The Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu has said that every citizen must play an active role in nation building. People are not merely recipients or beneficiaries but active agents of change, he said while addressing the gathering on the occasion of 125th Birth Anniversary of Prof. Mahalanobis in Kolkata, today. Minister of Statistics and Programme Implementation in the Government of India, Shri D. V. Sadananda Gowda, Minister of Information & Technology, IT, Govt. of West Bengal Shri Bratya Basu, and other dignitaries were present at the venue.Vice President called Prof. Mahalanobis an iconic visionary who introduced the Indian sub-continent to the field of statistics.His vision, focus, and his application-driven research in the field of statistics, is the bedrock of the modern official statistical system in practice in our country today, he said.The Vice President said that over 65% of our population is under 35 years of age and it is crucial to turn this ‘potential’ asset into and ‘actual’ asset. If we fail to tap into this reservoir of human resources and turn it into human capital, it will be a missed opportunity and the country would have to cope with a number of socio-economic consequences including poverty inequality, social unrest and unsustainable growth, he said.We need to equip this young population with the skills, knowledge and attitude required for the knowledge economy of the twenty first century to realize the demographic dividend, he said.The Vice President said that statistics is truly the backbone of good governance. It is absolutely essential for planning and indispensible for monitoring and evaluation.We need data to improve the quality of life and to make informed choices, we need statistics, we need tools to analyze and synthesize, he said.The Vice President said that India has a tradition that was built by numerous mathematical geniuses like Bhaskaracharya, Aryabhata and Srinivasa Ramanujan.There is a need to continue this tradition of excellence and strengthen the quality of mathematics teaching at school, college and University level, he added.