Reserve Bank Governor Shaktikanta Das on June 28 cautioned against cherry-picking of data by experts, saying correlations can conveniently be used to establish "spurious causality" to achieve desired results. His remarks come in the backdrop of recent controversies over GDP data after former Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian in a research paper claimed that India has over-estimated its economic growth.
The Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) had, however, rejected the claim, saying Subramanian's analysis was based on "cherry-picking" of high-frequency indicators while ignoring data on services, agriculture and robust tax collection.
Speaking at the RBI's 13th Annual Conference, on the eve of 'Statistics Day', Das said in recent times there have been animated discussions on the precision of statistical methods.
"The doctrine - even tradition - of statistical significance in scientific research has come under some cloud for its veracity and the journal American Statistician published a special edition on this issue earlier this year," he said.