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How well-trained were Japanese naval aviators in World War 2?
Before and at the outset of the Pacific War - extremely well-trained.But as the war progressed - became increasingly poorly-trained.It is no exaggeration to say that many Japanese naval aviators who successfully completed pre-war or early war training were the aerial Navy Seals - the best of the best. To truly understand this, it is important to know how the Japanese Navy recruited and trained pilots for its air arm.You will find it difficult to believe the level of rigor as well as brutality that characterized the training program undergone by Japanese naval aviators. In fact, it was so unbelievably brutal and rigorous as to defy belief and will make you roll your eyes as you read the rest of my answer.Overview of the Air Arm of the Japanese NavyIsoroku YamamotoAdmiral Yamamoto was the man who deserved most of the credit for the establishment of the air arm of the Japanese Navy. He was an advocate of air power at a time when powered flight and aviation technology were still relatively primitive. In 1924, after returning from the US, Yamamoto, by then a 40-year-old captain, requested and was designated executive officer of the Kasumigaura Naval Air Training Center. Thereafter, he held a series of prominent posts in aviation which deepened his knowledge and appreciation for the war-winning potential of naval aviation.Influenced by such a broad experience with aviation, Yamamoto was determined to create a formidable air arm for the Japanese Navy by implementing an extremely demanding training program that uncompromisingly insisted on the highest standards embodied in strict recruit-selecting criteria and insanely brutal mental and physical training.1/ SelectionThere were two sources from which the naval pilot training program drew recruits:Active-duty sailors: The vast majority of Japanese naval aviators were originally enlisted naval personnel: sailors and petty officers. Only a small percentage of the aviators were commissioned officers and graduates of Japan’s Naval Academy at Etajima. Thus, most Japanese naval air aces were non-commissioned officers who did most of the fighting and dying. Recruitment from this source started in 1920.Talented 15–17 year-old teenage boys: Starting in 1930, the Navy initiated a program called Yokaren designed to identify and recruit highly talented youngsters for naval aviation training.The pre-war Navy had an elitist mindset with regard to the development of its air arm. It was obsessed with producing a small but extremely capable corps of aviators. Accordingly, the selection process was fiercely competitive and the criteria were almost prohibitively exclusive as evidenced by the very low admission rate of early aviator classes. For the naval enlisted personnel source, during the 1920–1933 period, up to 2 classes of aviators of only 20–40 pilots graduated each year. Between 1933–1940, up to 6 classes graduated each year. The pre-war admission rate was incredibly low. For example in 1937, of the 1,500 sailor applicants, only 70 were accepted, meaning that the admission rate was 4.67%. For those recruited through the Yokaren program, the admission criteria were even higher. It was not unusual that every year, out of 20,000 applicants, only about 200 passed the initial written exam and were accepted, an acceptance rate of 1%, even lower than many Ivy League Universities; and the written exam was only the 1st filter in the screening process. Many of the fortunate few who passed the written exams would be eliminated during the rigorous physical examination.Consequently, those who passed through all the filters in the process were the cream of the crops of a nation of about 70 millions people. Despite being the best of the best, little did these men know, many of them would fail in the course of their brutal and demanding training to become naval aviators.2/ TrainingBeing admitted did not guarantee a pilot trainee graduation or even an assignment to carrier operation. In fact, the graduation rate was not particularly high and expulsion during training was quite common. Life for the recruits was rinvariably harsh throughout the training program.The fortunate few who passed the extremely rigorous screening process started out with basic training. A typical day began with a reveille at 5 a.m. The recruits rushed to the grounds, stood to attention and bowed in the direction of the Imperial Palace, recited the oath of loyalty to the Emperor. Then the punishing routine commenced. They had to immerse themselves in cold water, then perform lung-bursting calisthenics, ceaseless drills and basic combat exercises. Everywhere in the training camp, throughout the day while they were wakeful, the recruits were instructed to exert themselves to the utmost. They were expected to run, not walk. Injuries during physical training were rife. Takeshi Maeda, who would go on to become a torpedo bomber pilot during the war recalled his basic training at Yokosuka Naval Base on Tokyo Bay. Every day he and his fellow recruits spent hours in the bay rowing an open boat in all kinds of weather. Takeshi suffered chronic pain and recurring injuries:Because of the friction between my body and the seat, my pants were covered with blood. After that your flesh became infected, and it produced yellow pus. . . . I would go to the infirmary, and they treated my wounds by applying ointment and gauze. The following day, when I did cutter boat training, the same thing would happen again, and my old wounds would reopen, which was very painful.Takeshi Maeda in his naval aviator uniformMeals were austere, typically featuring rice mixed with barley, or miso soup and pickled vegetables, occasionally some fish or meat. At the end of a weary day, they slept in hammocks suspended from the walls of their barracks.Physical and field training were complemented by classroom instruction in mathematics, science, engineering, reading, and writing. The picture below depicts a typical scene in a pilot training classroom: trainees sitting on benches at a long table, listening intently to their instructor. They dressed in identical crisp white uniforms with oval name tags. Their hair were identically cropped short, their faces evinced immense level of concentration.(Image source: USN Carriers vs IJN Carriers - Mark Stille)Yokaren cadets during semaphore trainingAcademic standards were unyieldingly high. Each recruit had to maintain a minimum grade average otherwise he would be kicked out of school. Class standing was always determined by academic rank.Those who passed the basic training progressed to flight training called the Joint Aviation Training conducted at Kasumigaura (named after lake Kasumigaura located nearby). This was the beginning of a period of extremely demanding, brutal and lengthy flight training that will help you appreciate why Japanese naval aviators dominated the sky over the Pacific when war broke out.During this program, pilot trainees would seek to master the art of aerial combat. Before 1941, the program’s duration was one year. In 1941, it was reduced to 10 months. Flight training consisted of 3 phases in the following order:Primary flight training: lasted 2–3 months and a total of 44 flight hoursIntermediate flight training: lasted about 5 months and a total of 60 hours of flight time.Operational flight training: lasted about 5–6 months during which a trainee would fly a particular type of aircraft assigned to him - fighter, dive bomber, torpedo/attack bomber. At the end of this period, the graduated trainee qualified as an enlisted pilot. He would have had a total of about 250 hours of flight time. Pilots who started out as officers (mentioned briefly in the selection section above) received preferential treatment throughout the training and would have accumulated 400 flight hours upon graduation.The daily routine of a pilot trainee was stringently regimented. The first few weeks of the program revolved around intensive classroom instruction that lasted throughout the day and focused on teaching trainees such practical skills as over-water navigation, engine maintenance, and radio communications. After finishing classes, students were expected to do self-study at night. They pressed their noses into books and lecture notes for up to 2 hours every night before lights-out. Those who wanted to continue studying after that had to do so surreptitiously under the blankets with a flashlight.If you think the physical training during basic training was tough enough, then the physical training during flight training at Kasumigaura will make you roll your eyes. Kasumigaura sought to create a cadre of super-athletes, men endowed with superior physical traits honed in an intense and brutal training regimen. To this end, aviation cadets trained relentlessly in gymnastics and acrobatics to improve stamina, resilience, balance, muscular coordination, and physical reaction time. Typical exercises included:Walking on their hands and balancing on their heads for 5 minutes. Saburo Sakai claimed that he could balance on his head > 20 minutes.Running for miles in full gabardine flight suits in the oppressive heat in the summer.Leaping from a tower, somersaulting in the air and landing on their feet.Hanging by one arm from an iron pole for 10 minutes.Fast swimming. Those who could not swim had a rope tied around their waists and were thrown into the lake. Every trainee was expected to swim 50 meters in less than 30 seconds, to swim submerged for a distance of at least 50 meters, and to remain underwater for at least 90 seconds.Pilot trainees performing acrobatics. The exercise was designed to improve the trainees’ balance in accustom them to all the twists and turns in flying. (Image source: the Japanese War Machine)Since perfect vision was essential for military pilots, the cadets were subjected to a battery of vision-enhancing exercises to improve their eyesight. One exercise involved identifying objects and symbols flashed before their eyes for a fraction of a second. In another exercise, candidates learned to recognize and describe objects in the outermost corners of their peripheral vision. Saburō Sakai recalled that he and his fellow students were taught to search for and identify stars in broad daylight.Gradually, and with much more practice, we became quite adept at our star-hunting. Then we went further. When we had sighted and fixed the position of a particular star we jerked our eyes away ninety degrees, and snapped back again to see if we could locate the star immediately. Of such things are fighter pilots made.Even more ridiculous was the fly-catching exercise designed to sharpen reflexes. Students would sit still and try to catch a fly buzzing in a room by hand.Harsh physical training went hand in hand with mental training - the aim of which was to create and strengthen a state of mind of maximum concentration and mental clarity essential for successful aerial combat. Flight students trained in the time-honored martial art of kendo (Japanese swordsmanship) to hone their skills in attacking and defeating their adversaries. They endured long period of meditation and silence with Zen priests during which they were instructed to focus their attention in the lower abdomen, to clear their minds and imagine combat as a series of effortless