Published: 14th August 2019
Happy now? DU launches 6-month Happiness course to help millennials beat stress
Students will get training in yoga, meditation, life and communication skills, personality development, life and communication skills among other essential skills as part of the course
The World Happiness Report for 2019 showed that India dropped down to 140. In a country that is so unhappy, Delhi University's Ramanujan College, which was earlier called the Deshbhanu Evening College, has started the first-ever batch of happiness classes on campus. A class of 45 students has been created by shortlisting students from the varsity for a six-month certification course. The course is free of cost and is being conducted by the college’s School of Happiness, Center of Ethics and Values.
Speaking about the unique course's main objective, Programme Coordinator Nidhi Mathur says, "We at this college have always believed that happiness is not something ready-made, it comes from your own actions. Nowadays, we come across so many incidents related to stress, pressure, the work-life imbalance which made us wonder what the underlying cause is that leads to so much disharmony and unhappiness in today's generation. Ups and downs are a part and parcel of all our lives but resorting to the extreme is not the solution. A mere smile can lead to the termination of difficulties and that's what this course is all about."
Following an orientation on August 5, classes have already begun at the campus. They are being held on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8 am to 9 am in the morning. Nidhi explains that the curriculum was carefully designed by putting emphasis on how yoga, meditation, personality development, life skills can bring about a change in one's perceptions and ideas surrounding happiness. The first two classes dealt with yoga, Sahaj yoga and meditation. Being in its debut year, the course saw 150 applicants, however, there were no criteria as such and the administration tried to accommodate as many as possible.
A photo from the orientation ceremony that took place on August 5
"We wanted every student to be a part of this course so that we could bring about a change in someone's life, so we did not restrict our eligibility just for our college students but it was open for all DU students. The student has to be a DU candidate and there were no other criteria. A google form was created on which the details had to be filled in and it was put on our college website. Whoever registered there was invited for the one-on-one interview and it took two days to skim through all the applications. The interview panel consisted of faculty members and they judged the candidate on his/her ability to contribute something towards the happiness of the entire class and how he/she expressed their emotions," she added.
Prior to beginning this course, they conducted a two-day workshop in September last year, which was basically targetted at faculty and aimed at gaining insights, their responses and their feedback through which they found that this could be an instant hit among the youngsters of today. "This is the first time we have started something like this and we wish to go about this in the future as well," Nidhi says.
After the completion of the course, the students will receive a certificate and letter of recommendation. Among the other major highlights of the course, apart from everyone being certified, the four top-performing students under the course will be sent to Austria, Europe for further training. Those students will be sent for further training for an exchange programme with the Management Centre Innsbruck (MCI) — an Austria-based entrepreneurial school. For that too, no fee will be charged. The students will be accessed based on their overall performance including the project-work, community service and attendance.
Explaining how the Happiness course is nothing like the mainstream courses, she says, "For all courses, the curriculum is well-defined under the DU guidelines, we wanted to set this course apart from other ones. Happiness cannot have a benchmark or be well-defined, so we decided to define our own parameters," adding, "Through yoga, meditation, life skills, personality development — all of it come under the ambit of happiness. Along these lines, the curriculum was designed keeping in mind what employers mainly want nowadays, except for academics, they ask for all these skills in students as that makes them stand out from the crowd."