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for Lifetime Achievements in Statistics in a Developing Country or Region


About the Award 

The Mahalanobis International Award is sponsored by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation of the Government of India. The award recognizes an individual for lifetime achievements in statistics in developing country or region. It is expected that the award will have the potential to attract, inspire and motivate statisticians across the developing world to increase the quantity and improve the quality of their contributions to the cause of promotion and development of statistics and its applications. The award is presented biennially during the ISI World Statistics Congress.


Professor P.C. Mahalanobis

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 serves the dual purpose of honouring Professor P. C. Mahalanobis for his lifetime contributions and achievements in Statistics, and recognising and stimulating progress in Statistics in developing countries.

The achievements of the candidate will be considered under three main criteria and reflecting the spirit of Mahalanobis's lifetime work:

  1. Academic leadership for developing countries;
  2. Professional and official leadership for developing countries; and 
  3. Inspiration and capacity-building within developing countries. 

The 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;
  • Complementary WSC registration;
  • A monetary award of US$10,000.



The call for nominations for the 2019 award can be viewed here.


The 2019 ISI Mahalanobis Award was given to Professor Arellano-Valle from Chile

Professor Arellano-Valle

Professor Arellano-Valle, Department of Statistics, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, has made outstanding contributions to Statistics in a developing country and region, as an academic leader, in professional leadership and as an inspiration and capacity-builder. His lifetime achievements in statistics (especially in developing countries), and promotion of best statistical practices truly reflect the spirit of the work of Professor P.C. Mahalanobis.

Professor Arellano-Valle is a long-time academic leader in Statistics in Chile and in South America. His contributions have been immense and diverse, especially so in multivariate analysis, skewed models, multivariate modelling, measurement error models, ordered data analysis, and statistical inference based in flexible models. His work in multivariate statistics, notably as a global leader in elliptically contoured distributions and skew-elliptical distributions, is particularly apt in memory of Professor P.C. Mahalanobis who made so many seminal contributions to multivariate statistics. In addition, in his advancement of research, Professor Arellano-Valle has systematically pursued collaboration, always involving others, very often junior people, offering guidance, ideas and encouragement. This style of work is reflected in the vast number of co-authors of his many papers, many being former students of his.

Professor Arellano-Valle is an inspiration and capacity-builder in Statistics. He is a very sought-after advisor and has trained and inspired a large number of students of different nationalities, both at the M.S. and Ph.D. levels, who have taken jobs in academia, government, and in industry. He is also well known for his inspiring teaching at all levels. He is regarded as the mentor and the cultural leader by many statisticians in a considerable portion of South America, especially but not only of the younger generations. Moreover, his ties with scientists from Europe, North America and, more recently, Central Asia have provided links with other environments, facilitating the interaction between South America and the world.


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

Professor Rahul Mukherjee

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)



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