The Indian Statistical Institute was founded by Professor P.C. Mahalanobis in Kolkata on 17th December, 1931. The institute gained the status of an Institution of National Importance by an act of the Indian Parliament in 1959. The North-East centre of the Institute at Tezpur was inaugurated on July 23, 2011 by Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Hon'ble Union Finance Minister and Chairman of the ISI council. This is the fourth centre of ISI, joining the existing centres at Delhi, Bangalore, and Chennai.
The idea of setting up of the North–East centre of the Institute was initiated by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Govt. of India, in April, 2010. The proposal was placed before the ISI Council in June 2010 and accepted in principle. The exact location was to be decided in due course.
Subsequently, a team was sent to the North–Eastern states in order to find a suitable place for the proposed North-East Centre. The Council in its meeting held in September, 2010 considered the recommendation of the team and finally recommended to have the North-East Centre at Tezpur, Assam. The Council also constituted a committee for framing operational and academic plans for the North-East Centre of the Institute.
Thereafter, on the request of the Institute, the Government of Assam has allotted approximately 25 acres of land to the Institute at Punioni, Halleswar, Tezpur, Assam. The permanent campus is expected to come up at this premises in near future. The Indian Statistical Institute subsequently has a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Tezpur University for having the temporary North-East Centre of the Institute at the University premises. The temporary centre will function until the permanent campus is ready.
The centre successfully ran a Postgraduate Diploma programme in Statistical Methods with Applications for the academic years 2011-12 and 2012-13. From the academic year 2013-14, the centre is offering a new diploma programme, Post Graduate Diploma in Statistical Methods and Analytics, exclusively for domiciled North-East students. This programme is aimed at improving the employability of students from North-East. A prestigious multinational IT consultation and services company has agreed to directly recruit all students securing an aggregate of 60% or above in the programme in a single attempt. In addition to the regular courses, the centre conducts regular workshop on Official Statistics, Application of Statistics to Natural, Life and Environmental Sciences for persons engaged in Government/Academic Institutions in the North-East.
It is envisaged that the North-East States will be able to improve their Official Statistical System with help from this centre. The centre aims to create a pool of scientific personnel with strong Statistical background that will be helpful in many areas like Planning, Forecasting and Model Building, Data Analysis etc.