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Why India Lags in Happiness Index Rankings?

ET Cases, 5 Pages
AUTHOR(S) : Y. Bala Bharathi and Dr. Nagendra V. Chowdary

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Why India Lags in Happiness Index Rankings?

"Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination".

- Mark Twain

"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony."

– Mahatma Gandhi

Wouldn't you want to be happy, for ever? What would be the ultimate purpose of any human endeavor? What is the expected outcome of every enterprising activityy?

Are Indians - individuals, families, institutions - happy? Intriguingly, India's ratings in Happiness Index indicate unequivocally that Indians aren't happy and India isn't a happy nation while it's a happening nation. Are Indians going wrong somewhere? Is India progressively regressing? After 71 years of independence, why is it that India accounts for the largest number of people living below international poverty line? Reporting that India accounts for one in three of the poor population worldwide, the World Bank report said India accounted for the largest number of people living below the international poverty line in 2013, with 30% of its population under the $1.90-a-day poverty measure.

Recently released World Happiness report reinforced that India has been continuously lagging behind on ‘Happiness’ metric. Money has never been the only ingredient in the recipe for happiness of the report. United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network publishes World Happiness Report since 2012 which measures Happiness of 156 countries based on economic and social factors. The World Happiness Report calculates each country’s ranking based on six variables: GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity, and freedom from corruption................


Exhibit I: India’s Happiness Ranking is Falling Consistently

Exhibit II: Glimpse of World Happiness Report 2018

Teaching Note Preview

Why India Lags in Happiness Index Rankings?


The purpose of this teaching plan is neither to outline the answers to Case Debate’s discussion questions nor to suggest an ideal way of conducting an effective debate basis the given topic. It is more to share the authors’ perspectives, basis their classroom orchestration, on possible ways of orchestrating this Case Debate.

Purpose of the Case Debate

Purpose of this Case Debate, which is a prelude to the Case Method of Teaching, is to inculcate the following skills [Exhibit (TP)-I] that would amply benefit the participants during their career.......

As this Case Debate is based on a very generic topic, the purpose is not to dwell into only the research-based inputs but more to prepare the students/participants for the process of case discussion – except that while the case discussion would be based on the case facts, the Case Debate encourages the students/participants to present their ideas with no rigorous business dilemma.........



Exhibit (TP)-II: Public and Private Split in the Total Health Expenditure

Exhibit (TP)-III: Classroom Orchestration Plan – Why India Lags In Happiness Index Rankings?

Rs 0
Product code: HRM-9-0078, HRM-9-0078A


This Case Debate enables an animated discussion and debate on India's ranking in the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network's (SDSN) World Happiness Report 2018. The 2018 report, which is sixth in the series, ranked 156 countries according to six parameters such as GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, social freedom, generosity and absence of corruption. The World Happiness Index 2018, which measures countries in terms of happiness, has placed India in the 133rd position, a drop of 11 places from last year's 122nd rank. India was ranked 118th in 2016.

India's rank in the World Happiness Report 2018 was far behind other neighbouring countries such as Pakistan, Nepal and China, to name a few. The report ranked Finland as the happiest country, closely followed by Norway and Denmark. Burundi was listed as the least happy country.

This Case Debate centres around (a) Why has India not progressed well on such an important metric? (b) What have all the welfare programs and economic development over the last 71 years done to Indian citizens’ happiness? (c) What would it take to improve the ranking? (d) Is GNP a better measure than GDP? (e) Should employee happiness be a HR mandate in every company?

Purpose of this Case Debate, which is a prelude to the Case Method of Teaching, is to inculcate the following skills that would amply benefit the participants during their career:

(a) Ideation
(b) Discussion and Debate
(c) Empathy
(d) Appreciation

Case Debate Positioning and Setting

Depending on the purpose, this Case Debate can be used for either of the following:

  • MBA Programs – Human Resource Management – To debate on the role of HR department to strive for employees’ well-being with ‘Happy People – Happy Employees’ mandate.
  • Undergraduate Programs/BBA Programs – To sensitize the participants to the relationship between economic development and happiness

  • This Case Pack Includes:
    - Abstract
    - Case Debate
    - Teaching Plan (**ONLY for Academicians)

    **Electronic downloadable links (PDFs, PPTs, Supplements etc.) are available immediately after purchase. Please use Indian Currency Option (INR) when you are Making Payment within India. "No. of Copies" reflects the number of permissions you intend to use in Classroom Discussions / Corporate Trainings.

    No. of Copies
Rs 0

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