IIT Kharagpur to teach Science of Happiness

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. But research suggests that happy organizations are usually successful. Anchored on this key concept, IIT Kharagpur organzied its 1st International Workshop on the Science of Happiness as an initiative under the Rekhi Centre of Excellence for Science of Happiness from 23rd to 25th September 2016.  The workshop began with a Corporate Leadership Program at Lalit Great Eastern, Kolkata entitled ‘Happy Leaders and Happy Organizations’, on September 23, 2016. The programme had participation from corporate leaders, working professionals and renowned academicians from across the globe. It was chaired by Prof. P P Chakrabarti, Director, IIT Kharagpur. The second phase of the event was held at the IIT Kharagpur campus for two more days as the Centre workshop on ‘The Science of Happiness: Relevance in the Indian Context’. 
 
“Skeptics say that happiness level is genetically determined or as we say in India it is destined. Professor Sonja and Dr Marci Shimoff say that portion is only 40 to 50 per cent. So we have a choice to make our lives happier and better. Some of the top experts in this field have been chosen to speak at the workshop, and I believe they will help bring a positive change to our lives. The workshop is our first step on our journey to bringing happiness to people and their organizations”, said Satinder Singh Rekhi, the founding donor after whom the centre has been named.
 
The event had participation from eminent leaders, some among them are -
• Sonja Lyubomirsky, Bestselling author of The How of Happiness
• R. Gopalakrishnan, Director of TATA Sons Ltd, Chairman of TATA Autocomp system, Honeywell and Rallis India, Vice Chairman of TATA Chemicals.
• Manas K. Mandal, Director General - Life Sciences, DRDO
• Ajeet Saxena, Chief Commercial Manger, Southern Railways
• Sasi B. Misra, Eminent scholar on leadership, former Professor at IIM Ahmedabad and currently Institute Professor at Entrepreneurship Development Institute, Ahmedabad.
• Padmashree awardee, K. Ramakrishna Rao, considered the father of Indian psychology, and currently Chancellor, GITAM university
• Radhika Punshi & David Jones,  Managing Directors at The Talent Enterprise, Dubai, a human capital ‘think’ and ‘do’ tank. 
 
The programme was opened by Mr. R. Gopalakrishnan. He spoke on the topic of Maximising, not Balancing, Work-life through Six Lenses. Prof. Sonja Lyubomirsky spoke on the topic 'Bringing Happiness to the Organizations. Prof. Manas K. Mandal spoke about Managing Misconceptions and Delivering Happiness in Organizations. He referred to resilience which is inculcated in Indian Armed Forces which helps them to become stronger even after being hit by bullets or encountering extreme weather conditions. Similar training of resilience can be inculcated among civilians to better manage and overcome negative situations. The other speakers were Ajeet Saxena, Chief Commercial Manager, Southern Railways and Prof. Sasi B Misra, EDI of India, Ahmedabad. A panel discussion was organized on 'Making Better Organizations and Better Leaders' participated by CEOs of invited organizations. 
 
The talks, interactions and activities at Kolkata focused on how to make organizations and their leaders happy and productive. Something which came up in the talks of several speakers was the need to practice spirituality as part of our daily lives. Emphasised by Mr. Gopalakrishnan, spirituality is quite distinct from the aspects of religion, primarily focusing on the philosophical aspect of it. India has always been philosophically advanced which coupled with modern scientific and developments can evolve better organizational management skills.
 
The programme continued for two more days at IIT Kharagpur with workshop focus on making the Centre a world-class centre with the top of the line courses, cutting-edge scientific and social-sciences research and holistic student and community activities. The highlights of the program include ‘Science of Happiness Challenge’ comprising competitions and project invitations from the student and campus community on the theme, how to make a happier campus; exhibitions and poster presentations by students and researchers, and a number of other related activities. The selected work was displayed at the campus on Sep. 24-25.
 
"This workshop is part of IIT Kharagpur's initiative to help develop leaders who carry the spirit of a happy and meaningful existence that fosters excellence with equity all around. Some of the finest proponents of this domain in the corporate, government and academia will converge in Kolkata and Kharagpur to share their thoughts and experiences. IIT Kharagpur calls upon today's corporate leaders to participate in this workshop in Kolkata to hear these eminent personalities and also share their views in an interactive manner. This is part of a continuing programme of the unique Rekhi Centre for Excellence that is being set up at IIT Kharagpur to advance the study of happiness in a holistic manner", said Prof. Partha Pratim Chakrabarti, Director IIT Kharagpur.