Portends of brighter days ahead – Slew of initiatives mark 100 days of Yogi-raj in UP

It has been 100 eventful days since Yogi Adityanath assumed charge as the Chief Minister of the most populous state of India. This period, already being fondly referred to as Yogi-raj by his friends and well-wishers, is remarkable because of slew of initiatives taken by the new government in Uttar Pradesh, all aimed at the common man. Actions of the young Chief Minister, who took two deputy CMs in his cabinet citing his own inexperience in managing the affairs of a State, already portend brighter days ahead for the State. Though some of the major decisions have created ripples in the political community and society at large, the sheer dynamism that reflects from the actions of initial days shows that we should be prepared for more public-centric and not populist measures in the days ahead.

It has been just a little over 100 days since Yogi Adityanath Government took charge in Uttar Pradesh. Slew of important decisions and instructions aimed at good governance and better administration have become the hallmark of these initial days.

People’s welfare foremost! This seems to be the mantra working behind all decisions. With roots in BJP’s Lok Kalyan Sankalp Patra (Pledge for People’s Welfare) – the manifesto that brought the party to power in the State – the State Government has given instructions to keep the salient points of the Sankalp Patra in consideration while finalizing the budget.

It is apparent that the CM means business. Instructions have been given that responsible officers are posted at all important positions and a citizen’s charter is prepared by each department for quick redressal of a citizen’s problem, and with a view to enhance the trust of the common man towards the Government.

Moving towards implementation of every promise that BJP made in its manifesto, the CM in his very first Cabinet meeting told his colleagues to take on corruption, lawlessness, casteism and the politics of appeasement and stressed forcefully that there will be no discrimination in the name of caste, religion or sex. Addressing a gathering in Gorakhpur, he said: “There will be no discrimination in name of caste, religion and sex. There will be overall development.”

In one such step, the women’s welfare department has put forth a proposal to make marriage registration mandatory for all in the State. The couples who are not registered will be deprived of benefits from Government schemes.

The Chief Minister has issued a timetable of meeting MPs and MLAs from the State. In a letter addressed to all State MPs and legislators, Adityanath said that the people of the State have voted them to power with great expectations and they have to give much of their time to their constituencies. He also mentioned that this arrangement of meeting these lawmakers has been rolled out to ensure immediate redressal of problems faced by the people and better coordination with public representatives.

Another major step taken is to scrap the manual tendering process in Government departments and replace it with online tendering and procurement systems to bring in transparency. “Manual tendering process is being scrapped from all Government departments and e-tendering and e-procurement system will be implemented,” CM Adityanath said.  Under e-procurement and e-tendering process, all work including e-registration, e-coding, tender creation, tender publication, tender purchase, submission and bid opening will be done through electronic medium.

In order to increase fertilizer capacity and create more jobs in the process, it is important that the mothballed fertilizer plants are revived. With a view to create the revival roadmap for the Gorakhpur Fertilizer Plant, the Government has taken the initial steps by approving the proposal for exemption of stamp duty for transfer of land to Hindustan Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd.

In another Citizen First initiative, instructions have been issued by the Government to observe Tehsil Diwas and Thana Diwas as Samadhan (Solution) Diwas. Instructions have been issued to senior officials of various police stations and Government departments that monthly progress of disposal of cases in SamadhanDiwas should be reviewed and apprised to respective senior officials.

Upon taking over the realms of the Government in the State, Yogi Adityanath has also cracked down on VIP culture in the State. Leading by example, the CM has said that no minister in the State will be allowed to use red beacons atop vehicles. He has also downgraded security cover of 46 VIPs and done away completely with that of 105 others.  “Those who are enjoying security cover for the sake of status symbol should be prepared to part with them,” he said.

Strengthening Law and Order

Moving ahead with execution of poll promises of BJP, the State has taken lead in banning cow slaughter and cattle smuggling. The safety of women under the governance of the young CM of Uttar Pradesh too will be the topmost priority in the future. As BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain stated in an interview: “Yogi Adityanath’s agenda is to ensure security and safety to women in Uttar Pradesh and incidents like eve-teasing, molestation, rape, etc. will not take place.”

