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As the structure of the industrial sector changes over time, it became necessary to revise the base year of the IIP periodically to capture the changing composition of industrial production and emergence of new products and services so as to measure the real growth of industrial sector (UNSO recommends quinquennial revision of the base year of IIP). After 1937, the successive revised base years were 1946, 1951, 1956, 1960, 1970, 1980–81 and 1993-94. Initially it was covering 15 industries comprising three broad categories: mining, manufacturing and electricity. The scope of the index was restricted to mining and manufacturing sectors consisting of 20 industries with 35 items, when the base year was shifted to 1946 by Economic Adviser, Ministry of Commerce & Industry and it was called Interim Index of Industrial Production. This index was discontinued in April 1956 due to certain shortcomings and was replaced by the revised index with 1951 as the base year covering 88 items, broadly categorised as mining & quarrying (2), manufacturing (17) and electricity (1) compiled by CSO. The items in this index were classified according to the International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC) 1948 of all economic activities.

The index was revised in July 1962 to the base year 1956 as per the recommendations of a working group constituted by the CSO for the purpose and it had covered 201 items, classified according to the Standard Industrial and Occupational Classification of All Economic Activities published by the CSO in 1962. The index with 1960 as the base year was based on regular monthly series for 312 items and annual series for 436 items. Hence, though the published index was based on regular monthly series for 312 items, weights had been assigned for 436 items with a view to using the same set of weights for the regular monthly index as well as the annual index covering the additional items. However, the mineral index prepared by the IBM excluded gold, salt, petroleum and natural gas.

The next revised series of index numbers with 1970 as the base year, had taken into account of the structural changes occurred in industrial activity of the country since 1960 and this index was released in March 1975 covering 352 items comprising mining (61), manufacturing (290) and electricity (1). The working group (set up in 1978) under the Chairmanship of the then Director General of CSO, decided to shift the base to 1980-81, to reflect the changes that had taken place in the industrial structure and to accommodate the items from small-scale sector.