Madhya Pradesh will soon have a Happiness Ministry
Madhya Pradesh would soon become the first Indian state to get a Ministry for Happiness. At a BJP state meeting in its Bhopal headquarters, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced they would set up a State Ministry for Happiness to work towards keeping people genuinely happy. He stated that he was inspired by the concept of Bhutan's Gross National Happiness index.
In July 2011, the UN General Assembly had approved a resolution and invited member nations to measure the happiness of their people and use the report as a guide to shape better public policy.
'Ministry for Happiness' is a body of a particular government, which works for the happiness of its people and contributes to the quality of human development in a country or state. It strives to promote happiness by enabling better public policy and people support. Minister for Happiness helps a government to shape public policy to promote social good and satisfaction.
Five member countries of the UN had set up a 'Ministry of Happiness'. Bhutan, Ecuador, Scotland, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela had established 'Ministry of Happiness' which is responsible for promoting happiness as a goal of their government's public policy.
In 1971, Bhutan became the first country to adopt the concept of 'Gross National Happiness' (GNH) officially. Bhutan had chosen GNH as the prime indicator of significant development in the country rather than the 'Gross Domestic Product (GDP)' preferring the country's wellbeing to material growth. GNH was formally adopted to measure the spiritual, physical, social and environmental health of both its citizens and environment.
The 'World Happiness Report' is a survey that indicates the state of global happiness. The report released by the 'United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network' measures happiness of its member countries' people. Countries are given scores on a scale of 10 for various factors like GDP per capita, health, life expectancy, freedom of choice, perceptions of corruption, generosity, and dystopia.
On 17 March 2016, Denmark claimed the top spot for the third time in the fourth 'World Happiness Report' with a happiness score of 7.526. India ranked at 118 with a happiness score of 4.404.
Madhya Pradesh CM Chouhan stated that worldly possessions and statistical development are not the only measures of development. He said that four pillars of GNH would promote happiness – good governance, socio-economic development, cultural preservation, and environmental conservation. He added that GNH is measured by nine parameters including health, living standards, education, cultural diversity and psychological well being.
Chouhan stated that the happiness ministry would ensure the happiness of its citizens, and also help distressed people and stop them from taking extreme steps. According to him, the ministry would organize several programmes like cultural activities, yoga, and meditation to inculcate happy lifestyle in the citizens. He added that the proposal to establish the ministry would be passed in the next cabinet meeting.