Skip to main content

India worse than Pakistan, Bangladesh, China in world happiness index: Columbia Univ-sponsored study

Counterview Desk
A new report has said that India has slipped in World Happiness Index (WHI) ranking from 115 in 2005-07 to 117 in 2012-14, and is behind Pakistan, Bangladesh and China. Called World Happiness Report 2015 and edited, among others, by Jeffrey Sachs, along with John F. Helliwel and Richard Layard, for the Earth Institute of the Columbia University, it has said that, on a scale of 10, India has scored 4.565 in 2012-14, which is 0.587 down compared to the score it achieved in 2005-07.
The Gujarat government under Narendra Modi signed, significantly, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in 2003 (click HERE to read) with Sachs to "initiate" research for developing a growth model for ujarat's economy and promote foreign direct investment (FDI). The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, was to be part of the research project.
Praising Gujarat under Modi, Sachs, who is known for his free market approach similar to Niti Ayog vice-chairman Arind Panagariya, also from the Columbia University, had said that Gujarat did not face any "intrinsic problem" for development as it has a long coastline and has an urbanised culture.
The report shows that Pakistan ranks No 81, China No 84, Bangladesh No 109, Iran No 110, and Iraq (No 112). Switzerland ranks No 1, followed by Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Canada. United States ranks No 15, United Kingdom No 21, Germany No 26, France No 29, and Saudi Arabia No 35.
Among the key indicators taken into account while calculating WHI are six variables. These include "gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity, and freedom from corruption", the report points out, adding, "Taken together, these six variables explain almost three-quarters of the variation in national annual average ladder scores among countries, using data from the years 2005 to 2014."
The report states, "For a report that strives for objectivity, it is very important that the rankings depend entirely on the basic data collected from population-based samples of individuals, and not at all on what we think might or should influence the quality of their lives." It adds, "Thus the average scores simply reflect what individual respondents report to the Gallup World Poll surveyors."
The report says, "We extend the GDP time series from 2013 to 2014 using country-specific forecasts of real GDP growth from the OECD Economic Outlook (May 2014 release) for OECD countries, and the World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects (June 2014 release) for the rest of the world, after adjustment for population growth."
As for social support (or having someone to count on in times of trouble), the report takes as the national average of the binary responses (either 0 or 1) to the Gallup World Poll (GWP) question "If you were in trouble, do you have relatives or friends you can count on to help you whenever you need them, or not?”
The time series of healthy life expectancy at birth are constructed based on data from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Development Indicators (WDI). The freedom to make life choices is taken as the national average of binary responses to the GWP question "Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with your freedom to choose what you do with your life?"
Then, answer was sought to the question, "Have you donated money to a charity in the past month?" And finally perception of corruption was sought in answer to the question, “Is corruption widespread throughout the government or not?” and “Is corruption widespread within businesses or not?” The report adds, "Where data for government corruption are missing, the perception of business corruption is used as the overall corruption-perception measure."

Comments

TRENDING

ISKCON UK 'clarifies' after virus infects devotees, 5 die due to big temple meet

By Rajiv Shah
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), United Kingdom (UK), has admitted that at least 21 of its devotees were infected because of the spread of the coronavirus amongst the UK devotee community following the March 12 funeral and March 15 memorial of the Bhaktivedanta Manor temple president, in which about 1,000 people participated. Regretting that five of the devotees have passed away, the top Hindu religious in Britain body does not deny more may have been infected.

Mallika Sarabhai releases speech she was 'not allowed' to give at NID Convocation on Feb 7

Counterview Desk
The National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry body, landed itself in controversy following its decision to put off its 40th convocation ceremony, where noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was invited as chief guest. The ceremony was scheduled to be held on February 7.

As corona virus 'travels' to rural areas, NGO begins training tribals, marginalised women

By Souparno Chatterjee*
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared corona virus a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan in China, it has traversed the entire globe, almost, and claimed more than 16,000 lives already. That’s largely the urban population. In India, despite all the preparedness and war-like promptness to safeguard against the pandemic, several lives have been lost , and hundreds of individuals have tested positive.

Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatya Tope 'martyred' by East India Company, Scindia's forefathers

By Our Representative
In an email alert to Counterview, well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam has said that was “shameful for any political party in democratic India to keep children of Sindhias in their flock” given their role during the First War of Indian Independence (1857). In a direct commentary on Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia moving over to BJP, Prof Islam has quote from a British gazetteer to prove his point.

COVID-19: Dalit rights bodies regret, no relief plan yet for SCs, STs, marginalized

By Our Representative
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Dalit Watch-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, endorsed* by several other Dalit rights organizations, have insisted, the Government of India should particular care of the scheduled castes and tribes, trans folks, persons with disabilities and the women and children from these communities, while fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus scare ‘pushing’ people from Northeast India into more hardship

By Rishiraj Sinha, Biswanath Sinha*
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela
***

Gujarat govt plan to 'banish' Gandhian activist anti-democratic, unconstitutional

By Rohit Prajapati*
The current Central and Gujarat governments, and their bureaucracy, have been and are still unable to answer and address the concerns raised, with facts, figures, and constitutional provisions, regarding the terror of tourism in the name of the Statue of Unity and tourism projects surrounding it.

Gujarat construction workers walk home as Rs 2,900 crore welfare fund lies unused

By Our Representative
Situated behind the Gujarat University, some of the families of the migrant construction workers from Dahod and Panchmahals districts of Gujarat, and a few from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, who had stayed put in make-shift shanties in Ahmedabad’s sprawling GMDC Ground, have begun a long journey, by foot, back to their home villages in the eastern tribal belt of Gujarat.

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.