

The Majority of All-India surveys are open access and sample surveys.

The compilation of All-India Surveys published by the DMEO lists down a total of 81 surveys from 1951 onwards for various sectors.

The Inventory shows that about 71 surveys are open access, which means that the surveys data and reports are in the public domain.

Only 6 surveys are unavailable, such as Manual Scavengers Survey, Citizens Survey of Police Services, World Justice Project Rule of Law Index Expert Survey, and others. The metadata or the full report for these surveys is not available in the public domain, however, limited information/brief can be assessed on the link mentioned in the Inventory.

About 4 surveys have paid access, namely Aspirational India Survey of Households, Consumer Pyramids Household Survey, Consumer Pyramids Household survey and People of India survey.

In terms of data, about 75 surveys out of 81 are sample surveys. Only 4 are census surveys, namely All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE), Ease of Living Survey, Economic Census, and Handloom Census of India. Only 1 survey is classified as both a census and sample i.e., Annual Survey of Industries.

Inventory of All-India surveys covers 40+ sectors, 1951 onwards.

These All-India surveys span across 42 sectors or themes, from agriculture and health to global competitiveness, 1951 onwards.

The sectors of Health and Labour & Employment have the highest number of All-India surveys i.e., 6 surveys in each sector.  Sectors such as Consumer Behaviour and Socio-economic have the 5 All-India surveys each.

This is followed by sectors of WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) and Demographic with 4 All-India surveys each. Banking and Perception have 3 All-India Surveys. Most sectors have 1 or 2 All-India surveys each.

10 All-India surveys conducted annually, 27 periodically, and 32 have an undefined frequency

The Inventory contains surveys with varying frequencies.

Most of the surveys in the list have undefined frequencies or have been conducted only once so far. In other words, about 32 surveys do not have a defined frequency. For example, the Domestic Tourism Expenditure Survey has only been conducted once in 2015. Similarly, Digital Payments Adoption in India was conducted for the first time in 2020. India Banking Fraud Survey has been conducted over 6 years from 2014-2021 (a cross-sectional study).

About 27 All-India surveys are conducted periodically at irregular intervals. For example, Global Youth Tobacco Survey was conducted in 2003, 2006, 2009 and 2019. Similarly, Household Social Consumption: Education survey has been conducted in 1980-81, 1986-87, 1995-96, 2007-08, 2014 and 2017-18.

In total, about 10 surveys are conducted annually, such as India Media and Entertainment Report, Survey on International Trade in Banking Services, Executive Opinion Survey, Periodic Labour Force Survey, etc.

Only 1 survey is conducted biennially and triennially, respectively. A small number of surveys are conducted at higher frequencies. Like, about 2 are conducted bi-annually, 3 surveys are conducted quarterly, and 1 is conducted bi-monthly.

Government Agencies conduct most All-India surveys; International, corporate & research organisations conduct 24 surveys

The Inventory encompasses surveys conducted by Government of India agencies, as well as other national and international organisations.

The highest number of surveys in the inventory are conducted by Government of India ministries and departments.

International organisations like United Nations and World Bank organisations conducted a total of 11 All-India surveys. For example, The Enterprise Survey, UN E-Government Survey, The Open Budget Survey, World Values Survey, etc.

Corporate organisations like Deloitte and KPMG conduct 7 All-India surveys, followed by think tanks and civil society organisations (like Janaagraha) who conduct 6 All-India surveys. For example, India’s COVID-19 HR Practices Survey by KMPG, National Rural Sanitation Survey by IPE Global and Kantar, Voice of India’s Citizens Survey by Janaagraha, etc.

Featured Image: All India Surveys


About Author

Aprajita is driven by her ardent interest in a wide array of unrelated subjects - from public policy to folk music to existential humour. As part of her interdisciplinary education, she has engaged with theoretical ideas as well as field-based practices. By working with government agencies and non-profit organisations on governance and community development projects, she has lived and learned in different parts of the country, and aspires to do the same for the rest of her life.

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