National Sample Survey Office: NSSO Full Form in Economics, Year of Establishment

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

National Sample Survey Office, also known as NSSO, was established under the Ministry of Statistics in 1950. NSSO was created with the objective to conduct nationwide surveys across different socio-economic groups to understand the various aspects of the growth and development of the nation. The surveys conducted by National Sample Survey Office [NSSO] often follow a methodology where data is collected over a period of time, ranging from six months to over one year. These are objective surveys that are crucial to various policies and decisions.

National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) became National Statistical Office (NSO) on 23rd May 2019 after merging with Central Statistical Office (CSO). It was done to streamline the efforts of both organisations. NSO is headed by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI). Candidates preparing for the IAS exam will find important details about these organizations and will be able to get a hold of the concepts of NSSO in the upcoming exam.

What is NSSO?

NSSO was created in 1950 and has its headquarters in Faridabad. It has four major other divisions that perform different functions. National Sample Survey Office has 6 zonal Offices, 49 regional and 118 sub-regional offices that are spread across the country.

  • Initially, NSSO was set up with a defined scope of work which included data collection from rural areas for national accounts. However, after that, its operations expanded to urban areas as well.
  • NSSO gradually began working to collect data to represent all necessary socio-economic factors that impact the population and their way of living.
  • Their work is specialized and divided into four major divisions. Each division is responsible for its own set of tasks that ranges from the primary collection of data to its presentation in an understandable manner after processing it.

NSSO Full Form

NSSO was merged with CSO in 2009 and is now known as NSO. These organizations play an important role in collecting and presenting statistical data on various socio-economic factors in India. Below we have tabulated CSO, NSSO, NSO full form along with important highlights.

Full Form of NSSO, NSO, CSO

NSSO Full Form

National Sample Survey Office

NSO Full Form

National Statistical Office

CSO Full Form

Central Statistical Organisation

Year of NSSO-CSO Merger


NSSO and CSO Merger

NSSO became NSO in 2019 by merging NSSO and CSO. The National Sample Survey Office and Central Statistical Office were merged together to form a new organization called National Statistical Office. The central government, on 23 May 2019, approved this merger making it official.

NSSO was the largest organization in India that conducted surveys whereas CSO was responsible for ensuring that all the standards for statistical operations in the country were met. Both these organizations were merged to streamline their functions and ensure quicker collection and processing of data to help the government plan for socio-economic development accordingly. The merger of NSSO and CSO gave birth to NSO which is now working under MoSPI.

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Different Divisions of NSSO

NSSO performs various functions and as a result, its work is divided into four major divisions. These divisions are located in Kolkata and Delhi. The different divisions of NSSO along with their responsibilities are listed in the table below.


NSSO Headquarters


Survey Design and Research Division


Planning of surveys

Concept and Definition Formulation

Preparing Tabulation Plan

Planning Inquiry Schedules

Analysing and Presenting Results

Checking out Designs

Data Processing Division


Selection of samples

Developing software

Processing and validating data to present it in tabular format

Co-ordination & Publication Division


Co-ordinates with other divisions of NSSO to ensure smooth functioning of the organisation

Publishes the journal of NSSO annually

Field Operations Division

Delhi/ Faridabad

Collecting primary data and sharing that information with other departments.

Central Statistical Organization (CSO)

Central Statistical Organisation, CSO, was earlier called the Central Statistics Organisation of India. It has its headquarters in New Delhi. CSO was formed with the objective that it will look after the coordination of statistical activities happening in the country.

  • It is also tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that the statistical stands are always maintained and keep evolving as per the global trends.
  • CSO has its own graphical unit and also works with various states to contribute to the planning of India’s five-year plans.

Central Statistical Organisation is headed by the Director-General. There are also 4 additional Director-Generals, 6 Joint Directors, 30 Deputy Directors, and 48 Assistant Directors along with other staff members that handle all the operations of the CSO and ensure that they are performed with minimal errors.

CSO Functions

CSO participate in an array of activities that include conducting various surveys such as National Account Statistics (NAS) and Annual Survey of Industries (ASI) along with various Economic Censuses and their follow-ups. CSO also participates in developing human development and gender statistics. It is the main contributor to the Index of Industrial Production Compilation and CPIs for Urban Non-Manual Employees. CSO also provides training in official statistics and is responsible for broadcasting all sorts of statistical data whether it be IT or environment-related.

National Statistical Office (NSO)

After the merger of NSSO and CSO, there was no particular mention of the role of NSO by the government. It became a common name by which the two organizations will be known and perform their respective functions. National Statistical Office reports to the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation and is headed by the Secretary of the ministry. The NSSO and CSO merger does not mention any change in the working of NSC (National Statistical Commission) which oversees all the statistical operations of the country.

However, the NSSO and CSO merger has resulted in a few changes such as the loss of power of NSSO as it now works under MoSPI. This has caused concerns regarding the autonomy of the data collection and publication processes. However, the end result this merger claims to achieve is to improve the statistical functions of the company to have accurate data which can then be used by the government for its policy formulation.


NSSO is an important organisation from the perspective of UPSC. It is one of the UPSC services in which one can be employed. Candidates can get employed in Indian Statistical Services through the UPSC exam.

In addition to this, the National Statistical Office UPSC topic is also very important in the Indian Economy subject. Various questions are asked about this topic in Prelims as well as Mains which makes it of great significance.

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