Resource centre on India's rural distress

Lynchings, migrant deaths, student suicides: 20 things Union govt doesn't have data on

In the season of ‘no data available’ TNM lists an exhaustive number of things that the Union Government claims it has no data on.

After the Union Government’s response of ‘no data available’ to several questions in the parliament, the way in which the country’s official statistics and data is being managed has come into question.  While it has become fodder for many memes, the dearth of data, either due to inefficiency or by design, has been highlighted by the Opposition leaders and the civil society as a huge impediment to fruitful policy making.

While running the risk of stating the obvious, it needs to be pointed out that, at a time when most businesses rely heavily on data analytics, the government’s inadequacy in this department could be catastrophic to India's growth story. Government data is a pivotal resource that ensures healthy democracy, citizen participation and most importantly, accountability and reform.

We have compiled a list of issues on which, in the recent past, the government’s answer has been  ‘no data available’.

1. Number of health workers infected with COVID-19: In September 2020, MoS for Health, Ashwini Choubey, in a written reply, said that data on the number of frontline healthcare workers infected with COVID-19 since the virus spread in India. The response said that the Union government does not maintain the registry for the same.

2. Number of women who exited the anganwadi workforce after the coronavirus: In September 2020, Smriti Irani, Union Minister for Women and Child Development, told the Parliament that the Ministry does not maintain data on the number of women who exited the anganwadi workforce after the coronavirus lockdown.

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