acts, in which their hands and feet moved and controlled cockpit instruments without interference of conscious thought.All students eagerly anticipated the most important part of their training: flying. As mentioned above, there were 3 phases. During primary flight training, everyone started flying in a type-3 Primary Trainer-a two-seat, dual-control, open-cockpit biplane, powered by a 130-horsepower, 5-cylinder engine. An instructor sat in the forward cockpit, the trainee behind. The instructor guided the trainee via a one-way-communication voice tube running from the forward cockpit connected to the trainee’s flight helmet.Once the aircraft was airborne, the trainee was examined for basic flight aptitude. Meticulous attention was paid to his hand-eye coordination, the abilities to handle cockpit instruments, steer and keep the aircraft on a straight and level path. The most natural flyers were permitted to handle the aircraft in takeoffs and landings and even solo for the first time. Based on the results of these initial assessments, students would be assigned to various courses that determined their future aviation career: some would become fighter pilots, some aircrew, some bomber pilots, some torpedo-bomber pilots, carrier or land-based aviation.Having mastered the fundamental flying skills during primary flight training, the trainees progressed toward intermediate flight training in a more advanced trainer aircraft: the Type 93 biplane, or Akatombo, the “red dragonfly.” The Akatombo was powered by a 300-horsepower, 9-cylinder radial engine. In this machine, the student would learn to master flight aerobatics (rolls, spins, loops, stalls), formation flying in a 3-plane shutai and 9-plane chutai, flying on instruments in a cockpit covered by a canvas hood.Upon completing intermediate flight training, the trainee had to take a battery of tests. If he passed, he would be granted an insignia patch sewn on the left sleeve of his uniform: a pair of wing superimposed on an anchor under a cherry blossom. He could now call himself a naval aviator even though he still had to complete the last phase of his flight training.Then came 5–6 months of operational flight training in operational aircraft, usually obsolete warplanes phased out of active service. The men were divided into carrier and twin-engine land-based programs. The carrier men were further subdivided into fighter, dive-bomber, and torpedo-bomber units. Their training henceforth focused heavily on aerial gunnery, bombing, dogfighting, formation flying, and over-water navigation. Fighter pilots practiced firing at aerial targets towed behind another plane, with results captured by a gun camera. Bomber pilots attacked targets on the ground, with their results being meticulously recorded and scrutinized. Pilots assigned for carrier operation progressed from practicing lift-off and landings on short runways on land to low-speed and low-altitude lift-off and landing over an actual aircraft carrier.Finally, the pilots were qualified for combat operation and assigned to a front-line unit, either an air base or an aircraft carrier. NCOs and enlisted airmen were promoted to the rank of airman first class. COs were promoted to lieutenant. By this time, the average carrier aviator would have logged about 500 flight hours; and it was not over yet because it was with their units that the pilots underwent operational flight training alongside veteran aviators. Training schedules were intense. Japanese naval aviators flew constantly: morning, afternoon, sometimes at night, 7 days a week. This intense training was encapsulated in a popular song created to celebrate the navy’s intense training in the years before the outset of war in the PacificWeekends were a thing of the past. Now the days of the week were Monday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, FridayAs a result of this relentless training, in December 1941, the average Japanese naval aviator qualified for combat operations had accumulated about 700 flight hours.And that, ladies and gentlemen, was how aviators of the Japanese navy were produced. They were the products of a prohibitively exclusive selection process and an insanely rigorous and lengthy training process designed to weed out the weakest performers and retain only the brightest, most talented, most motivated, most mentally and physically fit.Kaname Harada - a naval fighter pilot. He was a natural fighter pilot, as demonstrated by the fact that he was 1 of the 26 candidates who graduated from the insanely rigorous and brutal training program that eliminated most of the 1,500 candidates who were initially recruited.Lieutenant Commander Egusa Takashige - nicknamed the God of Dive Bombing by his fellow aviators. He was universally acknowledged as one of the best dive bomber pilots in the world. He was renowned for consistently achieving very high accuracy in dive bombing attack against Allied Warships that destroyed several big Allied warships.Lieutenant Michio Kobayashi - another outstanding dive bomber pilot who struck the USS Yorktown at the battle of Midway. He was killed in the battle.Lieutenant Commander Shigeharu Murata - one of the finest torpedo bomber pilots in the Japanese Navy and arguably in the entire worldLieutenant Commander Joichi Tomonaga - one of the finest torpedo bomber pilots in the Japanese Navy. A veteran of the air war over China. He was killed in the battle of Midway during his attack against the USS Yorktown.Saburo Sakai - one of the best fighter pilots in the Japanese Navy.Those who made it through this training hell became not only the elites of the Japanese Navy, the nation, Japanese manhood, the society but also the pride of their families and communities. When a newly minted naval aviator returned home, his parents, siblings, and villagers were overjoyed to see him. He was bigger, stronger, tougher and wiser. However, for many of these elite warriors, homecoming was oddly poignant. Although they still loved their families dearly, they felt a keen sense of unfamiliarity and distance between themselves and their relatives. The reason was that their military life, brutal though as it was, had instilled in them a powerful sense of purpose and urgency to which they had grown accustomed. Such sense of purpose was in stark contrast to the comfortable, relaxed atmosphere and the aimlessness back in their hometowns. Consequently, these men felt that their family relatives were strangers who could never understand or imagine what they had undergone during their training - the fatigue, humiliation, sadistic beating (explained in the section below), deprivations, fear of expulsion, the exhilaration of flying, and the inconceivable joy they felt upon having the naval aviator insignia sewn on their uniforms. Those were the things only his fellow airmen could understand. By experiencing hardships together, the aviators forged an esprit de corps and a bond that was even stronger than familial ties. For them, their fellow airmen were their families. They belonged to each other, even more than their own beloved families. The Navy was now their home.3/ Brutality during trainingApart from fatigue induced by the strenuous training, the pilot students had to endure countless acts of brutality meted out to them by their instructors and upperclass airmen who had become aviators.Such acts of brutality were so commonplace as to become a matter of fact in military life in Japan, and they were generally much worse in the army. While sadism was undoubtedly responsible for them, there was another rationale underlying such brutality: the beatings served to harden and toughen them mentally and physically, thereby preparing them for combat. They were also intended to instill unquestioning respect for authority that would make the recruits carry out superiors’ orders unthinkingly.Indeed, brutality was not merely tolerated but actively encouraged. Savage beatings were administered for all sort of reasons and offenses, real or imagined: any infraction, weakness, wrong answer, or complaint. Beating could take any form: face-slapping, a sudden punch in the face, sadistic beating with a baseball bat. A recruit could be ordered to stand on his tiptoes for at least an hour, or stand rigidly at attention while a petty officer slap him repeatedly in the face, or bend over while the abuser repeatedly beat him on the buttocks with a club. Kicks and blows were inflicted on those who collapsed to the ground; a the recruits were expected to endure all of these without crying, displaying any pain, complaining or resisting the instructors. In some cases, an entire squad was punished for one man’s offense, real or imagined. If bones were broken, the injured recruit was hospitalized. After recovery he would be re-inducted with a subsequent class.Takeshi Maeda noted that the most violent instructors were rewarded with promotions. He was beaten savagely during intermediate flight training during which the instructor behind him kept shouting through the voice tube: “You’re so stupid!” and hitting him on the head with a wooden stick. To protect his skull, Maeda wrapped a towel under the lining of his leather flight helmet. But the instructor quickly realized that he was being cheated so at the end of a flight exercise, he ordered Maeda to stand at attention with his head uncovered and meted out the accumulated backlog of punishments.Saburo Sakai shared Takeshi’s view, adding that that his instructors were sadistic brutes of the worst kind. He recalled being dragged out of his hammock once in the middle of the night and beaten savagely in front of his classmates who were rubbing their eyes off drowsiness. The petty officer ordered Sakai to bend over and then, recounted Sakai:he would swing a large stick of wood and with every ounce of strength he possessed would slam it against my upturned bottom. The pain was terrible, the force of the blows unremitting. There was no choice but to grit my teeth and struggle desperately not to cry out. At times I counted up to forty crashing impacts into my buttocks. Often I fainted from the pain. A lapse into unconsciousness constituted no escape however. The petty officer simply hurled a bucket of cold water over my prostrate form and bellowed for me to reposition, whereupon he continued his ‘discipline’ until satisfied I would mend the error of my ways.Brutality was even incited among the pilot trainees as exemplified by vicious wrestling matches. After each round, the winner was allowed to leave the scene while the wearied loser was ordered to remain on the mat to fight the next man. It was particularly dreadful for a weak or undersized trainee who would be drained of all his remaining strength after a few matches. But the instructors were indifferent to the trainee’s plight and expected him to carry on wrestling until he had overcome a man or when he had been pinned down by every man in the class. If the unlucky recruit could not get back on his feet, he would be expelled from the program. Sakai recounted:With every pilot-trainee determined not to be expelled from the flyer’s course, the wrestling matches were scenes of fierce competition. Often students were knocked unconscious. . . . They were revived with buckets of water or other means and sent back to the mat.Notwithstanding the humiliation and brutality, all pilot trainees had no choice but to endure