The term “Gross National Happiness” was coined in 1972 by Bhutan’s fourth Dragon King, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, who opened Bhutan to the age of modernization soon after the demise of his father, Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. Gross National Happiness ( GNH) is a concept that measures a quality of life or social progress in terms of well being in a more holistic and psychological manner than the economic concept of Gross domestic product. The Buddhist ideals suggests that when material and spiritual development occur side by side complimenting and reinforcing each other while highly benefiting the development of the human society, that is GNH.
The four pillars of GNH are to promote sustainable development, preservation and promote cultural values while also conserving the natural environment and establishing good governance. GNH, the Framework reflects its Buddhist origins based upon happiness, positive psychology and well being. The general contributors of the concept towards happiness: the physical, mental and spiritual health, Time-balance, Social and community Vitality, cultural vitality, education, living standards, good governance and ecological vitality. The emphasis is placed on both, prosperity and happiness, the latter is considered to be more significant. The fourth Druk Gyalpo emphasized that for Bhutan “Gross National Happiness,” is more important than “Gross National Product.” The philosophy of Gross National Happiness has recently received international recognition.