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Mr. Prime Minister, after DIPAM, next is HRD Ministry

Mr. Prime Minister, after DIPAM, next is HRD Ministry

The Finance Minister presented Union Budget 2016 today. Every year we hear finance minister and post that army of experts who analyse the budget. Then everything is back to normal, & we hope well new normal.

Earlier The Railway Minister presented his railway budget. I wonder why no Power Budget, Why no Infra Budget, Why no IT & Telecom Budget. Anyway, we are happy with our legacy. Though The FM, today announced one important departure from legacy i.e. planned and non-planned expenditure. Now from the next year the budget expenditure will not be classified as planned and non-planned expenditure.


We need one more departure from the legacy. We need our HRD Minister to present her, not budget per se, but an annual action plan for the 125 billion people they are mandated to DEVELOP – (D in HRD).

The Minister of Human resource Mrs. Smriti Irani is in the news. She is even facing privilege motion in the parliament for some of the contents of her bombastic attack on opposition parties few days back.

Be that as it may if one visits the ministry website one can make out the purpose of the ministry if only education. This is not HRD Minister, but Education Ministry. Objectives stated on the website are:

The main objectives of the Ministry would be:

  • Formulating the National Policy on Education and to ensure that it is implemented in letter and spirit
  • Planned development, including expanding access and improving quality of the educational institutions throughout the country, including in the regions where people do not have easy access to education.
  • Paying special attention to disadvantaged groups like the poor, females and the minorities
  • Provide financial help in the form of scholarships, loan subsidy, etc to deserving students from deprived sections of the society.
  • Encouraging international cooperation in the field of education, including working closely with the UNESCO and foreign governments as well as Universities, to enhance the educational opportunities in the country.

After going through the objectives we realise the word HRD is used in a very limited purpose and hence the focus of the ministry is also very limited. Like the FM rechristened the Disinterment Ministry as Department of Investments and Public Asset Management, (DIPAM), we also need renaming of HRD Ministry. Ministry should be known as Ministry of Happiness.

With this expanded scope ministry can expand the objectives and its influence.

One of the aspects of happiness is education, but happiness also entails happy workplace, happy families, happy rural and urban population, and happy people across the religion, caste and communities.

Happiness entails education, wealth, health, emotional balance, religious practices, and peace of mind and including  ease of doing business.

India ranks 117 in World Happiness Index out of 158 countries.

Productivity of HAPPY employees is more by 12 % and unhappy people are less productive by 10%. If we focus on the happiness we can improve productivity of HR by 23%. Now this cannot be done by education alone.

When happiness is a state of mind, the overall state of mind should be the focus of HRD and not mere formal education. When we are obsessively focused on economic growth, but in the process if we are developing unhappy society, we will become like a rich family where money is in abundance but peace of mind is missing.

Economic prosperity should go hand in hand with the happiness of the population and not at the cost of happiness.

Venezuela has a Ministry of Happiness set up in 2013, one of the rich countries of the world, the UAE has very recently announced setting of Ministry of Happiness. Bhutan measures – Gross National Happiness of its population.

Happiness Bhutan

When we are becoming a society of unhappy workforce, intolerant and angry population, we need urgent action and intervention from the Govt. We need an expansion of the scope of the HRD ministry and making HAPPINESS of HR as a goal and not restricted goal of education alone.

If we achieve HAPPINESS of our population, we will achieve everything that is there to be achieved. We can’t say same about the Economic Growth.

In a pursuit of spreading happiness, I am releasing my new fiction, The Fifth Idiot, later this week. Happy to state, last week the book has received blurb from Ritesh Agarwal, Founder and CEO, OYO Rooms.

Sunil Gandhi
Sunil Gandhi

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