with forbearance. No one wanted to quit and all would do everything to avoid expulsion which might overtake them at any moment for the most trivial of reasons. Even those students who demonstrated good aptitude in both the classroom and the cockpit were often expelled for trivial offenses. Saburo Sakai pointed out that out of 70 students that began aviation training in his class, 45 did not make it through the 10-month course. In fact, expulsion or quitting was feared far more than savage beatings because to being eliminated would bring deep shame to oneself and one’s family and friends. Japanese society has always been a shame-based society and the fear of disgracing those related to oneself figured prominently in the mind of these students. A failed recruit’s family would suffer social ostracism and ridicule from neighbors. Those who did fail resorted to committing suicide to spare their families such shame.Final JudgmentBecause of the uncompromising insistence on the highest standards incarnated by an extremely competitive admission process and lengthy and challenging training process, the Japanese Navy at the outset of the Pacific War had at its disposal the best naval aviators in the world - literally the aerial Navy Seals who were masters of the air. They would shatter long-held and racism-fueled Anglo-American misconceptions of Japanese pilots. Before the war, the Americans held Japanese pilots in contempt, perceiving them as being myopic, dull-witted and unthinking automaton flying aircraft that were cheap knock-offs of European and American aircraft.Nothing could be further from the truth. Allied pilots who fought Japanese naval aviators were in for a rude awakening when they witnessed how their Japanese counterparts expertly handled some of the finest carrier aircraft in the world - esp the legendary Mitsubishi fighter - and disposed of their opponents with ease. A Japanese naval aviator who had fully undergone prewar and early war training was a highly skilled and resourceful fighting man who was confident in his ability and was always seeking to gain the initiative in combat. He shared a strong sense of esprit de corps with his fellow airmen who had survived a brutal training program. In addition, imbued with an indomitable martial spirit and the awareness that Japan had never been invaded or subdued by a foreign power, these men fought with absolute determination and conviction for the glory of the Japanese Empire and for victory. They were truly a force to be reckoned with and would go on to earn the respect of their American enemy during the war.However, there was a serious weakness. The elitist approach in training naval aviators meant that the Japanese navy could produce only about 100 super pilots every year, far too few to cope with the excessive demands of a protracted modern war with 2 of the biggest military powers in the world: the US and the British Empire. As war progressed, this small corps of elite aviators was gradually decimated in combat. The shortage of fuel coupled with the need to rapidly replace lost airmen forced the Japanese navy to reduce training duration and lower the rigor of training. The end result was that the new aviators in the middle of the war onwards became increasingly poorly trained compared to their fallen predecessors. They were also inexperienced because of the lack of experienced aviators who had been KIA. In the last 2 years of the war, the average Japanese naval aviator had fewer than 200, then 100, then 40 hours of flight time. By contrast, with ample fuel and the judicious policy of rotating experienced pilots back home, the US navy was able to produce a large number of pilots who, while not the super elites like their Japanese counterparts, were very competent. Ultimately, while the super pilots won battles, it was the average pilots who won the war. The US Navy emerged triumphant from the conflict because of a more judicious pilot training program.Reference(s)1/ USN Carriers vs IJN Carriers: The Pacific 1942 - Mark Stille2/ Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942 - Ian W. Tol.3/ Imperial Japanese Naval Aviator 1937–45: 1937-45 - Osamu Tagaya, John White4/ The awesome book below.
I am a medical student in Uganda. How can I get to practice medicine in Canada? Is it wise to redo medical school in Canada as a foreign medical graduate?
Q. I am a medical student in Uganda. How can I get to practice medicine in Canada? Is it wise to redo medical school in Canada as a foreign medical graduate?A. Getting into a residency program in Canada as a Canadian graduate is getting harder. If you are able to, redoing medical school in Canada is the better choice. You would more likely be able to match into a specialty of your choice.All the best!Medical residency mismatch: number of unmatched Canadian medical graduates reaches all-time highCanada’s medical residency system is leaving some graduates in limbo | University AffairsThe International Student’s Guide to Landing a Medical Residency in CanadaMedical residency mismatch: number of unmatched Canadian medical graduates reaches all-time highThe number of Canadian medical graduates unmatched with a residency training program has reached unprecedented levels, with students and faculty concerned about the growing gap between students and necessary training.Since 2009, the number of unmatched Canadian graduates has been steadily increasing, moving from 11 in 2009 to 68 this year.“This represents 68 students who have spent on average eight to 10 years of undergraduate education to become physicians, incurring great debt, and utilizing taxpayer dollars to facilitate their education,” says Mel Lewis, a student affairs associate dean at the University of Alberta.“There’s a lot of anxiety,” says Franco Rizzuti, president of the Canadian Federation of Medical Students. “Students are starting to grasp at straws, trying to understand what’s going on.”A total of 64 training positions also went unmatched, including four in Alberta, two in Ontario and 58 in Quebec.To be able to practice medicine, all medical students need to complete a residency program in an area of specific clinical medicine, such as family medicine, surgery or psychiatry. Students compete with each other for a residency program through an application and matching process administered by the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS). This follows a very similar process to the one used in the United States.From a broader societal perspective, those who track health human resources nationally say there’s no reason to panic: 68 unmatched participants is a small fraction of the nearly 3,000 Canadian medical students who took part in this year’s match, and the 64 positions that remained unmatched typically end up filled.On an individual level, although being unmatched is stressful and a loss of a year, historically, virtually all unmatched students find success in subsequent years.Matching for a physician’s futureIn many ways, the Canadian medical residency match isn’t all that different from online dating: following a written application and interviews, students and training programs rank one another and an online algorithm is used to identify potential matches. In essence, both parties need to “swipe right” to make a match.However some training programs have fewer positions than applicants and other programs don’t have sufficient applicants of interest for their positions.There are two iterations of the match; the first is reserved for newly-graduated Canadian medical students. Students unmatched in the first round, as well as international medical graduates (including Canadian citizens studying in medical schools abroad) and Canadian medical graduates who went unmatched in previous years, join the second iteration.A student may choose to apply to only one program – training in cardiology at McGill or paediatrics at the University of British Columbia, for example – or rank multiple programs in multiple locations.Rizzuti says students apply to an average of 18 programs – nearly double the number of program applications compared to a decade ago. CaRMS data show there were 128,334 applications to 644 programs, up nearly five percent over last year.Historically, the match has had more wiggle room in the first round and a greater likelihood that Canadian medical graduates would match with their top-ranked training program.In 2009, the ratio of Canadian medical graduates versus residency positions was 1:1.12.“There was a little bit of a buffer in the system, a few more spots than there were Canadians applying. That gave some flexibility and allowed international medical graduates to come into the system,” says Genevieve Moineau, president & CEO of the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada.In 2017, the ratio shrank to 1:1.026. “Now instead of having a 10 percent buffer, you’ve got a 2.6 percent buffer. It’s really, really, really tight,” Moineau says.Mismatch in student interests versus training needsThe number and types of training positions available are usually decided by governments and medical schools, based on planning for population needs and medical school capacity. The exact process varies by jurisdiction, with population needs beginning to drive the process in some provinces.The overall number of residency positions available across Canada has remained largely unchanged since 2013, when it rose above 2,900. (Last year, the quota was 2,970. This year it was 2,967.)But the number of graduates participating in the match has outpaced growth in the quota. In 2013, there were 2,633 Canadian medical graduates participating. This year, that number rose to 2,810, a slight dip from 2016, when 2,836 medical graduates were looking for a match.“There has been a decline in residency spots, most notably in Ontario, with no commensurate decrease in medical student enrolment, squeezing the supply and demand quotient even further,” Lewis says.Exacerbating this tightened ratio is a long-standing mismatch between the personal career interests of medical students and where governments have funded training positions based on their view of future physician need.Some say it is an unreasonable expectation that every medical graduate should have the residency of their choice.“It’s, in part, the mindset,” says Ivy Lynn Bourgeault, who holds the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Chair in Gender, Work and Health Human Resources and is lead coordinator of the pan-Canadian Health Human Resources Network. “We should go where the need is. That should be inculcated in medical schools.”This year, graduates ranked dermatology, plastic surgery and emergency medicine highest, with demand for training in those disciplines far outstripping the supply of training spots.By contrast, after the first and second rounds of the match, opportunities in family medicine, psychiatry and laboratory sciences (which includes different types of pathology) were left unfilled.This year’s match also saw a slight reduction in the number of students prioritizing family medicine and more students ranking internal medicine, creating a wrinkle for students who could not have anticipated this shift and failed to give themselves options in their rankings.Applications from international medical graduates (IMGs) may also be a factor, putting more pressure on Canadian students looking to match in the second iteration. The number of IMGs participating in the match peaked at more than 3,100 in 2014, when the Objective Structured Clinical Examination became a mandatory requirement for all IMG applications outside of Saskatchewan. This year more than 2,400 IMGs participated.But Bourgeault argues that IMGs are not the problem, citing forthcoming research. “We under-utilize immigrants,” she says, noting that many of the IMGs who find success in the match process are willing to go where others won’t.Migration out of QuebecMigration within the country is also playing a role, with students in Quebec opting for residencies in other parts of the country. While bilingual students can rank positions in Anglophone Canada, English-speaking students can’t hope to place with a training position that requires French.This year’s match shows that while Quebec had 58 unfilled positions, it had only eight unmatched graduates, compared to 35 unmatched graduates from Ontario, 20 from Alberta and five from Atlantic Canada.