The Indian Statistical Institute (I.S.I.), founded by Professor Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis grew out of the Statistical Laboratory set up by him in the Presidency College in Calcutta. In 1932, the Institute was registered as a non-profit making learned society for the advancement of statistics in India. A few years later the Institute’s achievements in research that included innovative projects on sample surveys of agricultural crops and socio-economic after-effects of the Bengal famine (1943-44) as well as path breaking research publications of Professor R.C.Bose on experimental designs in the Annals of Eugenics (1939) bought recognition in India and abroad. The Institute is now considered as one of the foremost centres in the world for training and research in statistics and the related sciences. Under the leadership of Professor P C Mahalanobis, the Institute also initiated and promoted the interaction of statistics with natural and and social sciences to unfold the role of statistics as a key technology which explicated the twin aspects of statistics - its general applicability and its dependence on other disciplines for its own development. In keeping with this long tradition, the Institute has been engaged in developing statistics theory and methods and their practical applications in various branches of science and technology.
The major objectives of the Institute, as given in the Memorandum are
To promote the study and dissemination of knowledge of statistics, to develop statistical theory and methods, and their use in research and practical application generally, with special reference to problems of planning of national development and social welfare;
To undertake research in various fields of natural and social sciences with a view to the mutual development of statistics and these sciences.
To provide for, and undertake, the collection of information, investigation projects and operational research for purposes of planning and the improvement of efficiency of management and production.