Business Standard: July 18, 2016
Bhopal: The Madhya Pradesh government on Friday announced the country’s first ever “department of happiness”.“It is a historic decision by any Indian state. There will be a department of happiness and not a ministry. The state Cabinet okayed its formation,” said Narottam Mishra, Madhya Pradesh’s legislative affairs minister.
“We are looking at spiritual happiness and happiness through knowledge in accordance with Indian philosophy,” he added.
Though the happiness department will initially work with other departments like women and child development, health, and sports, a comprehensive plan will be floated later.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is likely to head the department as minister. The department will spend Rs 3.80 crore per annum on salaries and other related expenses. The budgetary allocation to the department will be decided later.
The department is expected to work under a working committee headed by a chairman. The committee will evaluate the state’s gross happiness.
“There will be a team that will conduct research to estimate the gross happiness of the citizens of the state. It will evaluate the state’s growth on certain parameters. Another team will be responsible for propagating happiness among the people,” Mishra said.
Chouhan, who has a master’s degree in philosophy, borrowed the idea of the happiness department from Bhutan, known as the happiest country in the world. The Himalayan Kingdom introduced the concept of a Gross Happiness Index in 2010.
Chouhan had announced his intention of setting up the department in March. “Inclusive growth is possible only when the state’s happiness index is high,” Chouhan had said then.
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