“If students in Quebec are now taking positions outside of Quebec, and students who are hoping to match are not able to, there’s a disparity there,” Moineau says. “The tighter the ratio, the more variables of the playing field, the more challenging it becomes to match.”“Understanding why Quebec graduates don’t want these positions is key,” Bourgeault says.To deal with its perceived physician shortage, Quebec has introduced health care reforms, including actions focusing on physician workload, as well as regional medical resource plans that restrict where and how a physician can practice.A 2014 survey among Quebec medical residents found that 47 percent of those leaving medical residency for professional practice did not have a position two months before finishing their training. Among these residents without a position, 27 percent said they intended to leave Quebec. More than three-quarters of respondents said they believed there were not enough job opportunities for the number of trainees.Planning for the futureUnmatched Canadian graduates have two choices: they can opt to graduate and spend their time as they choose (perhaps doing a master’s program or research) until the match re-opens the following year, or they can defer graduation and instead take more electives as a medical student.Neither is ideal, Rizzuti says. “The former automatically puts you into debt repayment as you’re no longer a student. The latter, where they stay another year, means students are paying another full year of tuition. For Ontario, that’s $25,000 to $30,000.”“Solutions are complex,” Lewis says. “We need to have a better understanding of the types and number of physicians we need in Canada to help inform our students around their career planning and inform educators around curriculum planning. We need to ensure their are adequate residency spots available to our students with consideration of how many undergraduate medical students we should be graduating.”Moineau co-chairs a national physician resource planning committee that’s currently developing a tool to help forecast future physician needs, which will help make the case for changing student admissions or residency quotas to better align.“We feel strongly that we need to move to being in a society where we have the right number, mix and distribution to meet societal needs,” Moineau says.“This is where everybody needs to advocate to government that we need to have appropriate, long-term health human resource plans in place,” Rizzuti says. “There needs to be a broader conversation to be sure there’s proper alignment in all the steps in training.”Such a call is not new, dating back to at least the mid-1990s, with significant efforts undertaken to do such planning by governments, medical schools and medical associations.Students may also need more career counselling in the lead up to the match, Moineau says, as disciplines like surgery or laboratory sciences have become segmented, forcing students to choose a sub-specialty, like neurosurgery versus cardiac surgery, which may prove strategically disadvantageous.Health human resource planners may also need to take a closer look at how provincial funding and politics are influencing graduates’ choices about where to go for residency training.Training may also need to be revamped to ensure students get exposure to different disciplines, Rizzuti says, as many graduates are still turning away from rural and remote residencies, which could speak to their experience learning in mostly urban medical schools. The interest in family medicine as a first choice has also fluctuated markedly in the last 10 to 20 years.Opening more training spots for physicians is not the answer, Bourgeault says. In the health system as a whole, there are already a number of health care professionals whose skills are under-utilized, including nurse practitioners, pharmacists, physiotherapists and others.Instead, medical schools should be thinking about how to attract and prepare the students they need for the positions they’ve got, and continue to adjust the number and mix of residency spots to better meet societal need.“We need to do that better,” she says. “We have a distribution issue, we don’t necessarily have a numbers issues.”Canada’s medical residency system is leaving some graduates in limbo | University AffairsRobert Chu was a typical medical student in that he excelled at everything he did. He edited his high school newspaper and made it on the dean’s list in his undergraduate years. He volunteered to take notes for disabled students. After he got into medical school, he tutored hopefuls on the entry exam. “If somebody didn’t understand a concept, he was very good at explaining it to them in a manner that they could comprehend,” says his mother, Clara Chu. He was a skilled photographer and he loved to cook. Beef Wellington, macarons, homemade marshmallows. “Never anything simple,” his aunt, Cathy DeFazio, says with a laugh.In his final year of medical school, it surprised everyone that he didn’t get a residency training spot, the important last stage of training to become a physician. He gained more job shadowing experience and reapplied the next year to a less competitive specialty. When he was again refused a spot, Rob Whyte, assistant dean of undergraduate medical education at McMaster University, took the rare step of personally writing him a strongly worded recommendation letter. “Unlike some other students where we are able to readily identify a concern in their file, Robert presents no such evidence and we remain collectively frustrated at his situation,” he wrote.Robert, understandably, was the most frustrated of all, but he confronted the situation with the same resolve that had always worked for him. “He didn’t go halfway. It was all the way,” says Ms. DeFazio. He accessed and reviewed his reference letters – all glowing. He created flow charts of actions to take and people to contact. He wrote an impassioned letter explaining his plight and sent it to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, then-Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins and others. There were a few sympathetic replies, but in the end, there was little anyone could do for him. He died by suicide in September 2016.Suicide can have many factors and eludes simple explanations. No one can presume what led Robert to his death, but the stress and frustration he felt must have been enormous. What’s more, the situation he experienced and was trying desperately to expose is happening to others: a growing number of medical school graduates are not getting a residency training position required to practice medicine in Canada. In other words, more and more students are completing four or five years of intensive, not to mention costly, medical school training – only to find they can’t proceed to the next stage.The residency application process is complicated, but to describe it simply, medical students apply – via the Canadian Resident Matching Service, or CaRMS – for residency positions at universities across the country in one or more specialties of their choice. The program committees select those they wish to interview, and then they rank the candidates. The medical school graduates in turn rank the programs, and an algorithm spits out a “match.” For those who don’t get matched, they can apply again over the next week for the remaining programs, often family medicine programs in small communities.In 2017, 68 final-year medical students went unmatched after the second round. Another 31 went unmatched in the first iteration but chose not to apply to the remaining programs, which likely didn’t include their specialties of choice. These numbers don’t include all the prior-year graduates who had failed to match in previous years and were trying again. By comparison, in 2005, only seven students who competed in the second round remained unmatched. If the trend continues, there will be an estimated 140 graduating students who go unmatched in 2021, and 330 if you include those who are re-applying for a second time, according to the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC).In simple terms, more medical school graduates aren’t getting residency positions because the number of positions available has been decreasing in relation to the number of graduating medical students. “The most common reason a student doesn’t get matched is just musical chairs,” explains Anthony Sanfilippo, associate dean of undergraduate medical education in the faculty of health sciences at Queen’s University. A decade ago, there were about 114 residency positions for every 100 Canadian medical students, with internationally trained graduates filling the remaining positions. Today, there are 103 positions for every 100 Canadian medical school graduates.That may seem ideal, but many Quebec-based residency positions are available only to those who can speak French, and in 2017 more than 50 of these francophone positions remained unfilled. So there are actually fewer English-language positions than there are graduates, explains Kaylynn Purdy, vice-president of education for the Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS). “It comes down to the fact that no matter how good you are, someone has to go unmatched,” she says.In this game of musical chairs, the stakes are high. For many, going unmatched is world-shattering. As Robert wrote in a letter sent to journalists and others, “My diligent studies of medical texts, careful practice of interview and examination skills with patients, and my student debt in excess of $100,000 on this pursuit have all been for naught.” For unmatched graduates, there’s the confusion about why they weren’t selected and the sudden uncertainty of the future. Students can apply when residency positions open up again the following year, but in the meantime, “you have resigned your fate to a year of being in limbo,” explains Aaron, a graduate who went unmatched in 2017 and asked to use a pseudonym. Feelings of social alienation often exacerbate the distress. “You go from being with this cohort of people for years and being quite close to them and they’re all celebrating and moving on with their lives and you’re not,” explains Ms. Purdy. “I’ve heard from some unmatched students that their classmates stopped talking to them because they didn’t want to make the person feel