Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das on Friday said that there have been "animated discussions" on the precision of statistical methods in recent times.
"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.
Critics allege that these tests are susceptible to manipulation in order to make desired results significant, and undesired results non - significant, " Das said at the Statistics Day Conference here.
In a recent paper which came under heavy criticism from the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, former Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian had used 17 high - frequency indicators that correlate with the GDP to suggest that India significantly over - estimated its GDP figures from 2011 - 12 onwards.
Das on another occasion said that some important results may be discarded at the conception level itself just because they are highly unlikely.
"Similarly, an opportunity to 'cherry - pick' variables is available.
In other words, correlations can be conveniently extended to establish spurious causality, " Das said.
The Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister had earlier in a "point - to - point" rebuttal to Subramanian's paper on over - estimation had alleged that the author had "cherry - picked" high - frequency indicators to conclude that India over - estimated its GDP figures.