The Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) was founded by Professor Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis in Kolkata on December 17, 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.
Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis, an eminent Indian scientist and statistician, was born on June 29, 1893, in Kolkata, India. Renowned for his pioneering work in statistics and his role in establishing the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Mahalanobis made significant contributions to the development of statistics in India.
In 1931, Mahalanobis founded the Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata, a groundbreaking institution dedicated to the development and application of statistics in India. Under his leadership as the first director, ISI became a center of excellence in statistical research, education, and training. Mahalanobis encouraged interdisciplinary collaboration and fostered the use of statistical methods in diverse areas such as agriculture, economics, anthropology, and demography. Sankhya, the Indian Journal of Statistics, was also founded by Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis in 1933.
He remained the editor of journal Sankhya and Director of the Institute until his demise on June 28, 1972.
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 Indian Statistical Institute subsequently had 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 functioned from the establishment date of the North-East Centre till 2019. The Institute is now operational from its permanent campus since June 2019.
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, with an exclusive 50% reservation of total intake capacity, for students domiciled in the North-East states. This programme is aimed at improving the employability of students from North-East region. All students securing an aggregate of 60% or above in the programme were directly placed in a prestigious multinational IT consultation and services company. 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.