bad by talking about their residency, or the fact that they’re buying a house.” Clara Chu describes the phenomenon concisely: “Facebook,” she says, angrily.The crisis is worrying everyone – medical student organizations, the residency program directors and the undergraduate program administrators. “The deans have clearly identified the unmatched Canadian medical graduate as a top priority,” says Geneviève Moineau, president and CEO of AFMC. Ravi Sidhu, the postgraduate dean at the University of British Columbia’s medical school, says “the unmatched medical student numbers are incredibly disconcerting. I can imagine how stressful it is.”Who is going unmatched – and why – is difficult to grasp. Certainly, choosing a more competitive specialty can increase one’s risk of not getting a residency. In Robert’s first year of applying, he was one of 96 candidates vying for 81 radiology residencies. If family medicine had been his first choice, he would have almost certainly been matched – there were 200 more family medicine residencies than there were candidates who made the specialty their top choice. In 2017, obstetrics-gynecology was an especially competitive specialty, with 113 Canadian medical graduates vying for 77 residency spots. Paul Foster was one of the 36 ob-gyn hopefuls who didn’t match. His first reaction was self-doubt. “Maybe I screwed something up,” he thought, but then he heard of friends who suffered the same fate. “They’re superb candidates. It wasn’t the people with red flags,” he says.Some argue it’s students’ own fault for choosing very competitive specialties and not wanting to go where they’re needed – especially family medicine. But it’s difficult to know from one year to the next whether a specialty will be in demand. Provincial governments set the number of specialty training spots each year, based on changing population needs. And students’ preferences can swing considerably from year to year. Many years, for example, neurology has had a one-to-one ratio of applicants to spots; last year, there were positions for only 70 percent of applicants.Most of those who go unmatched are usually willing to do family medicine – more than two-thirds of graduates unmatched in the first round apply again in the second round to the remaining positions in family medicine and in small communities. But, here’s the clincher: the second round is also open to Canadians who have trained abroad. Last year, 1,811 internationally trained Canadians applied and 411 got positions. The directors of these programs often prefer a foreign-trained doctor whose first choice is family medicine, as opposed to a Canada-trained doctor who is choosing family medicine as a Plan B. As Dr. Moineau says, “family medicine can no longer be seen as a fallback.”Perhaps the most egregious aspect of the matching process is that those who go unmatched are discriminated against upon reapplying. In the one application review Robert Chu was able to obtain, his failure to match the year before was mentioned in the red-flag category. A decade ago, when only a handful of students didn’t get matched, there were often clear reasons, like a professionalism issue mentioned on their medical school record, for example. Today, even though many of those going unmatched are stellar students, the stereotype remains. While almost 97 percent of final-year students are matched, only 65 percent of prior-year grads get matched, despite the fact that most have improved their resumés with an extra year of job shadowing and research. With each additional application year, the chances of matching are lower.Illustration by Ka Young Lee.So what should be done? This past February, the AFMC, which represents Canada’s 17 faculties of medicine, released a list of recommendations to address the crisis of unmatched medical students. One of the most consequential suggestions is that international medical graduates no longer be allowed to apply for the positions that went unfilled in the first round, so that only graduates from Canadian medical schools can compete for these positions. (If this rule was in place last year, around 70 additional positions would have been earmarked for medical school graduates from Canada).It will be up to provincial governments to decide whether or not to adopt this recommendation. But provincial ministries of health are also getting pressure from internationally trained doctors and their families. They’re Canadians, too, and they’re lobbying for more opportunity to do postgraduate training here.Increasing the number of residency training spots would be one way to improve the prospects for budding Canadian-trained doctors. The AFMC is recommending that provincial funders work together to increase the minimum national ratio of one residency position for every current-year Canadian medical graduate. But that would cost money.Residency programs at universities, meanwhile, have been instructed to improve fairness and transparency in the application process. In October, the AFMC board approved a document of best practices in resident selection. For instance, programs should “explicitly and publicly state the processes and metrics they use to filter and rank candidates.” As well, a medical graduate’s previous unmatched status shouldn’t factor into a decision. Enforcing these best practices is difficult, however, because applicants aren’t told why they weren’t selected. In Robert’s case, he wrote emails to directors, asking for feedback. “Not knowing what the problem is makes it very difficult to address,” he explained. All programs refused to provide any insight.Kristina Arion, who went unmatched after applying for competitive ob-gyn residencies, likewise emailed program directors across Canada and was told, “Sorry, we provide no feedback.” Eventually, she got a single program director to review her file. He explained to her that candidates need all three referral letters to be exceptional. Though her letters were highly praiseful, one was written by an obstetrician who she worked with for less than a month; a letter from someone who had known her longer would have meant more. It was advice she found extremely helpful for this year’s application round.Dr. Sidhu at UBC explains that schools don’t provide feedback because it would be unwieldy. A competitive program might have to choose 50 candidates to interview out of 400 applicants, he points out. But most of those who aren’t selected for one program will be matched with another, and therefore won’t need advice. The CFMS has proposed that unmatched applicants should get unique access to timely feedback from residency programs.Undergraduate programs have a big role to play, too. Currently, some schools let unmatched students maintain their student status, so that they can access electives or job-shadowing positions. But other schools don’t offer an additional year. Doing electives can give students a leg up for the next year’s applications, which is why the CFMS is calling on all schools to extend student status to unmatched students. But paying a whole year of tuition isn’t great either, especially considering unmatched students are paying for electives only, not coursework. As it is, residency hopefuls are often paying to fly all over the country, first for electives and, secondly, for in-person interviews.“Despite the stereotype of the medical student with the silver spoon in their mouth, when you’re racking up interest on your debts, you’re going to start to see people who have maxed out their credit and are trying to judge, ‘Can I afford to go to this interview?’” says Dr. Foster, who is currently paying another $25,000 so that he can do electives at Western University.All undergraduate deans have agreed to begin “creating the structures” to support unmatched students, says Dr. Moineau, “including everything from extensive student affairs programs for unmatched students to creating the option for a fifth year.” The schools have agreed to report back to the AFMC by October with the changes they’ve implemented.For the Chu family, the changes are too late. His family still doesn’t understand why he didn’t get matched. As Dr. Whyte wrote, all of his clinical placement supervisors rated him “consistently above average or exceptional.” He was “extremely well motivated,” said one letter. “His clinical examination skills were excellent,” read another. In yet another letter, Robert’s interpersonal skills towards patients and staff was described as “outstanding.”“It’s not much consolation to be continually told I’ve done nothing wrong,” Robert wrote. Without a residency, the medical degree he had worked so hard to obtain had become, he felt, “effectively annulled.”Postscript: Just before University Affairs went to press, Kristina Arion and Paul Foster both learned that they were successfully matched to a residency in the first round of 2018, held on March 1. Dr. Foster was matched to the northern remote stream at the University of Manitoba and Dr. Arion to the ob-gyn residency program at Dalhousie University. General numbers on the success of the 2018 matching process were scheduled to be released sometime in April.Additional update: The numbers are now in for 2018. According to figures released on April 17 by the Canadian Resident Matching Service, there were 69 medical graduates who did not get a residency position this year after the second iteration of the residency matching process. Another 54 went unmatched in the first iteration who chose not to apply to the remaining programs. This compares to 68 and 31, respectively, in 2017. The two numbers combined, that’s a 24-percent increase in the number of unmatched medical graduates this year compared to last. These numbers don’t include prior-year graduates who tried again in 2018 to secure a residency but again did not get matched. This year, according to CaRMS, 57 of 133 prior-year graduates did get matched, a success rate of 57 percent.The International Student’s Guide to Landing a Medical Residency in Canada 04.30.2018Challenges can be scary, but you also think the greatest rewards are achieved by overcoming obstacles. You push yourself and it often leads to success.That doesn’t mean everything is always easy. You’ve encountered some challenges while applying to medical schools despite having a good academic record. You have started looking into international schools, but you may have heard that it could be difficult to secure a medical residency in Canada if you become an international medical graduate (IMG).As always, you’re up for the challenge. Just make sure you follow all of the necessary steps and prepare as fully as you can. Use this step-by-step guide to give yourself the best chance of securing a medical residency in Canada.THE PATH TO MEDICAL RESIDENCY IN CANADA1. MAKE SURE YOU MEET THE BASIC ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTSYou’ll need to meet a handful of eligibility requirements no matter which residency program you hope to attend. The basics include having Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status, successfully completing exam requirements, and demonstrating language proficiency. You’ll meet the language requirements if you attended a medical school where the language used for instruction was English or French. If you attended a program that was taught in another language, you’ll need to complete an assessment.Students who plan to begin residency in 2019 are the last class who need to complete the National Assessment Collaboration Examination (NAC) and the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination (MCCEE) to meet basic eligibility requirements. November 2018 is the last MCCEE session.Going forward, IMGs will not be responsible for the above preliminary tests. Instead, you’ll need to proceed directly to completing the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part 1 before applying to residency programs. This mean future IMGs will enjoy a more streamlined process.Dr. Ivan Kamikovski, a St. George’s University grad and Orthopaedic Surgery Resident at the University of Ottawa, says strong exam scores have traditionally been very important for those who want to pursue family medicine.2. ADDRESS PROVINCE SPECIFICSYou really need to pay attention to the details when you start deciding where you want to attend residency, because different provinces have their own eligibility criteria. You may have to take additional steps to verify your medical degree, complete additional examinations, or enter into a service agreement that commits you to practicing in a particular area for a specific amount of time.Meeting certain provincial eligibility requirements can be extremely challenging, so you should take that into account when deciding where to apply. Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Ontario are typically the friendliest toward IMGs, according to Dr. Alexander Hart, a Resident Physician in emergency medicine at the University of Toronto and IMG consultant for MD Consultants. “Within those provinces, there are a lot of universities,” he says.3. MAKE YOURSELF STAND OUTVery few people would argue IMGs have it easy when attempting to match for a medical residency in Canada, so anything you can do to boost your visibility would be wise. If possible, take advantage of opportunities near where you would like to practice. “I came to Canada for a period of time to do electives and got letters of reference from here,” Dr. Hart says.Dr. Kamikovski similarly pursued an elective in Canada, and he also made good use of his breaks during school. “When I came back to Canada, I would observe some of the orthopaedic surgeons,” he says, “Just to kind of get my name in there.”Building relationships with doctors and residents could be the key to securing a spot in a program later on. “In Canada, they’re more likely to take a person they know than a person who’s just on a list, a piece of paper,” Dr. Kamikovski says.Just remember that pursing an elective in Canada, while helpful, is not a requirement. There’s no guarantee of obtaining one of these positions since they’re offered through a lottery process.4. THINK CAREFULLY ABOUT YOUR SPECIALTY SELECTIONMedical students who complete their training in the US are required to obtain a Statement of Need, a form letter required for graduates who want to return to practice in Canada. Those who secure a residency in Canada can bypass this step in the process. But the List of Needed Specialties is still useful for seeing which fields offer a greater number of spots — typically primary care specialties. That said, some lucky IMGs have managed to secure competitive specialties.Dr. Kamikovski decided to go the specialty route. He says there are fewer job opportunities in orthopaedic surgery, so he felt many applicants were choosing family medicine and other primary care positions. Just know instructors and other IMGs think this is a risky move.It’s also important to note that, at least for most provinces, residency programs evaluate you separately from Canadian medical graduates."You’re typically competing only against other IMGs. But the spots are more restricted."“You’re typically competing only against other IMGs,” Dr. Hart says. “But the spots are more restricted.” If you attended a quality international program, performed well on your exam, and obtained strong letters of recommendation, you stand a better chance.5. APPLY TO PROGRAMS AND ATTEND INTERVIEWSYou’ll apply for residency positions using the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS). “It’s one central application system and that sends out your application to multiple schools,” Dr. Kamikovski explains."It’s one central application system and that sends out your application to multiple schools."Though you can start selecting programs before you’ve gathered all of your materials, it’s important to note that everything must be completed by a specific date in November to be considered on time. The CaRMS has a timeline you may find useful for staying on track.After programs have a chance to evaluate applications, they’ll begin to host interviews during January and February. As with medical school interviews, preparation is key. Take advantage of any mock interviews your medical school offers and make sure you do your research on individual programs.6. RANK PROGRAMS, THEN WAIT FOR YOUR RESULTSThe CaRMS uses the same algorithm the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) relies on to match applicants to programs. You can’t outsmart the system, so you will want to create a rank order list based on your true preferences. Your interviews should have provided you with most of the information you need to rank your selections.If you start second-guessing your choices, you may want to consult with a trusted mentor. It’s also smart to remind yourself of what it is you’re looking for in a program. For example, Dr. Hart says the University of Toronto is a good option for those who are interested in a niche area of medicine. “That’s the kind of thing that Toronto, above all else, really provides,” he explains. Even still, you don’t want to become too aspirational."That’s the kind of thing that Toronto, above all else, really provides."After you submit your rank order list, you may feel a bit anxious. It’s true that matching is difficult, but it’s not impossible. According to the Canadian Post-MD Education Registry (CAPER), hundreds of IMGs begin Canadian post-graduate medical training every year.TAKE THE NEXT STEPObtaining a medical residency in Canada requires some additional steps, hard work, and a certain amount of luck. But it’s not an impossible task. A residency in Canada could be in your future.Also keep in mind that it’s possible to practice medicine in Canada after completing residency training in the US. While there are a few extra steps, this is a feasible path for IMGs.If you have started looking into programs in the Caribbean as an option, you’ll want to make sure you do your research. But it can be a little tricky to know what you should believe. Make sure you’re distinguishing fact from fiction by reading our article, “The Truth About Caribbean Medical Schools: Debunking the Myths.”
Is Akhilesh Yadav emerging as the most promising future leader of Indian politics?
Indian democracy has showed signs of maturing and evolving. There was a 43% rise in the number of female voters in feudalistic UP. In Punjab the reformist incumbent is back to power for the first time in it's history. And SP or the Socialist Party that's close friends with top industrialists won 226 seats which is a record, apart from Indira frenzied UP from 1985.The man of the day is certainly Akhilesh Yadav, for reorienting his party to remain relevant in modern times. Those who do not change with the times, perish!Akhilesh studied in Dholpur Military School. Since his mother passed away at an early age, he was brought up by his grandmother. He had appeared in Karnataka Common Engineering Entrance Test in 1990 and secured a merit seat for Civil Engineering at SJC College of Engineering, Mysore. He was a sincere but average student. He used to travel by train. Neither his teachers nor most of his classmates knew he was the son of then UP CM. After his Engineering, he appeared in GRE exam and did MSc Environmental Engineering from University of Sydney (one of the top Universities for the course).Mulayam Singh, famous for OBC politics had strongly objected to Akhilesh's marriage with a Rajput girl. Going against his father's wishes, he married Dimple Singh, an Army officer's daughter. In 2009, she contested and lost a Lok Sabha seat to Raj Babbar. This spurted him into action and he undertook 3 yatras that will culminate in 10 Kalidas Marg tomorrow.He took some bold decisions such as keeping Dons out of the party and leaving caste-religion politics!One can draw several lessons. For one, no defeat is final. Every defeat is a good chance to throw out the old and usher in the new.Numbers are very important. For a politician, numbers are the seats; for a CEO it's the profits; for a student it's the marks; for a cricketer it's wicket/runs. Numbers quantify the results that define the perception of success or failure. Decisions get justified or criticised due to the number. If there the number is low, every step taken seems wrong. Akhilesh and Rahul Gandhi did similar things such as giving chance to youth but numbers changed the meaning of each!Bold decisions must be taken with conviction and must be followed up by action. Success of a decision is not only dependent on the decision itself but also on the action that follows it. Akhilesh had the conviction to remove dons, he took a risk but followed up with action such as aggressive campaigning!To be a leader, one has to relate to the followers. Not only should one understand the aspirations and pain, but feel it too. Akhilesh has gone thru the grind of today's youth, he connects better and hence could attract them.Akhilesh has silently been governing UP for the past four-and-a-half years. He has been focusing on development of infrastructure and modernisation of the state. Roads, bridges and power have shown improvement in his term.The UP chief minister is a youth icon in his state. He is also popular among the women. His government has also launched several welfare schemes for farmers, labourers, middle and lower middle classes.Akhilesh Yadav did a lot much of development to improve Infrastructure, Sports and Skill Development in the state.Some of his achievements can be given as follows :1. Skill Development MissionAkhilesh Yadav has truly made the youth his government’s focus point with numerous opportunities for their skill development and vocational training. In 2015, the state government signed MoUs with Cafe Coffee Day, Bangalore, G4S Gurgaon, Super House Kanpur, etc. and exchanged documents under which 60,000 young men and women will be given vocational training. The Uttar Pradesh State Tourism Corporation signed a MoU to give priority to meritorious pass outs and provide them with job opportunities.Apart from this, vocational and skill development trainings are underway with some giant MNCs like Maruti, HCL, and DainikJagran. Conducive environment and rebate to set up industries in the state have also opened a plethora of opportunities for the youngsters. More and more educational seats are being established in the state to provide better facilities to all.On 16th March 2016 Uttar Pradesh also bagged ‘Best State Award’ for skill development by UNESCO and Central Government.2. Development of Sports and Sports PersonsUttar Pradesh can now boast of multiple state-of-art facilities in the field of Sports due to tireless efforts of the Samajwadi Party. A lot of schemes have been initiated to encourage sportspersons