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How can we reclaim India’s data leadership

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In 2010 the University of Delhi managed to persuade a major Mumbai based corporate institution, in the realm of finance, to visit the campus for recruitment purposes. This corporation was in the process of expanding its setup and wished to hire graduates who had some inkling of how to handle simple data. It had a few hundred openings.

The requirements of data literacy were basic and the package offered by the firm was attractive. The University advertised widely amongst its undergraduate institutions and eventually, 1,200 of the best resumes were shortlisted. The firm flew over a whole team from Mumbai for the recruitment process. The University did not disclose the college affiliations and the social backgrounds of the students. At the end of the lengthy process of interviewing each candidate, the firm deemed only three students to be suitable for selection. The main reason for this rejection rate was the inability of the students to understand basic issues related to the handling of data.

Lost knowledge

The above incident is just the tip of the iceberg. The nation that taught the world to count sensibly and how to use data for efficient management much before the Christian era has seemingly lost its way. In fact, Chanakya invented several modern ideas and concepts of statistics and through them used data for better governance.

This inability to........

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