The Madhya Pradesh government today announced country's first ever 'Happiness department'. “It is a first historic decision by any Indian state, There will be a department of Happiness and not the ministry. The state cabinet has okayed its formation today,” said Narottam Mishra, cabinet colleague of Chouhan. “Other countries like Bhutan, the United States and United Nations have various other parameters for happinessindices but we are looking at spiritual happiness and happiness through knowledge in accordance with Indian philosophy to bring Happiness among people of the state.” Though the department will initially work in sync with other departments like women and child development department, health department, sports, a comprehensive plan will be floated later. The department will also spend Rs 3.80 crore per annum on salaries and other related expenses. The budgetary allocation to the department will be decided later, however, the state chief minister Chouhan is likely to head the department as minister. There was buzz in the administrative and bureaucratic circles onf whether it would be a Ministry or a department. “States cannot have ministry, instead there will be a department or a commissionerate,” state chief secretary Anthony JC De Sa had told Business Standard recently.
The department is likely to work under a working committee headed by a chairman who will be hired on a salary of Rs 1.50 lakh per month while there will also be a chief executive director who would draw Rs 1.25 lakh per month. The committee would decide state’s gross domestic production mainly by considering people’s happiness through spirituality and knowledge.
“The newly created department is a sequence of various innovations the state chief minister has done in the past. There will be a proper team that would conduct research to scale the gross happiness of the citizens of the state. It would judge the mental status of the people of the state and evaluate the state’s growth on certain parameters. Also another team will be responsible to propagate the concept of happiness among people,” Mishra further said.
Chouhan, who is a gold medalist in his Master’s degree in philosophy, borrowed the idea of “Happiness department” from Bhutan, which is known for being the happiest country in the world. The Himalayan Kingdom introduced the Gross Happiness Index in 2010.
Earlier in March this year, Chouhan had announced creation of one such department.
“Inclusive growth is possible only when happiness index remains high in the state,” Chouhan had said at occasions.
Although Madhya Pradesh has posted 20 percent growth in agriculture, double digit growth in gross state domestic product and a slew of social security scheme, mainly for girl child the state has been ranked very high in crime (rape) against women and a large population of tribesmen.