and promote them in the state. Akhilesh Yadav, chief minister, “Uttar Pradesh government is trying to encourage more people to show interest in sports by providing them with the best infrastructure. A child can be taught from a young age and he will definitely reach the highest level with perseverance. We must focus on one or two sports and continue to practice them. This will ensure the propagation of sports and the sportsperson.”The state can boast of an International Cricket Stadium, football stadium, Olympic sized pool, apart from numerous other opportunities.International Cricket Stadium in Lucknow with a seating capacity of 50,000 people is being developed with a budget of Rs. 360 crore.The stadium is spread over 137 acres of land; 70 acre will be used for the stadium and other sports infrastructure while 67 acre will be consumed for real estate development·The International Cricket Stadium is being built under PPP model with all the latest amenities·Ekana Sports will maintain the stadium for 35 years·International Football Stadium is being constructed in Lucknow.The Football Stadium will have corporate box, media, and VIP gallery and will be able to hold 20,000 people.Ekana Sports is constructing the stadium and it will soon host international matches along with Indian League.Uttar Pradesh government has invested in Rs. 168 in an International Cycle Academy and 8 cycle tracks.Lucknow, Gorakhpur, and Saifai to get a sport college each.A policy has been launched by Samajwadi Party to motivate the sportsperson of the state according to which international award winners will be appointed as government officials.Any medal achiever from Uttar Pradesh in Olympics, Asian Games, and Commonwealth Games will directly be appointed to a government post.3. Free LaptopFree Laptop Distribution scheme has provided equal opportunities to young girls of Uttar Pradesh to excel in any field they want. The Samajwadi Party has always wanted the youth of the state to be technically at par with anyone across the world. Akhilesh Yadav started this scheme in 2013. This has played an important role in proving that a state can grow only if the youth walks hand in hand. Under Akhilesh Yadav, the Samajwadi Party has come to be recognized as a political party which is fuelled by the success of the youth.Since its initiation almost 15 lakh students have benefitted from this scheme and received a free laptop.Via Free Laptop Distribution Scheme, the Samajwadi Party has motivated the youth of the state to pursue higher education.Science and technology has seen a boost in the state.4. IT CityHCL Technologies, the country’s fourth largest IT Company has declared Lucknow to be the next technological hub in the country. The IT City development project is often called the Chief Minister, Akhilesh Yadav’s ‘dream project’, who focuses on empowering the youth of the state by overcoming the digital divide and creating new institutions for skill development.The youth is looking forward to the such developments because it will mean better job opportunities for them, without leaving their hometown and hence a better lifestyle. A lot of start-ups and MNCs are moving base to Uttar Pradesh, after 2012, when Samajwadi Party came to power. The state has seen tremendous development and better infrastructure than ever before.Chakganjariya Farms in Lucknow are being converted to CG City.CG City will comprise of IT City, IT Park, IIIT, Medicity, Super Speciality Hospital, Cardio Centre, Administration Academy, Dairy Processing Plant.The IT City in Uttar Pradesh is spread across 100 acres.An investment of Rs. 1,500 crore under PPP Model has been made for IT City.The training facility will provide employment to 75,000 people.IT Parks are being established in Meerut, Agra, Kanpur, Gorakhpur, and Ghaziabad.Uttar Pradesh is the only state where E-District schemes have been extended to cover all of 75 districts.E-Governance ensures that every single citizen can avail government services from anywhere; which might include pensions, birth certificates, scholarships, etc.5. Education Development"We cannot progress without education,” Akhilesh Yadav, Chief Minister, Uttar Pradesh.For secondary education, ‘RajyaPuruskarYojna’ has been initiated to keep the trainers motivated.Prize money of the Saraswati Award has been increased to Rs. 3 lakh from Rs. 1 lakh.Shiksha Shree Award’s prize money has been increased to Rs. 1 lakh from Rs. 50,000.As part of the national campaign, Samajwadi Party Government has sanctioned Rs. 142 crore to establish 26 state model schools.UP Technical University has been renamed to Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University.Work has started to establish 7 new polytechnics in the state in 2015-16.MBBS seats have been increased by 500.Lucknow to get an advanced cancer and heart institute for better research and medical support.Polytechnic InstitutesAlong with quality education, Akhilesh Government has tirelessly worked for boosting vocational training in the state. Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav along with establishing polytechnic institutes has also inaugurated multiple diplomas and technical centres to provide better training to the residents of the state. At present, 74 new polytechnic institutes are being set up, out of which 40 are already functional.Medical CollegesBy establishing multiple medical colleges in the state, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has given Uttar Pradesh a gift of health. The young CM alone has established 11 new medical colleges in UP since 2012. Once all of these are functional, the number of medical institutes in the state will go up from 5 to 16. In the history of Uttar Pradesh, such large-scale work in the field of medical development has never been witnessed before.Engineering CollegeUnder Akhilesh Yadav, one engineering college has been sanctioned in Basti and Gonda each and construction is on in Mainpuri, Kannauj, and Sonbhadra. The buildings for these institutes are under construction but will be functional soon. At present, the classes for these institutes are being conducted at HBTI Kanpur and KNIT Sultanpur. Harcourt Butler Technical University in Kanpur has been sanctioned Rs. 55 lakh and technical colleges in Bundelkhand, Jhansi, Kanpur, and Sultanpur have been granted Rs. 200 lakh each in the budget 2016-17.MBBS SeatsTo improve the medical conditions in the state, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is looking at the bigger picture. Apart from providing the best infrastructure and technology, he is making efforts to increase the number of doctors in the state which will ensure a brighter future for all. For this, Akhilesh Yadav increased by number of MBBS seats by 500. Similarly, MD, MS and other higher level course had 603 seats which have been increased to 751. Super speciality seats have been increased by 11.6. Women Powerline 1090According to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, “No state can progress without women empowerment.” With the same thought in mind, he has led many initiatives to empower them, make them self-reliant, and keep them secured. Not just this, under Samajwadi Party Government, the women of the state are leading a better life and their problems are being resolved in more sustainable ways.Uttar Pradesh Women Powerline 1090 has given tremendous courage to the women of the state.After the success of Women Power Line 1090, Women Security App 1090 has been launched.This round-the-clock helpline was launched on 15th November 2012.So far, more than 3.88 lakh women have been helped.3.97 lakh women have registered complaints which have been resolved by keeping the victim anonymous.404 cases have been registered in the court of law.Women can now also lodge complaints onlineFor the first time, UP Police website has been launched http://uppolicce.gov.inMahilaSammanPrakoshth has been established by Uttar Pradesh police for women empowerment, safety, and respect.7. KanyaVidyaDhanKanyaVidyaDhan is a scheme launched by Akhilesh Yadav to provide financial help to underprivileged young women of the state. This initiative has set a benchmark by giving wings to many young women in Uttar Pradesh. Akhilesh Government issues Rs. 30,000 to all girls who complete their high school education. Under this scheme, more than 7050 lakh students have been helped. KanyaVidyaDhan covers students under CBSC Board, UP Board, and those studying in Madarsas alike.8. 108 Samajwadi AmbulanceSamajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh government has been tirelessly trying to provide better medical facilities in the state. A lot of new reforms have been visible in the last four years. On the eve of completing six months in office, Akhilesh Yadav launched Samajwadi Swastha Seva Ambulance. In case of an emergency, one can call 108, a toll-free number and get connected to the ambulance helpline.It is the largest emergency ambulance service running successfully in India.Medical patients, pregnant women, accident victims in the state are provided with free medical aid.Upon receiving a call, the ambulance service guarantees to reach the patient in 20 minutes.These vehicles are fitted with adequate first aid, medical equipment, and medicine to support the patient before they reach the hospital.Every major crossing of the district is covered by the ambulance service.At present, there are 1488 vehicles traversing the state under this scheme.So far, the service has helped 48 lakh patient.Under 102 National Ambulance Service 1972 vehicles have been deployed in Uttar Pradesh.102 has helped 46 lakh pregnant women and young children in the state.9. Uttar Pradesh Gets Investment FriendlyUP PravasiDiwas:UP PravasiDiwas (UPPD) is Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s brainchild. He came up with this event to cement the bonds between Non-Resident Indians and Persons of Indian Origin from Uttar Pradesh. The annual event started since 2015 aims to deepen the commercial engagement with UP NRIs by way of increased investment and trade flows into the state.Akhilesh Yadav also set up an NRI Department on 18th July 2014 to keep records and information of people granted immigration in the state and to facilitate single window processes.NiveshMitra:NiveshMitra is an initiative by Akhilesh Yadav, launched for Infrastructure and Industrial Development in Uttar Pradesh. It is a web-based online facility for entrepreneurs who wish to establish their enterprise in the state. Its nodal agency is UdyogBandhu and has been envisaged as a simple, user-friendly, entrepreneur-centric web app that allows existing and prospective investors to get online clearances or NOCs. NiveshMitra has digitized the entire process and further boosted the start-up sector in Uttar Pradesh, making it a preferred destination.Film policy:Akhilesh Yadav has announced a new film policy to showcase cultural, mythological, historical heritage, and glorious traditions of Uttar Pradesh both nationally and internationally. The facilities provided by the state government have made it extremely conducive for directors to shoot in the state. This will lead to a boost in tourism, economy, employments, and popularity of Uttar Pradesh. Film Bandhu is the nodal agency set up by Akhilesh Yadav to take an overview of this sector. The "Film Development Fund" has been set up for financing the films. The