The National Sample Survey Office(NSSO) in India is a unique setup to carry out surveys on socio-economic, demographic, agricultural and industrial subjects for collecting data from house holds and from enterprises located in villages and in the towns. It is a focal agency of the Govt. of India for collection of statistical data in the areas which are vital for developmental planning. The National Sample Survey Directorate was first setup in the country in the ministry of finance in 1950. The directorate was subsequently transferred to the cabinet secretariat in 1957 and subsequently in 1970 it became a part of NSSO in the department of statistics under the ministry of planning. Since 1999 it is under the newly created Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation(MOSPI).
The NSSO has four divisions
1) Survey Design and Research (SDR)
2) Field Operations Division (FOD
3) Data Processing
4) Economic Analysis.
Objectives of NSSO:
i) To provide statistical and other information for the purpose of state or national planning and policy requirements.
ii) To evolve statistical techniques for the analysis of statistical data, the solutions of administrative problems and estimation of future trends.
iii) To collect and publish information which will be of use to those engaged in economic activities in the country.
iv) To provide and analyse information which are useful to research workers in socioeconomic fields.
Functions of NSSO:
i) To conduct large scale sample surveys on subjects like household consumer expenditure, employment and unemployment, health and medical services etc.
ii) It decides the topics to be covered in a particular survey round.
iii) Agricultural wing of FOD, NSSO has the overall responsibility of assisting the states by developing suitable survey techniques for obtaining reliable and timely estimates of crop yield.
iv) It conducts annual survey of industries (ASI) every year.
v) NSSO every year brings out reports on status of estimation of agricultural production in India.
vi) NSSO has the central responsibility of coordinating the results of the crop estimation surveys conducted by the states.