P. C. Mahalanobis Remembered by MAKAUT on His Birthday

Every year the National Statistics Day is celebrated on the 29th of June on the birth anniversary of Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis OBE, FNA, FASc, FRS  in order to acknowledge his invaluable contribution in establishing the national statistics system. He is regarded as the father of modern statistics in India. He is the founder if Indian Statistical Institute, The National Sample Survey and The  Central Statistical Organization. He also shaped the Indian Planning Commission. Mahalanobis is credited with innovating techniques for conducting large scale sample surveys using random sampling. He proposed a concept to measure comparison between two datasets which came to be known as the Mahalanobis Distance. He also devised a statistical  method called fractile graphical analysis used to compare socio economic status of varied group. Mahalanobis received the Padma Vibhushan in 1968 . His contribution has rendered him immortal in the annals of history. On this auspicious day, The School of Natural and Applied Sciences of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology (MAKAUT), West Bengal has gathered a number of luminaries in the field of satistics.

The Hon’ble Vice Chancellor of MAKAUT Prof. (Dr.) Saikat Maitra, congratulated the team for arranging such a programme to observe National Statistics Day. Such captivating programmes will boost MAKAUT’s endeavour in teaching statistics. Statistics is a very important tool for collecting analysing and getting insights in varied subjects. After the development of information technology  statistics has gained even more importance. Today’s deliberation from the experts will immensely help the learning community. 

The host of the programme is Prof. (Dr.) Sukhendu Samajdar, Director, School of Natural, Applied and Social Sciences, MAKAUT, WB welcomed the revered guests and other members of the borderless teaching-learning community. He started by quoting H.G. Wells who in his book “Mankind in the Making”, remarked, “Statistical thinking will one day be as necessary for efficient citizenship as the ability to read and write!”

 

The Coordinator of M.Sc in Applied Statistics and Analytics Programme Prof. Prasanta Narayan Dutta introduced the Hon’ble Chief Guest Prof. Shyamaprasad Mukherjee, FNASc. Words fail to describe his achievements. He is a legendary figure in the field of statistics. His friend and classmate from Presidency college said a few words about Prof. Mukherjee. He remarked that Prof. Mukherjee along with Prof. Chanchal Majumdar of Physics were his role models at Presidency college. 

 

Prof. Bratin Das, Faculty, School of Natural and Applied Sciences, MAKAUT, WB introduced Prof. Asis Chatteejee, who is also his Phd supervisor.

Prof Chatterjee is teaching at the University of Calcutta since 1987. In 2007 he became the Pro VC of the University. He served as visiting faculty all over the globe and worked on various research projects.

Prof. Chatterjee congratulated MAKAUT for arranging such a programme. He gave an account of the works undertaken by Mahalanobis throughout his active life. He said, “The most impressive explanation was made by Prof. C.R. Rao. Prof. Rao in his Ramanujan lecture compiled a list of the activities that Mahalanobis undertook . 

 

Prof. B.K. Sinha was introduced by Prof. Prasanta Narayan Dutta . He is one of the well known statistician of our country. Prof. Sinha is an internationally acclaimed figure. He served as a Professor in University of Calcuuta and Indian Statistical Institute. In addition he has served as visiting faculty in various Universities of USA and Canada. He was awarded the Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis gold medal by the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj for his contributions.

 

Prof. Biswanath Das was introduced by Prof. Samajdar. Prof. Das served as a Professor at Presidency College for decades.

Prof Das congratulated the entire team for arranging such a programme. He said, “Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis was popularly known as a physicist by training, a statistician by instinct and an economist by conviction. Mahalanobis is the pioneer of Statistical quality control. He established Indian Society for Quality Control. Mahalanobis was a socially conscious citizen. He took active part in solving societal problems . He solved several internal issues of Brahmo Samaj. The Hindu College was established in 1817. But entry of girl students was prohibited. It was Mahalanobis along with Apurba Chandra Dey, who in the year 1844 made it possible for girls to study in the prestigious institute. His love for literature is also evident from his admiration towards Rabindranath. The same admiration was reciprocated by the bard too. Mahalanobis  was a part of Ashramik Sangha of Shantiniketan as per Tagore’s desire. He took active part in the development of Viswabharati Society and became the joint editor of Viswabharati Patrika along with Rabindranath Tagore. When Tagore wrote the letter of relinquishment of his Knighthood after Jalianwala Bag massacre and Rowlatt Act, Mahalanobis stood beside him. Mahalanobis persuaded Jawaharlal Nehru to take up ” Jana Gana Mana” as our National Anthem. After all these contributions of Mahalanobis it is the duty of ordinary people to have a proper sense of data. We must grasp data correctly and precisely.”

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