Giving an open challenge to the anti-social elements in the State to either abide by the law or leave the State, the CM has issued instructions to run state-wide campaigns to prevent incidents of molestation, indecency, obscene exhibition and comments, towards women and girls. The Anti-Romeo Squad – a poll promise of BJP – formed to prevent sexual harassment cases has generated great headlines recently. The CM has directed the State’s top officials to chalk out clear guidelines so that there is no “unnecessary harassment” of boys and girls. The Government has also issued directives for taking quick and effective steps on incidents of harassment and acid attacks.

Instructions have been issued for taking strict action against criminals, smugglers, land mafia, etc. without any discrimination. Police have been told to get into direct communion with the common man and take cognizance of even the supposedly insignificant and minor incidents. They have been instructed to identify the potential trouble mongers and those who risk security and peace, and take proper action against them.

The CM has also instructed the Chief Secretary to make the legal process more effective, reliable and impeccable in criminal cases.

Medical and Health-Care

Giving a mammoth target to officials at the State Health Department, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed opening of 3000 generic medicine stores in the State. To be started under the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jann Aushadi Pariyojana, the stores will provide generic (unbranded but equally safe versions of branded) medicines at least at 40-50% lower rates. He has also ordered that the process to achieve the target set should begin with immediate effect as this measure will ensure “availability of quality medicines at affordable prices to all.”

CM Adityanath has also ordered to make health education program compulsory in Government schools. Additionally, he has envisaged 40 yoga centres in existing Ayurveda, Unani and Homeopath hospitals in 40 districts of UP. The CM is also taking steps to create awareness for yoga among masses by ensuring greater participation in International Yoga Day (June 21), each succeeding year.

The CM is personally monitoring steps to ensure better and timely health measures for the citizens. He has given strict instructions to take steps against sex determination and female foeticide, as well as against the ill-educated physicians who at times con their patients. He recently rolled out a campaign in 38 districts to eradicate the deadly encephalitis disease that claims the lives of hundreds of children every year in Uttar Pradesh. Some 40,000 children have died of the disease in the past four decades in the region.

And as a major relief to medical aspirants, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences will be offering additional 150 MBBS seats for admission, thus taking the total number of seats to 1,990. Furthermore, 3 hospitals of Lucknow viz. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee (Civil) Hospital and Balrampur Hospital, have launched online patient registration facility in a bid to reduce waiting time of patients at OPD counters and streamline the rush for out-patient consultants.

Agriculture and Farmers

Decision to increase procurement of wheat from 40 metric tons to about 80 lakh metric tons is a major step in this area. Poor farmers of the State are likely to benefit enormously through the recently announced farm loan waiver scheme.  Loans of more than 86 lakh farmers, worth about Rs. 36,000 crore, have been waived off in a major initiative. Banks have been asked to issue loan waiver certificates to the bona fide farmers after the forthcoming Budget. The maximum limit for crop loan waiver will be Rs. 1 lakh per farmer. And true to its word, the BJP Government in the State has started cracking the whip on erring sugar mill owners who have not been paying cane farmers their dues in time.

Moreover, in the next 100 days, few of the sugar mills in UP are planning to modernize their complexes by adding power cogeneration and ethanol plants.

Sugarcane Development

In the short period in which the current government has been in office, the sugar cane farmers have been paid to the tune of Rs. 21 thousand 570 crores.

Food and Supplies

The UP CM has also reviewed the working of Food and Civil Supplies Department and has said that officers should ensure that the children and beneficiaries of the public distribution system, who’s Aadhar Cards have not been made so far, are not deprived of their quota of ration.


The BJP, in its vision document for the State assembly polls had promised to end the illegal mining. In a tough measure to take on the mining mafia in UP, the Government has hiked the penalty on illegal mining by over 20 per cent and the provision for jail sentence has also been increased from six months to five years.

