Vol , Issue
Date of Publication: August 22, 2023
Over the last few months, established data systems in India have been the target of heated dispute, chiefly by members of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, ranging from the inflation numbers , to the sampling frame for surveys done by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSS), the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) and the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS), Haemoglobin cut-offs for anaemia  and childhood growth standards, female labour force participation rate and life expectancy at birth . The attempts to revise economic data systems has invited a raging debate [5, 6], prompting the government to set up a panel to review the NSS’s methodology. However, the arguments being made in favor of downward revision of nutritional standards have received much less scrutiny, except for a recent editorial which comments on the general problem of drawing up standards . This is despite the fact that these proposals have already caught the fancy of the government. A policy decision has already been taken to discontinue gathering of data on Hb-levels as part of the quinquennial National Family Health Surveys, which would now be collected as part of a new Dietary and Bio-markers Survey. Neither the rationale for such a move, nor the details of the methodology of the new survey, or the time-frame within which such data would be released have been made available for public deliberation. Similarly, discussions have been initiated on devising “indigenous” growth standards for children . Hence, it becomes imperative to examine the basis of these renewed calls for revision of existing standards.
Copyright and license
©Indian Journal of Medical Ethics 2023: Open Access and Distributed under the Creative Commons license ( CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), which permits only non-commercial and non-modified sharing in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.