- The Madhya Pradesh government has asked the Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur with finding a quantifiable answer to what constitutes happiness and how happy are people really.
- The State government had, in July last year, set up the Anand Mantralaya or the Ministry of Happiness, with Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan as its first “happiness minister.”
- On May 16, 2017, his government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with IIT-Kharagpur (the only institute to have a Happiness Centre) to devise a Happiness Index for the State.
- “We are collaborating with IIT-Kharagpur for developing State happiness index. In the recent past, countries like Bhutan and Great Britain have worked in this area or the life satisfaction scale devised by Dr. Ed Denier. The ancient Indian wisdom that suggests ways of fulfilling and joyous life has never lost its relevance. That old sagacity has to be brought back in a manner that contemporary society understands and appreciates,” Mr. Chouhan told The Hindu.
Read in Hindi: मध्य प्रदेश: खुशी सूचकांक तैयार करने वाला राज्य
At 122nd spot
- For the record, India logged in at a dismal 122nd spot in the World Happiness Report for 2017, brought out by the United Nations. Down five points from the 2016 survey, where it stood at the 118th spot.
- The brief to IIT-Kharagpur is to devise a questionnaire that will bring out the happiness levels of the people with tangible and intangible things.
- They will first undertake a survey of all such indices the world over, devise their own questionnaire and include people’s perceptions on issues related to governance and material things, and a validation process will take place through a workshop in December. Only after validation of the index so developed will there be a large scale survey, more than 25,000 respondents from across Madhya Pradesh, to determine levels of happiness in the State.
Voices against the move
- The Chief Minister appeared ready to take on any questions over whether this somewhat abstract quest was a fit subject for governance.
- Shouldn’t governments be more concerned about organizing basic material comforts for its citizens?
Source: The Hindu