India turns to artificial intelligence for better and faster economic data

The country of 1.3 billion people, only 20 per cent of whom know how to use the internet, had to suspend field surveys during the lockdown, which led to gaps in reporting monthly retail inflation numb

Shipping, GDP, India

Representative image

Vrishti Beniwal | Bloomberg
India is turning from man to machines to improve the quality and speed of its economic data, which has been criticized as inadequate, delayed or even confusing due to sharp and unexpected revisions.
The Ministry of Statistics is ramping up use of artificial intelligence for collecting, analyzing and reporting data to better monitor the economy. The measures include a $60 million program with World Bank help using an information portal that collates real-time data.

"Because of the changing landscape, there’s a growing need for more and more data, faster data and also more refined data products," Statistics Secretary Kshatrapati Shivaji said in an interview. With end-to-end computerization, "this type of automation will enhance the quality, credibility and timeliness of data."

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First Published: Jan 28 2021 | 8:36 AM IST

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