India, China Stare Each Other Down over Bhutan

India, China Stare Each Other Down over BhutanThe ongoing controversy since June between the Indian Army and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in Doka La, near the strategic tri-junction of China, India and Bhutan has brought to a boil the geopolitical tensions between neighbors China and India.   The episode was triggered when China began building a road along the sensitive Doklam…

Bhutan becomes Happiness Lab for Western economists

Ever since the landmark April 2012 United Nations session convened by Bhutan on "Happiness and Well-being: Defining a New Economic Paradigm" attracted 600 participants including presidents, heads of state, economists, Nobel laureates, scholars, NGOs and spiritual leaders to consider Gross National Happiness (GNH) as a holistic extension to Gross National Product (GNP) indicators, Western economists…

OECD Catches Up with Bhutan

The 34-member nation Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has taken a page from the book of the isolated Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan and issued a comprehensive set of guidelines for measuring subjective well-being. The 265-page document, designed to provide advice for statisticians and researchers on how to measure how individuals evaluate and experience their…

All’s Not Well in Shangri-La

Bhutan's 11.8 percent real GDP growth -- as the USA careens at the 'fiscal cliff' of government insolvency and the economies of Europe crash -- has astonished economists. Prime Minister Jigmi Thinley's 'state of the nation' report in July 2012 cited hydropower contributing 44 percent of GDP with the service sector contributing 37 percent. Agriculture…

Media Development in Bhutan

Media Development in BhutanGross National Happiness (GNH) is singularly Bhutan’s most successful international export and its defining global brand. It is the enveloping philosophy for balanced development of society and the environment, temporal goals and religion, tradition and modernity, group responsibility and individual freedoms. Almost all policy initiatives are framed by GNH contribution and impact. Social progress owes…

Cracks showing in Bhutan’s new order

Bhutan vaulted from feudal monarchy to parliamentary democracy in 2008 following a royal edict in 2006 by the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, or Dragon King, abdicating in favor of his eldest son and mandating elections in 2008. For a mountain people who revere their king and don national dress every day, this sudden devolution of power…

Bhutan Braces for Tourism

Bhutan is fast emerging as a popular destination in a world hungry for new and exotic locales, but the growth of the country’s tourism sector threatens to undermine the culture for which the kingdom is famous. Best known for measuring national development with its Gross National Happiness Index, Bhutan now wants the tourism sector to…

Measuring National Happiness

 Nearly three years ago Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the fourth King of Bhutan, inaugurated his Gross National Happiness Index instead of the more common gross domestic product to measure social, economic and political changes in his isolated Himalayan Shangri-la. Now the 34-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development – the OECD – seems to have bought…

Another Fairy Tale Wedding … In Bhutan

There will be another royal wedding later this year to rival the colour and pageantry of Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton’s a marriage a few weeks ago. Bhutan’s 31 year-old King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck Friday told his country’s parliament that he would be getting married "later this year".   Like Kate, his wife-to…

Happiness and Bhutan

It is not clear just when Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the fourth King of Bhutan, came up with the idea of substituting a Gross National Happiness Index instead of the more common gross domestic product to measure social, economic and political changes in his isolated Himalayan Shangri-la. But substitute he did. The index was inaugurated and…
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