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After Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh gets happiness department

Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu will head the department

Andhra Pradesh is the second state in the country after Madhya Pradesh to start a Happiness Index Department. Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu divested his hold over the energy, industries, commerce and tourism portfolios to head the newly formed department, The Times of India reported on Tuesday. The chief minister had recently launched an “achieving happiness” programme under which civic bodies organised song and dance events.

The Andhra Pradesh government’s ‘Sunrise AP Vision 2029’ has taken Bhutan as a model to focus on matters including psychological well-being, health, time use, education, etc. “We have also set parameters for Happiness Index. The idea is to see that each family gets Rs 10,000 income and the new index will be measured from data sourced,” C Kutumba Rao, vice chairman of the planning department, told the English daily.

“No government can be rated as successful or achieve desired results unless happiness prevails in society. We have to work towards achieving the dream goal of making Andhra Pradesh a happy state,” Naidu has often been quoted as saying.

In March a United Nations report praised the United Arab Emirates and other countries that have appointed happiness ministers. India dropped four spots to the 122nd rank in the UN happiness report and ranked lower than Somalia, China, Pakistan and Bangladesh in the list.

In July 2016, Madhya Pradesh became the first state to announce its happiness department. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had said that the department would ensure happiness in the lives of people and stop them from taking extreme steps, such as suicide.

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