Nobody has hurt India's global reputation and credibility more than the Modi government, the Congress alleged on Friday after over 100 economists and social scientists expressed concerns over "political interference" in statistical data in the country. As many as 108 economists and social scientists Thursday called for restoration of "institutional independence" and integrity of statistical organisations. Their appeal came against the backdrop of controversy over revision of gross domestic product (GDP) numbers and withholding employment data by the NSSO. "Nobody has hurt India's global reputation & credibility more than Modi government. 108 global economists and social scientists are concerned and you should be too!" Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said in a tweet.
He urged people to vote out a party which, he alleged, "hides its massive failures by statistical jugglery and excel sheet management!" The economists and social scientists have appealed to all professional economists, statisticians and independent researchers to come together to raise their voice against the tendency "to suppress uncomfortable data" and impress upon the government to restore access and integrity to public statistics and re-establish institutional independence. The signatories include Rakesh Basant (IIM-A), James Boyce (University of Massachusetts at Amherst, US), Emily Breza (Harvard University, US), Satish Deshpande (Delhi University), Patrick Francois (University of British Columbia, Canada), R Ramakumar (TISS, Mumbai), Hema Swaminathan (IIM-B) and Rohit Azad (JNU).