Research has proved that happy employees are productive employees, and IIT-Kharagpur has taken a step towards employee happiness by offering a micro-credit course on Science of Happiness for its students who are set to become the professionals of tomorrow. The institute, which has set up a ‘Rekhi Centre of Excellence’ to offer micro-credit courses on ‘Science of Happiness’, will enroll 60 to 70 students annually starting this year. In the first year, the course will only be available to the IIT students, however it will be offered to non-IITs from 2017.
Director Partha Pratim Chakrabarti said that the courses, to be offered at both undergraduate and post graduate levels, will teach science of happiness, stress management, coping with loss and positive psychology. At the MS and PhD level, the IIT will provide programmes on positive psychology, creative arts and positivity, pedagogy, signals and technology for positivity and meditation.
“Science and technology has two basic aims. First is to understand nature and the second is to create an easier and better life. At IIT-Kharagpur, we are constantly looking at treading on the path to the next level — the next generation of science and technology. First, it was physical sciences and then deep quantum and mechanical sciences. Now, it’s the study of consciousness,” said Chakrabarti at an event held at the IIT.
Sonja Lyubomirsky, author of bestsellers ‘The How of Happiness’ and ‘The Myths of Happiness’ and professor of psychology at University of California who was present at an event at IIT said extensive research has found that “happier people not only stay healthier but their immunity levels are also higher”.
“In the US, when an employee suffers from conditions like depression and anxiety, his company suffers. Losses expected from such conditions have been estimated to reach $116 billion by 2023. When employees are unhappy, they are disengaged from their company. This employee disengagement in US accounts for a loss of $300 billion. So, happiness is no longer a million, but a billion dollar question,” said Lyubomirsky. “So, short-term happiness is also incredibly important for long-term productivity,” she said.