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MPs to learn happiness, Bhutan way

As the winter session is getting tied-up in knots of difficulties for the government, the UPA leadership and other MPs can get some tips to be happy.

delhi Updated: Dec 16, 2011 00:00 IST

As the winter session is getting tied-up in knots of difficulties for the government, the UPA leadership and other MPs can get some tips to be happy.

Or they can get clues to emulate the fabled Gross National Happiness (GNH) indicator of Bhutan.

And no better person to talk about it than Prime Minister of Bhutan, Lyonchen Jigme Yoser Thinley, will be delivering the annual Hiren Mukherjee memorial lecture on — GNH, a holistic paradigm for sustainable well-being — at Parliament on December 20.

The GNH concept was designed in an attempt to define an indicator that measures quality of life or social progress in more holistic and psychological terms than only the economic indicator of gross domestic product (GDP).

The GNH entails a quantitative measurement of well-being and happiness, encouraged by the notion that subjective measures like well-being are more relevant and important than more objective measures like consumption.

The invite to the Bhutan PM is also line with New Delhi’s keen engagement with neighbours who are making transition into democracy.

The Bhutan PM is also the first political personality to deliver this lecture that had seen only economists in its previous three editions: Amartya Sen, Muhammad Yunus and Jagdish Bhagwati. Bhutan has been trying to spread the GNH into many countries.

India and Bhutan have a strong cooperation in the filed of fostering parliamentary democracy.

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and Speaker of the National Assembly of Bhutan Lyonpo Jigme Tshultim had signed a Memorandum of Understanding for Parliamentary Cooperation in November this year. Kumar had visited Bhutan parliament in 2010 and addressed its joint session.