Technology refers to the practical application of scientific knowledge for a purpose. It also includes the capability and skills required to apply the knowledge.The term technology comes from the Greek word techno, meaning art and craft, and the word logy, meaning word and speech.
It was first used to describe applied arts, but it is now used to describe the advancements and changes that affects the environment around us.
The history of technology is the invention of tools and techniques. Technology can refer to methods ranging from as simple to complex that has emerged since the 198’s.
New knowledge has enabled people to create new things, and conversely, many scientific endeavors are made possible by technologies which assist humans in traveling to places they could not previously reach, and by scientific instruments by which we study nature in more detail than our natural senses allow. Overall technology leads to new information for day to day lifework and environment.
Technology is also one of the force for economic growth and a means to develop and project economic. The output growth in the government sector with the help of technology is one of the example technology affects the working culture of government particularly central government in various matters such as generate of statistics, collection of statistics (sample survey) digitalization of administrative record records, etc.
The government agencies use digital imaging to enhance productivity, provide greater access to certain types of information, and as a preservation option.
Digital imaging offers many advantages, including: improved distribution and publication, increased access, streamlined workflows, and a greatly reduced need for physical storage space.
Digital files made available over the web allow government agencies to provide information to partners or the public quickly and efficiently.
The government also tried from last few years the digitization of records for easy access to provide information quickly and efficiently. The National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) under the Ministry of Statistics and Program implementation, government of India have Urban Frame Survey(UFS) records digitally for easy available to the users for conduct socio-economic survey.
There are many sample surveys conduct by government in some latest technology modes such as tablets, mobile applications, notebook, etc. Also conduct of sample surveys by government means prepare and generate administrative statistics.
As we know that administrative statistics is that which is related to registration, transactions, implementation, monitoring, record keeping etc. is called administrative records. It is also related to day to day business transactions. All the statistics have technology as back bone for operations
Administrative records are an important source of information for research such as socio-economic matters. For many years, demographers have used information from birth and death certificates to analyze various public health trends.
Today, administrative data is becoming increasingly common in research about child care and early education policy. These data are generated and maintained with the help of technology that often are relatively cost-effective way to learn more about all of the individuals and families using a particular public service.
The Central Statistics Office (CSO)and National Sample Survey office (NSSO) of the ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation is also maintaining and prepare administrative records of administrative statistics with the help of latest technology.
The National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) has been in service to the nation since 1950. It has been instrumental in developing a strong database on various Socio-Economic parameters through its countrywide sample surveys.
The administrative data in India uses Technology and expert human resources for improvement of quality of data at present. The monitoring in the form of technology is very effective and reduces the error in data collection. There are many checks during the collection of data through technology.
Recently, a survey named Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) was launched by National Sample Survey Office. The PLFS is purely technology based survey where in data collection is done using Tablets. The back web portal of PLFS survey is financed by the World Bank and developed by technical experts in the field.
Monitoring of the administrative data of National Sample Survey Office is also done by the expert human resource through regular Supervision, surprise inspections, random scrutiny and super scrutiny of various surveys. The only purpose of all these checks is to improve the quality of data collected.
It is clear from technological benefits such as invention , time saving and cost benefits of new delivery for collection of statistics in enabled by technology and the enthusiasm with which NSSO attempting to integrate computer-based data collection into their present system.
Even government schools have limited access to digital technology (broadband connections), and few officials, officers and, administrators are fluent in technology.
Finally, few technology providers can customize their offerings to suit the varying needs of different economic environments. Even where there is faster adoption of technology in India’s government sector at present its utility is limited by insufficient customization of technology to the local context and drivers of quality.
Hybrid models that combine the strengths of officers with technology are required to capture the full value of technology in government.
And technology adoption has focused on core pedagogical uses (content and instruction), but not sufficiently on tracking and administrative applications. India urgently needs a multi-stakeholder programme for the technology-enabled transformation of data collection.
This could bring together the government IT industry associations, and project implementation experts to plan for more widespread technology adoption and disruption to traditional administration methods.
As we seen that there is various advantage of using technology for conduct surveys. Some of them are as under:
Paperless work: The first and foremost advantages of using technology in socio-economic surveys is paperless work. The technology used leads to reduce the paper work in conduct surveys.
Increase output: With the introduction of methods and techniques of conducting various surveys in NSSO atmosphere, it increases output in terms of dissemination of results of the surveys early than time schedule.
Increase statistics output: As a result of introduction of technology in the process of producing statistics, there has been tremendous increase in the survey output which has resulted in processing tasks effectively and efficiently.
Statistics growth: Technology has positively impacted in various activities of prepare statistics. In general technology has touched almost every sphere of business activities. Businesses need to make wide variety of mathematical calculations for various purposes such as counting, estimation cost and profit, etc. Prior to the introduction of calculators all these mathematical calculations were done manually. With the introduction of computers, large business data are effectively processed and stored in computers.
Comfort technology: Technology had made conduct of statistics comfortable. The socio-economic surveys of NSSO are very difficult to collect information from household in paper mode but with the introduction of technology the collection becomes somewhat easy comfort and better response.
Better utilization of resources: Modern tools and equipment has helped us to utilize the human resources at optimum level.
Improve communication: Internet, telephone, email, and other communication technologies has helped us to communicate the conduct of surveys very easy and accessible.
Research and development: with the help of technology, better results of surveys and statistics are available in time which leads research and development tends to the new height.
Data quality improved: The use of technology in various surveys reducing the sampling errors and improve the quality of the data collection in the field.
Emerging technologies: Emerging technologies such as information technology, bio-technology, artificial intelligence, etc. are among the most important technologies of modern times. The introduction of computers, internet, smart phones, etc. has deep impact on quality of the statistics collected and reduce errors. Much research is being conducted in the field of artificial intelligence.
There are many disadvantages of use of technology including conduct of surveys or generate administrative statistics. The role of technology is unavoidable in case poor technology. Poor technology results in poor quality of data.
The need of the hour is that high end technology must be applied in the collection of data for better administrative statistics and strengthening the building of Strong Statistical System. The data can be a powerful tool in management decision-making, policy development, and improvement.
It is remembered here that to protect the quality of data following should be kept in mind for decision making, policy development and improvement in the present age of technology.
Fostering more openness and transparency in government around the world, governments are opening up data sets for use by the public and industry. Open data can enable us all sorts of applications, innovations, and new business models.
Author is Director, National Sample Survey Office, (Field Operations Division), Regional office, Srinagar.