While the United Nation has recently come up with World Happiness Report 2017 in which India was ranked 122 among 155 nations, Devendra Fadnavis-led Maharashtra government is now planning to set up a ‘Happiness Department’ under its Relief and Rehabilitation department. The state government has decided to set up a seven-member expert committee and has asked to formulate a detailed plan for this section within the next three months.
While the term ‘happiness’ is said to be subjective, the UN, every year, comes out with a World Happiness Report which rates countries on six parameters to decide how happy the residents of that country are. As per Indian Express report, these parameters include GDP per capita, healthy years of life expectancy, perceived freedom to make life decisions, and generosity as measured by recent donations in society.
Apart from the aforementioned parameters, there are two other factors – social support (as measured by having someone to count on in times of trouble) and trust (measured by a perceived absence of corruption in government and business). Maharashtra government believes that it needs to focus on the last two factors.
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However, Maharashtra is not the first state to set up a Happiness Department. In June 2016, Madhya Pradesh became the first state to open up such a department with CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan then saying the department will work to bring happiness into the lives of people. Speaking to PTI, Chouhan had also said, “Besides the basic necessities of Roti, Kapda aur Makaan (food, cloth and shelter) people need something more to be happy in their lives.” He had also stated that a panel of experts was formed in the newly-constituted department which were supposed to give suggestions to ensure happiness in the lives of the people.
“Normally, happiness is measured with economic growth rate which is not entirely correct as our country for ages believed otherwise. There is something more which can bring happiness in the lives of people,” Chouhan said further.