In these tense days for our soldiers, the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) has approached IIT- Kharagpur to put smiles back on the faces of Indian jawans. DRDO will shortly tie up with IIT-Kgp to work out methods that will increase the happiness quotient of Indian soldiers.
Happiness increases productivity, and therefore, a rise of happiness levels will result in more productive and loyal soldiers for the country, both the director of IIT-Kgp and the director-general of life sciences at DRDO told HT on Friday. “As part of the comprehensive solider fitness programme we would be tying up with IIT-Kharagpur to work on increasing the happiness quotient of the Indian army,” Manas K Mandal, director-general of life sciences at DRDO.
The details of the programme will be worked out, and the process has just started.
The concept of gross national happiness (GNH) and happiness index are doing the rounds for a few decades now. The term GNH was first used by the Bhutan king in 1972. Bhutan, incidentally, is ranked first in the world happiness index
“We are looking at devising ways to build resilience among our soldiers, and it can be done by increasing the happiness quotient among them. We will be working with the Rekhi Centre of Excellence for the Science of Happiness at IIT-Kgp,” Mandal added.
Speaking about the initiative, Partha Pratim Chakrabarti, director of IIT-Kgp, said, “We are in the process of tying up with DRDO to help increase the happiness levels of our army. The details of the programme will be finalised shortly. We will work out the module that will require them to visit us and we visiting them.”
However, if you thought the initiative is being under taken by the DRDO to help distressed soldiers at border duties, injuries and war fatigue, you are wrong. “Unlike the US army serving in Afghanistan who require programmes to de-stress, our men on the frontlines do not need such tools. Most of our soldiers come from struggling families and continue facing hardship on the job. So they are much less vulnerable compared to the US soldiers in Afghanistan, who are used to abundance,” said the DRDO official.
“But then, we have to admit that working in extreme weather conditions (in Siachen, for example) for a prolonged period does require a lot of resilience, which we can induce through this programme,” said Mandal.
“This is an emerging discipline and is going to be one of the key pillars by which human development will happen,” Chakrabarti said.