Gross National Happiness
“Gross National Happiness is a term coined by His Majesty the Fourth King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck in the 1970s. The concept implies that sustainable development should take a holistic approach towards notions of progress and give equal importance to non-economic aspects of wellbeing.
The concept of GNH has often been explained by its four pillars: good governance, sustainable socio-economic development, cultural preservation, and environmental conservation.
Lately the four pillars have been further classified into nine domains in order to create widespread understanding of GNH and to reflect the holistic range of GNH values. The nine domains are: psychological wellbeing, health, education, time use, cultural diversity and resilience, good governance, community vitality, ecological diversity and resilience, and living standards.
The domains represents each of the components of wellbeing of the Bhutanese people, and the term ‘wellbeing’ here refers to fulfilling conditions of a ‘good life’ as per the values and principles laid down by the concept of Gross National Happiness.”- www.grossnationalhappiness.com / GNH Concept.
The assessment of GNH was designed in an attempt to define an indicator and concept that measures quality of life or social progress in more holistic and psychological terms than only the economic indicator of Gross domestic product (GDP).
Since its credentials Bhutan has rejected GDP as the only way to measure progress and made sure every policies and plans that comes into implementation meets the GNH index of holistic way. In its place, it has championed a new approach to development.
The United Nations has adopted Bhutan’s proposal to include happiness as the Ninth Millennium Development Goal (MDG) and consequently gained its admiration all over the world. The proposal was adopted unanimously by the 193 member countries at the UN headquarters in New York.
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