To Access this website in Hindi Medium - Click Here

National Sample Survey Office Becomes National Statistical Office (NSO)

The National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) is now merged with the Central Statistical Office to form the National Statistical Office (NSO). This merger was approved by the Government on 23rd May 2019.

The NSSO or the National Sample Survey Office was formerly known as the National Sample Survey Organization. It was the largest organization in India responsible for conducting periodic socio-economic surveys. In this article, we will discuss this organization in detail along with its important functions and responsibilities.

History of NSSO - National Sample Survey Office

  • The National Sample Survey Office or NSSO was set up in 1950 to conduct large-scale sample surveys throughout India.
  • The employees of the NSSO are from the Indian Statistical Service (appointed through the UPSC) and the Subordinate Statistical Service (appointed through the Staff Selection Commission).
  • There are four divisions of NSSO - Survey Design and Research Division, Field Operations Division, Data Processing Division and Co-ordination & Publication Division. The roles and responsibilities of these divisions along with their headquarters are listed below:




Survey Design and Research Division

  • Technical planning of surveys,

  • Formulation of Concepts and Definitions,

  • Sampling Design,

  • Designing of Inquiry Schedules,

  • Drawing up of Tabulation Plan,

  • Analysis and Presentation of Survey Results.


Field Operations Division

  • Collection of primary data for the surveys undertaken by NSSO

Delhi/ Faridabad

Data Processing Division

  • Sample Selection,

  • Software Development,

  • Processing,

  • Validation And

  • Tabulation of the data collected through surveys.


Co-ordination & Publication Division

  • Coordinates all the various departments and divisions in the NSSO

  • Also publishes its annual journal.


History of Central Statistical Organization (CSO)

Central Statistical Organization (CSO) was headed by a Director-General who was assisted by two additional director generals and four deputy director generals, joint directors and other official staff. The CSO was headquartered in Delhi. The Central Statistical Organization was responsible for the coordination of statistical activities in the country. The activities of CSO included:

  • National Income Accounting;
  • Conduct of Annual Survey of Industries;
  • Economic Census and follow-up surveys
  • Compilation of index of industrial production and consumer price indices;
  • Human Development Statistics;
  • Gender Statistics;
  • Imparting training in official statistics;
  • Five-Year Plan Work

Presently, these two organizations - NSSO and CSO are merged to form a new organization National Statistical Office (NSO) that will presumably be responsible for all the tasks hitherto done by CSSO and NSO.

National Statistical Office (NSO)

National Statistical Official came into existence on 23rd May 2019 by a merger of NSSO and CSO. It is the statistics wing of the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation. The order under which this merger came into force stated that the proposed NSO would be headed by Secretary (Statistics and Programme Implementation). However, it does not mention anything about the National Statistical Commission (NSC), which has been the overseeing body for all the statistical work done in the country.

This is a brief overview of the Indian Statistical System which is an important topic of the Indian Economy in UPSC Exam Syllabus. Topics like these and more are thoroughly explained in our GS Foundation Course.  Get in touch with our course counsellors to get more information about this course.

Current Affairs analysis