C. R. Rao

C. R. Rao

 This article covers “Daily Current Affairs” and the topic details “C. R. Rao”. The topic “C. R. Rao” has relevance in the “Science and Technology” section of the UPSC CSE exam.

For Prelims:

Who is C. R. Rao? 

What are his significant works? 

For Mains:

GS3: Science and Technology
Achievement of Indians in Science and Technology

Why in the news?

C. R. Rao (Calyampudi Radhakrishna Rao), renowned as one of India’s finest mathematicians and statisticians, passed away in the United States on the morning of August 23, just a couple of weeks prior to his 103rd birthday.


Who is C R Rao?

  • Addressed as Dr. Rao by both his peers and students, the esteemed individual who had previously served as the director of the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) gained widespread attention earlier this year. This attention was a result of his recognition with the International Prize in Statistics 2023, an accolade often likened to the prestigious Nobel Prize.
  • C R Rao is an esteemed Indian-American mathematician and statistician whose achievements are widely recognized. 
  • He holds the position of professor emeritus at Pennsylvania State University and serves as a Research Professor at the University at Buffalo. Rao’s contributions have garnered numerous accolades, including colloquia, honorary degrees, and festschrifts. Notably, he was bestowed the US National Medal of Science in 2002. 
  • The American Statistical Association aptly characterizes him as a “living legend” whose profound impact extends across disciplines like economics, genetics, anthropology, and medicine, among others. 
  • Rao’s standing as one of India’s preeminent scientists is evident, as The Times of India acknowledges him as one of the top 10 Indian scientists of all time.


Seminal Research of C R Rao

  • In 1945, C R Rao authored a seminal research paper titled “Information and accuracy attainable in the estimation of statistical parameters,” which found its place in the Bulletin of the Calcutta Mathematical Society. 
  • This paper introduced a fundamental concept—the lower limit on the variance of an unbiased estimate for a finite sample. 
  • This concept has since become a cornerstone of mathematical statistics and a touchstone for subsequent research.

Key Contributions of His Research Rao’s 1945 paper delivers three pivotal outcomes:

  • Cramer-Rao Bound
    • The first breakthrough, now recognized as the Cramer-Rao lower bound, provides a way to determine the point at which an estimation method for a quantity becomes as good as any possible method.
  • Rao-Blackwell Theorem
    • The second discovery, named the Rao-Blackwell Theorem (credited to prominent statistician David Blackwell due to its independent discovery), offers a method to enhance an estimate into a better, or more precisely, an optimal one.
    •  Together, these discoveries lay the foundation for a significant part of the field of statistics.
  • Information Geometry
    • The third revelation introduces insights that have pioneered an emerging interdisciplinary domain known as “information geometry.” These combined findings empower researchers to effectively extract information from data.
  • Impact of his work
    • The reach of the Rao-Blackwell process extends across diverse domains including stereology, particle filtering, and computational econometrics.
    • Simultaneously, the significance of the Cramer-Rao lower bound spans a broad spectrum of fields such as signal processing, spectroscopy, radar systems, risk analysis, multiple image radiography, and even quantum physics.
    • The applicability of information geometry has notably contributed to enhancing the understanding and optimization of measurements in the realm of the Higgs boson at the renowned Large Hadron Collider.
    • Moreover, this paradigm has found practical applications in contemporary research fields such as radars and antennas. It has also significantly influenced the advancements in artificial intelligence, data science, signal processing, as well as areas including shape classification and image segmentation.

C R Rao’s exceptional contributions have left an indelible mark on the field of statistics, and his recognition with the prestigious International Prize further underscores his remarkable legacy.

About International Prize in Statistics


  • The International Prize in Statistics is a biennial award granted through collaboration among five prominent global statistics organizations.
  • This prize commends significant accomplishments within the realm of statistics, either by an individual or a team. It particularly recognizes those whose innovative ideas have translated into practical applications and groundbreaking advancements across diverse fields.
  • Following the esteemed tradition of the Nobel Prizes, Abel Prize, Fields Medal, and Turing Award, the International Prize in Statistics holds a position of prestige.

Previous Awardees

  • The first award in 2017 was granted to David R. Cox for his creation of the Cox proportional hazards model. This model has fundamentally transformed the analysis of patient survival rates in complex studies.
  • In 2019, Bradley Efron claimed the honor for his pioneering work on the bootstrap method—a computational technique that astutely assesses uncertainty in applied statistics.
  • In 2021, Nan Laird was recognized for her instrumental role in developing robust methods that have enabled the analysis of intricate longitudinal studies.


Sources: Legendary statistical scientist CR Rao dies | India News – The Indian Express

Yojna daily current affairs eng med 25th August 2023

Q1. With reference to C.R. Rao, consider the following statements: 

  1. C R Rao, one of India’s finest statisticians, was recently awarded with the International Prize in Statistics 2023.
  2. International Prize in Statistics is a biennial award granted by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
  3. Dr. Rao was the recipient of the first-ever International Prize in Statistics.

Which of the statements given above is/are NOT correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 3 only 

(d) None 

Answer: (b) 


Q2. Discuss the remarkable achievements and contributions of Dr. C. R. Rao in the realm of Mathematics and Statistics. How have his pioneering insights in statistics influenced various fields? 

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