The International Statistical Education Centre has had a distinguished existence in the area of statistical education for the last sixty seven years. An associate institution of the Indian Statistical Institute, it has catered to the needs of developing countries all over the world, by training the statistics professionals of these countries, primarily in the government and semi-government sectors. The developing countries of Asia and Africa have particularly benefited from the ISEC program.
The proposal of setting up the Centre in 1950, when independent India was in its infancy, was a historic action in the area of statistical education, and it needed a visionary like Prof. P. C. Mahalanobis to come up with the idea. The Centre initially started functioning under an agreement between the Indian Statistical Institute and the International Statistical Institute. The primary activity of the Centre is a ten month diploma course (the duration has varied over the years) in Statistical Education. Ever since its inception, the Centre has received all infrastructural support from the Indian Statistical Institute, and the resource personnel have been drawn from the teaching faculty of the Indian Statistical Institute. Currently, the Centre functions with the support of the Indian Statistical Institute and the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India. The National Statistical Systems Training Academy (NSSTA), a department of the Central Statistical Office, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, is our active collaborator in running our programme. Most ISEC trainees are financially supported by scholarships from the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.
The policies of ISEC are formulated by an independent Board of Directors. Prof. P. C. Mahalanobis was the first Chairman of the Board of Directors. From 1972 till late 2015, Prof. C. R. Rao held the position of the Chairman. In November 2015, Prof. S. P. Mukherjee took over this responsibility and is currently giving leadership to ISEC activities. Many other luminaries, Prof. Nikhilesh Bhattacharya, for example, have been intimately associated with this unique effort. I and all my colleagues at ISEC are trying to run this Centre in a manner which befits its rich tradition and legacy.
I invite all prospective trainees to check out our facilities and be a part of the ISEC family.
Prof. Ayanendranath Basu