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Minister keen on measuring ‘happiness’ of people in State

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Minister of Medical Education K. Sudhakar has said he plans to measure how happy people are in the State. On the sidelines of the Institute Day celebrations at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) on Friday, the Minister said his job as the Medical Education Minister was to ensure the well-being of people in the State. “I want a holistic approach to health. Mental health needs to be given priority in schools and colleges,” he said. He added that he had taken a leaf out of Bhutan’s book. The Bhutan government measures ‘Gross National Happiness’ which helps the government in policymaking. Assessing stress levels He said the government would also conduct studies to assess which category of people were less stressed. “We will work on the modalities and compare different types of people. For instance, we will measure the stress levels of working women and compare them with the stress levels of homemakers,” he said. Dr. Sudhakar said he would meet different stakeholders and come up with a plan shortly. Earlier at the programme, Deputy Chief Minister and Higher Education Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayan and Dr. Sudhakar inaugurated three laboratories — Human Genome Laboratory, Autoimmune Laboratory, and Neuroinfection Laboratory. Dr. Narayan said the new labs would ensure that people could get tested for various disorders at an affordable cost. B.N. Gangadhar, NIMHANS director, said that from March 1, patients could have direct consultation at speciality units. He said NIMHANS treated 5.5 lakh patients last year, which was 25,000 more than that during the previous year.

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