Turning UP into a developed State

“We will fulfil all our promises. Uttar Pradesh will be turned into a developed state. We need your support to make that happen,” these are the words of CM Yogi Adityanath in a public gathering in Gorakhpur. Many more examples of exemplary work done by the CM can be given, but for space constraint. Factually speaking, CM Yogi has started the UP innings by delivery. And he is making preparations and setting the stage to turn UP into a developed state in the near future.

By Aziz Haider

 (Article exclusively done for Outlook Magazine)

The Nawab of taste delights food connoisseurs at Trident – Gurgaon

IMG_443351788125039The undisputed Nawab of taste is here to delight the connoisseurs of Awadi cuisine. Food buffs who leave no opportunity to try everything good that is served in the name of Awadhi food are converging at Trident-Gurgaon to savour the delights being served as part of the week-

Dr. Izzat Hussain outside Saffron Restaurant at Hotel Trident - Gurgaon

Dr. Izzat Hussain outside Saffron Restaurant at Hotel Trident – Gurgaon

long Awadhi cuisine festival that is ongoing till Sunday the 25th of January at the Trident-Gurgaon. Needless to say, even the connoisseurs are leaving the hotel licking their fingers.

Little wonder those who cherish Awadhi cuisine are converging at Trident. After all, the Nawab of Awadhi food Dr. Izzat Hussain is in the NCR commanding the expert chefs at Trident to add a little more of this and a little more of that. It is these subtleties and his special care in adding ingredients in such a manner that they retain their odour, taste and colour that has made Dr. Izzat Hussain respectable even among the best of chefs. The great respect that Dr. Hussain commands among the chefs was seen last month when he took a workshop of chefs at The Oberoi-Delhi or when he organized a culinary workshop at Jims Jungle Retreat (or JJR) in Dhela, a village close to Corbett Tiger Reserve in which Dr. Hussain served the guests with the tastiest of his delicacies. There too, some of the best critiques of food couldn’t resist savouring the food that is nothing less than a gourmet’s delight.

Interestingly, Izzat Hussain has no formal training as a chef. A direct descendent of the Nawabs of Awadh, he had grown up relishing tasty food in his house. But he never knew he would end up cooking food that even the trained cooks would love to eat. It was after he completed his course in Unani medicine and much after he was a married man that Dr. Hussain realized he had it in him to cook the best of delicacies.

The facts that he is a Yunani physician and a direct descendent of the last Nawab of Awadh – Wajid Ali Shah – proved to be blessings in disguise for Dr. Izzat Hussain who gradually mastered the art of applying the principles of Yunani medicine to give a healthy spin to his brand of Awadhi cuisine. Tells Dr. Hussain: “As a chef I add whatever it takes to make my dishes taste good. But as a physician, I make sure to add spices and herbs that counteract its ill effects.”

While talking to Dr. Hussain, it’s difficult to distinguish whether one is talking to a Unani doctor or an ace expert of Awadhi cooking. For this reason, it’s not easy to decipher the culinary secrets of Dr. Hussain. He uses milk instead of water to make gravy for mutton. “This will not only make the curry taste creamier but it will counteract the acidity that the meat creates when eaten in excess,” says he and adds: “Cardamoms I put in are to aid digestion, ginger powder is added for its antioxidant and carminative properties and cinnamon is an elixir for our bodies as it works on the pancreas and enzymes.” Dr. Hussain even tells the foodies and gourmets to eat more than the appetite, gently assuring them that his signature spice blends would ensure that they will suffer no ill effects from eating it. The food is definitely not unpalatable and if after consuming all the good stuff you savour the healing beverage that he creates using ginger and vinegar, you might even end up feeling lighter and more energetic.

There is a flip side too to all this! There is no chance you will not end up overeating. Hence, if you give a visit to Trident – Gurgaon till coming Sunday to try the tastiest of food, also be prepared to work an extra hour shedding the plenty of extra calories you consume. It is only after you have tasted his food that you will realize why a lot many food enthusiasts look forward to participate in cuisine workshops being organized by ladle-wielding Yunani doctor.