Honesty and statistics

Published at May 16, 2018 04:52 AM 0Comment(s)2295views

I say health is a wealth if and only if we get true statistics with honesty

Honesty and statistics

Altaf Hussain Haji


Honesty means to hold one’s integrity, principles, beliefs, actions, and intentions. Honesty includes clearly communicating needs and goals.

Honesty refers to a facet of moral character and connotes positive and virtuous attributes such as integrity, truthfulness, straight forwardness, including straight forwardness of conduct, along with the absence of lying, cheating, theft, etc.

Honesty also involves being trustworthy, loyal, fair, and sincere. Honesty is valued in many ethnic and religious cultures. “Honesty is the best policy” is a proverb of Benjamin Franklin, while the quote “Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom” is attributed to Thomas Jefferson, as used in a letter to Nathaniel Macon. William Shakespeare famously describes honesty as an attribute people leave behind when he wrote that “no legacy is so rich as honesty” in an act “All is Well that Ends Well.”

The level of honesty of a person, team and system has a direct and evident bearing on the work being undertaken by them. It matter not hardly that how advanced, modern, scientific or mechanical we are, the traits like honesty never lose their importance.

Honesty is rated as “the best” in all the moral, ethical, philosophical, social, religious   sectors of the world.

If all the people of our society exhibit honesty in their domestic, social, official matters, our society will be much better and more prosperous. 

Here I want to state that the loyalty of an employee towards his job is nothing but honesty. The accountability of the head of the family towards his family is nothing but honesty. The treatment by doctors avoiding spurious medicines, private practice etc is a justified form of honesty.

A large number of examples can be quoted to show how honesty is within the reach and competence of everyone. There is no investment in honesty but the returns like peace of mind and satisfaction are guaranteed.

The world so far has not been able to set a scale for measurement of traits like honesty. Honesty is simply uncountable. It has neither any parameters nor any standards because “truth is truth”.

Being a statistician I, will try to correlate honesty with statistics. From the statistical point of view honesty is uncountable and has no particular parameters. 

The other uncountable matters are truthfulness, response, help, conduct of work etc. All these uncountable matters have a direct bearing of statistics.

Statistics is a term used to summarize a process of uncountable matters such as truthfulness, response, help, conduct of work etc. Statistical analysis involves the process of gathering and evaluating information and then summarizing the information into a mathematical form.

As we know that the science of collecting, analyzing and making inference from information is called Statistics.  Statistics is a particularly useful branch of mathematics that is not only studied theoretically but one that is used in many fields to organize, analyze, and summarize data. Some of the major purposes of statistics are to help us understand and describe phenomena and to help us draw reliable conclusions about those phenomena.

There is a strong relationship between honesty and statistics in terms of measurement or evaluation.   

The relationship of some uncountable matters such as truthfulness, response, help and conduct of work with honest are surmised as under.

Truthfulness and honesty

Truthfulness is saying or relating things that are factually correct. One can be honest that is, one can speak without intent to deceive and not be truthful.

On the other hand, a truly masterful liar can lie while being absolutely truthful--that is, manipulate the context of says or perhaps omit important information in order to deceive the listener without saying anything that is not factually correct. Lying is in the intent to deceive, not in the individual statements make.

Response and honesty

The quality of information collected through survey and census depend upon the response from primary unit and honesty of the informant.

The maintenance of quality and to get positive response is important challenge in collection of data. It is to mention here that all activities involved in collection of data through surveys and census is directly dependent on the respondents. There are a lot of difficulties in collection of data through surveys which lead to the errors and ultimately affect the quality of the data.

If a person is willing and honest enough to provide correct data only then his data should be accepted. The surveyors themselves should be honest and should ensure the trustworthiness of the informant so that the statistical errors are minimized and true statistical picture is brought forth.

Help and honesty

Help is a team approach in good society and functioning of good governances. Help is uncountable statistics and cannot be determined in terms of figures and percentages. It is a strong force in social environment and is used to reel the problem which is faced. Help is done by sharing needful knowledge, information or physical entities etc.

While helping the needy honesty if we share knowledge and information with honesty, the result is different and grateful for society and government.

As a statistician and officer of the Indian Statistical Service I have  an observed that in surveys matters, generally people do not help by providing correct knowledge and information to various data collecting agencies like National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) which is for planning and policy formulations.

Work and honesty

From the statistical point of view, work is an uncountable and cannot have any measured scale. The work done by the workforce in individuals, households, establishments and government being uncountable has to be adjudged qualitatively on the basis of the honesty exhibited or shown and transparency maintained. Honesty should be top priority while working in office, home or anywhere.

One should be honest in office as well as at home, in personal life as well as professional life and above all one should be honest with himself because being honest with one’s own-self is a sign of being human. Only honest people can do justice with their work. The menace of corruption can be effectively curbed and overcome by the tool called honesty.

There are many matters in our daily life which are linked with honesty.

Here I, want state to derive attention towards health statistics which is also uncountable matter. As health is one of the important indicators of social statistics but it is not countable on any particular scale. It depend upon the well-being of the people, household, establishments and government functioning.

The health is dependent upon the medical and sanitation facility of the people/household/establishment from government and non-government organizations.

The facility can be determined by the statistics. The statistics of health is derived from the people, households, establishments and government. The true statistics of health and related issue will depend upon the honesty of the people, households, establishment and government. True statistics of health leads to the real health of the society and population. 

At last, I say health is a wealth if and only if we get true statistics with honesty. The various indicators of health in Jammu and Kashmir are either not good or not available due to the lack of honesty in various matters by people, society, establishments and government.

This dishonesty in health sector is responsible for poor health system in Jammu Kashmir. Had there been honesty at grass root level the scenario of health sector would have been altogether different.

So far the state of Jammu and Kashmir is concerned, there are difficulties in the collection of data differ with respect to situations. These difficulties are of different types in rural and urban areas of different regions of Jammu Kashmir.

The major difficulties in collecting uncountable statistics in the rural areas of Jammu Kashmir is due to illiteracy, cultural constraints and language, large informal economy, low standards of response, heterogeneity of society and low living conditions.

On the other side the difficulties of collecting uncountable statistics in urban areas of Jammu Kashmir are cultural constraints, high consumption pattern, large informal economy, in ability of civil society, low standard of book keeping of establishments and enterprises and low propensity of respondents. 

It is advisable if we come forward  and ignore the illiteracy, cultural constraints and language, large informal economy, low standards of response, heterogeneity of society and low living conditions of rural areas and  in urban areas the cultural constraints, high consumption pattern, large informal economy, in ability of civil society, low standard of book keeping of establishments and enterprises and low propensity of respondents than statistics will definite change the pattern of life and leads to the honesty of the society as we in Jammu Kashmir have old and civilized culture, heritage, history and simple life. This will help to prove statistics and honesty in Jammu Kashmir.



Author is Director, National Sample Survey Office, (Field Operations Division), Regional Office, Srinagar



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