Mahalanobis International Award 2011

Prof. Victor Yohoi of Argentina, the founder of the ‘Argentinean School’ of ‘Robust Statistics’ was recently conferred the International Award in Statistics (2011 Mahalanobis International Award) by International Statistical Institute, The Hague, Netherlands.

About the Award:

The Indian Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, representing the Government of India to the institute, confers this biennial Mahalanobis International Award in Statistics in memory of the eminent Indian statistician Professor P.C. Mahalanobis.

The Award is to be given to a selected statistician from a developing country (as defined by the United Nations) who has worked there in recognition of his/her lifetime achievement in Statistics and the promotion of best statistical practices. This initiative serves the double purpose of keeping the memory of P.C. Mahalanobis alive and of recognising and stimulating progress in Statistics in developing countries.

Who was P.C. Mahalanobis?

  • Professor P.C. Mahalanobis’ contribution to the subject of statistics is incredibly varied. Mahalanobis had held the position of Statistical Advisor to the Government of India and Member, Planning Commission, beside many other distinguished appointments.
  • The formulation of the D²-Statistics, derivation of its properties and its application are some of his most profound contributions.

He received the Weldon Medal from Oxford University in 1944 and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, London, in 1945 for his fundamental contributions to statistics, particularly in the area of large-scale sample surveys. As Chairman of the United Nations Sub-Commission on Statistical Sampling, a position to which he was appointed in 1947, he tirelessly advocated the use of sampling methods to be extended to all parts of the world. As the Chairman of the UN Statistical Commission, he also helped in the spread of robust and extremely useful statistical ideas to other countries. As a pioneer to government planning, his background to a number of initiatives in de-centralised planning is meritorious, one of them being the setting up of the National Sample Survey (NSS) entrusted with key responsibilities for the design, collection and analysis of sample survey data.

  • Its worth note that India’s Industrial Policy Resolution – 1956 was based upon the Mahalanobis Model of growth. This Model suggested that there should be an emphasis on the heavy industries, which can lead the Indian Economy to a long term higher growth path.
  • Professor P.C. Mahalanobis is called the architect of Indian Five Year Planning.

The previous winners of the Award are Professor C.R. Rao (India) in 2003, Professor Benjamin Kiregyera (Uganda) in 2005, Dr. Isidoro P. David (Philippines) in 2007, and Professor Pedro Morettin (Brazil) in 2009.



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