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Mahalanobis Award
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The Mahalanobis International Award for a Statistician from a Developing Country

for Lifetime Achievements in Statistics in a Developing Country or Region


The Mahalanobis International Award is sponsored by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation of the Government of India. It is awarded to a selected statistician from a developing country in recognition of her/his lifetime achievements in Statistics and the promotion of best statistical practices in a developing country or countries. The award is given biennially during the ISI World Statistics Congress.


Professor P.C. Mahalanobis (1893-1972) was a highly distinguished statistician who made extensive contributions to methodology, applications, statistical development, and public policy.

He founded the Indian Statistical Institute and served
as an advisor to the Government of India.





This initiative by the Government of India is intended to serve a dual purpose: a) honour Professor P. C. Mahalanobis for his lifetime contributions and achievements in Statistics; and b) recognise and stimulate progress in Statistics in developing countries.

The achievements of the candidate can be in one or more of the following areas:

  1. Innovative and concrete contributions to some field of application such as agriculture, economic development, education, health, industry, etc.
  2. Statistical capacity building at a national or regional level;
  3. Improvements of national or regional statistical systems and/or infrastructure;
  4. Enrichment of statistical methodology.

Nominations based on other criteria that are consistent with the spirit of Mahalanobis’s lifetime work will also be considered.


The 2017 ISI Mahalanobis Award was given to Professor Rahul Mukherjee from India

The 2017 ISI Mahalanobis Award Selection Committee emphasized Prof. Mukerjee’s lifetime record of truly outstanding research in design of experiments and asymptotic theory of statistical inference, and significant research in survey sampling; his considerable professional service, including editorial boards for extended periods on some major statistical journals; and his teaching and mentoring which has contributed greatly to capacity development in a large developing country.

Prof. Mukerjee has authored or co-authored five books and published over 240 papers, many in major statistical journals including the Annals of Statistics, Biometrika, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society B, Statistica Sinica and Sankhya, the Indian statistics journal founded by Professor Mahalanobis. He has collaborated with several of the leading researchers in statistics worldwide. In the area of design of experiments, he is a leading expert on orthogonal array designs, diallel crosses, and fractional factorial plans. In asymptotic theory, he is the leading expert in the world in the area of probability matching priors, and on the use of the Bayesian shrinkage argument for obtaining asymptotic results. His original contributions to the methods and theory of sample surveys have found appeal in diverse fields.

Prof. Mukherjee also provided exceptional leadership in India through service to the Indian Official Statistics System as a member of the National Statistical Commission, the Indian Statistical Institute, University Grants Commission and the Agricultural Statistics Research Program. He has contributed significantly in neighbouring developing countries in promoting statistics and modernizing curricula in statistical science.

The award was presented on 21 July 2017 at the ISI World Statistics Congress in Marrakech and was followed by the presentation by Prof. Mukherjee of the Mahalanobis Prize Lecture, titled 'Research in experimental design in India: achievements and emerging challenges'.

Previous winners of the award are:

  • 2015: Dr. Carlos M. Jarque (Mexico)
  • 2013: Dr. Lamine Diop (Senegal)
  • 2011: Professor Victor Yohai (Argentina)
  • 2009: Professor Pedro Morettin (Brazil)
  • 2007: Dr. Isidoro P. David (Philippines)
  • 2005: Professor Benjamin Kiregyera (Uganda)
  • 2003: Professor C. R. Rao (India)


The next Call for Nominations will be published during 2018.
[Sample CfN: The call for nominations for the 2017 award can be viewed here.]

The nomination form should be completed by the primary nominator and supported by one to three other sponsors. The nomination package should be submitted as a single package and must include the completed form, nominee’s CV, and supporting letters from the nominator and other sponsors. The supporting letters must provide compelling justification and concrete evidence of the nominee’s contributions.

The CV, letters of support, and all communications must be in English. Documents that are not in English should be accompanied by an English translation.

The completed package is submitted to the ISI Permanent Office.

The Mahalanobis award consists of:

  • An economy class return ticket to the ISI World Statistics Congress (WSC);
  • Per diem payment for accommodation and other living expenses while participating at the WSC
  • A monetary award of US$10,000.
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