Akhilesh heads for Harvard to share Kumbh success mantra

Lucknow, April 24 (IANS) Accompanied by a battery of officials and two ministers, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav Wednesday left for the US to deliver a lecture at the Harvard Business School on organising the Maha Kumbh Mela and the challenges faced by the administration.

Urban Development Minister Mohammad Azam Khan, Minister of State for Science and Technology Abhishek Mishra, Deputy Chairman of the State Planning Commission N.C. Bajpai, Chief Secretary Jawed Usmani, Kumbh management officials as well as Inspector General Alok Sharma are amongst those accompanying Akhilesh Yadav to Boston for the Kumbh 13 lecture.

Akhilesh Yadav is the first chief minister of Uttar Pradesh to get the Harvard invite.

Officials said the chief minister would address the students and faculty of the prestigious business school April 26.

His address would follow a five-minute video presentation “Magic of Kumbh”, and a 25-minute power point presentation detailing the challenges the administration faced while organising the mega event in Allahabad town that began Jan 14 and concluded March 12.

The power point presentation has been prepared by management consultancy firm Ernst and Young, whose consultants were stationed in the state for more than 10 days during which they met several officials in the state capital Lucknow and Allahabad, and took extensive notes.

The presentation was later reviewed by the chief secretary thrice, an official said.

Government sources said the chief minister took out time twice from his busy schedule to review the presentation, which contains 60 graphical slides along with speaker notes.

Although it is not clear whether the chief minister would make this presentation himself or get the chief secretary to do so, an official told IANS that Akhilesh Yadav had “rehearsed the speech many times” before leaving for the US.

The 10-minute speech in English would see the chief minister sharing his upbringing, his schooling and the vision he has for the most populous state of the country, the official added.

The power point presentation – ‘Harvard Without Boundaries: Mapping the Kumbh Mela’ – would focus mainly on urban planning, traffic and crowd management during the mega event, billed as the biggest religious congregation in the world and attended by millions of people from across the world.

The chief minister and his team would also participate in an interactive session with students and faculty of the Harvard Business School and answer their queries. They would be staying at the Taj Mahal hotel on the Arlingston street in Boston.

Officials said his work would be overseen by Public Works Department Minister Shivpal Singh Yadav.

“There is nothing like officiating CM (chief minister). We can reach him (Akhilesh) anywhere at any time,” said a senior official, adding that all policy-related decisions have been put on hold till April 27 when the chief minister would return.

Akhilesh Yadav also met his father and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Governor B.L. Joshi before departing for the US.

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