fund will be utilised for sanctioning subsidy to the regional and Hindi films produced in the state, scholarship to the students making film their career, ensuring development of cinematic talents, arrangement of film equipment, setting up of film training institutes, organisation of film festivals, financial assistance on film processing in the state itself and financing for film awards etc.10. Free IrrigationThe Samajwadi Party is running multiple schemes for Rural Development to boost the economic growth, infrastructural development, and human development index. The HDI in the last few years, under Samajwadi Party, has gone up and it is a clear indication of people’s welfare, thanks to the thoughtfulness of UP Chief Minister.Samajwadi Party gives free water for irrigation of farms in rural areas. There has been a provision of hand pumps and tube wells, which have been installed at no extra cost. This has been done for the first time by any government in the state and it aims at reaching 12 lakh hectare of area. The boring well can be installed by farmers at a nominal cost of Rs. 5000, for a basic setup.The state irrigation department under Samajwadi Party has waived off Rs. 700 crore tax which had to be paid by the farmers.In Bundelkhand, 7300 Km long rivers and 1589 government tube wells have been established.Due to these water bodies in Bundelkhand, 6.52 lakh hectare land has been irrigated.4.61 lakh hectare land has been irrigated due to taps/hand pumps/ tanks/ boring wells etc.Present Samajwadi Party government has till now set up 4,64,385 free boring wells, 5,908 deep boring wells, 24,709 medium boring wells, 1,543 check dam, 5,715 blast coop, 863 taps.In the entire state, 12.43 lakh hectare of area can get free irrigation.11. UP at the Top in Milk ProductionKamdhenuYojna is a dairy scheme to overcome the low availability of high yielding germplasm animals. Samajwadi Party launched this scheme which envisages the establishment of dairy units of high yielding animals obtained from outside of Uttar Pradesh. Under these schemes interest-free loan and subsidy will be given to the entrepreneurs. It is further divided into Mini Kamdhenu and Micro Kamdhenu schemes with lesser number of cattle.Under KamdhenuYojna 300 units will be set up with 100 cattle each.1500 Mini Kamdhenu units with 50 cattle each will be setup.2500 Micro Kamdhenu units will be established with 25 cattle each.The number of dairy units to be established under Kamdhenu Dairy Scheme as on October 2015 is 250 out of which 189 are functional.1.5 lakh litre milk is being produced every day.The number of dairy units to be established under Mini Kamdhenu Dairy Schemeis 1411 out of which 1053 are functional, producing 3.6 lakh litre milk every day.The number of dairy units established under Micro Kamdhenu Dairy Scheme is 233 producing 5 lakh litre milk every day.12. Samajwadi PensionFor an overall development of Uttar Pradesh and its people, Samajwadi Party has initiated many schemes for their upliftment and empowerment. To ensure this, they launched the country’s largest scheme, Samajwadi Pension Scheme. This initiative covers the poor families of the state and gives them an all-around protection. Samajwadi Party, via this scheme, is helping families which have no source of income.Under this initiative, every family is given Rs. 500 per month as cover money.So far, more than 45 lakh families have been benefitted under Samajwadi Pension Scheme.It meets the standards of health and education capacities.Samajwadi Pension Scheme is incremented by Rs. 50 every year to meet the requirements.The upper limit of the scheme has been fixed at Rs. 750.Rs. 2727 crore have been sanctioned for Samajwadi Pension Scheme in the budget.The beneficiaries are given the amount quarterly and so far, Rs. 5049.084 lakh have been given to 33,66,056 people.13. Samajwadi Shravan YatraSamajwadi Shravan Yatra is a pilgrimage or a spiritual journey to a religious place in the country, started by the Samajwadi Party. This free of cost ‘yatra’ enables the senior citizens of the state to take this spiritual journey to their location of faith and belief in a luxury train. Medical aid and basic necessities are provided on the trip to ensure their well-being.Senior citizens from Uttar Pradesh can avail this pilgrimage for free of charge.The first trip was to Devbhumi, Haridwar, and Rishikesh.The second trip was to Ajmer Sharif and Pushkar.The third trip was to Rameshwaram and Tirupati.Apart from this, priests who went for Sindhu DarshanYatra, were given a donation of Rs. 10,000 each.Similarly, priests who returned from Kailash MansarovarYatra were given Rs. 50,000 each.14. Ram Manohar LohiaAwaasYojnaAs per the Lohia Rural Housing Scheme, the rural families who have an annual income less than Rs. 36,000 will be provided with a house to live in, by the Samajwadi Party Government. The direct beneficiaries will be the homeless from poor rural background in Uttar Pradesh.Every person can now enjoy benefits of up to Rs. 2,75,000 lakhs which was earlier set at Rs. 1,45,000.Seeing PWD’s current rate, this amount has been further increased to Rs. 3,05,000.More grants have been sanctioned for this initiative to shelter more people.These houses will have solar lights installed in them which will serve the purpose and also be cost efficient.For solar power provision, the amount has been increased to RS. 30,000 from Rs. 15,000 in collaboration with NEDA (Non-Conventional Energy Development Agency).In 2012-13, 42,567 and in 2013-14 41, 905 homes were granted; most of which are functional.More than 1,00,000 homes are under construction to meet the needs of the people in 2014-15.15. Record Breaking Appointment of TeachersSamajwadi Party has decided to educate the youth of the state and to realize this dream, they have launched multiple initiatives and schemes. Their policies ensure that everyone can receive the best of the education without any discrimination.Teachers for Basic Education have been hired at large numbers to curtail the shortage.Till now, 18,127 teachers have been appointed and another 15,000 will be selected soon.60,000 TET trainees have been appointed and 12,825 selections are underway.Apart from this, 1,37,310 assistant lecturers have been appointed and 27,820 selections are in progress.For better primary education, 26,000 Science and Math tutors have been appointed and 3,334 selections are underway.3,500 Urdu teachers are being appointed.16. Clean UP, Green UPAkhilesh Yadav said, “We will create a green legacy”. And from his first day in office, he has relentlessly worked to make our state greener and cleaner. Under ‘Clean UP, Green UP’ the Chief Minister has started multiple initiatives, which included the two extremely massive plantation drives, numerous sanctuaries across the state, various solar plants, and other sustainable measures.Numerous events to create awareness are also organized throughout the year under Akhilesh Government. Sparrow Day, Sarus Day, Bird Festival, etc. have not just made the people more sensitive about nature but has also spiked interest of international organizations in Uttar Pradesh.a. Tree PlantationThe first plantation drive was conducted in 2015, where the CM planted 10 lakh saplings in a span of eight hours. The second one in 2016 broke its own world record by planting 5 crore, 4 lakh, 14 thousand, and fifty eight saplings in less than 24 hours. In the last four years, the total count of saplings planted is 26 crore.b. Free E-RickshawThis initiative was started by Akhilesh Yadav in 2014, where he distributed 10,000 battery operated electronic rickshaws to registered three-wheeler cycle-rickshaw pullers in Uttar Pradesh. These were given for free of cost to encourage more people to invest in healthier transportations. This idea was basically taken forward to reduce the pollution levels and improve the health of the rickshaw pullers. In 2015, again, Uttar Pradesh cabinet approved the scheme for further distribution of motorised/battery-operated rickshaws and regularisation of 5,000 daily wagers, work charges, and contractual employees for free. The cabinet, presided over by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, also approved the supplementary budget of Rs. 19,000 crore for 2015-2016 and a solid waste management plant as a pilot project for Rampur. The cabinet approved the tender of Kinetic Green, Pune, that would supply motorised rickshaws at Rs. 1,37,727 per unit. A total of Rs. 372 crore would be spent on the distribution of 27,000 rickshaws in the first phase.In 2016, Akhilesh Yadav also distributed free e-rickshaws to women and said, “The society can prosper only when the other half of the population gets equal rights and justice. The Constitution has given women equal rights and the same will be done in the country.”c. Plastic BanTo protect the environment and public health, the Akhilesh Government has called for a complete ban on the use of plastic in the state. The polythene ban, in the state, prohibits manufacturing, importing, purchasing and storage of all kinds of plastic carry bags. According to the ban, no shopkeeper, wholesaler or retailer would be able to use, store or purchase plastic bags. The ban will not be applicable for packaging purposes. Akhilesh Yadav is also looking for an alternative material that can be used for carrying products.d. Cycle TracksUttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav brought about a project aspiring to make different regions of the state, ‘bicycle-friendly’ by building cycle tracks in different places. The first phase of the project was initiated in Lucknow, Agra, and Noida The project is intended with the idea of cycling being the healthiest and cheapest mode of transportation. This initiative has also cope with the widespread pollution menace that cities are dealing with. The project for Lucknow, after completion, will have the country’s largest cycle track network stretching up to 270 kilometres. The first cycle track was inaugurated on 1st March 2015 and Rs. 136 crore have been sanctioned for the 204 km long stretch in the Budget 2016-17.17. MetroWith an increasing population, there are certain issues that have come to our notice with regards to transportation, traffic, etc. To relief the people from such problems, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav proposed Lucknow Metro. At present, the first phase of Metro is almost complete and will be functional by the end of 2016. At the same time, Agra, Varanasi, Meerut, Kanpur, and Allahabad are seeing research work in full swing to determine the metro pathways.In the first phase, North-South corridor will be functional. It will extend from Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport to MunshiPulia.The total length of the first phase is 23 Km.There will be a total of 22 stations along the initial route.The North- South corridors costs almost Rs. 6880 crore.Along with Lucknow, metro construction has started in Noida, Ghaziabad, and Greater Noida.In Noida, from KalindiKunj to Botanical Garden, Noida City Centre to Sector-62, and Noida to Greater Noida; a total of 40.344 km metro track is under construction.18. Four Lane Roads and ExpresswaySamajwadi Party has always aimed towards the development of Uttar Pradesh. A good road network is crucial in not just connecting people and places but ensuring the upliftment of all sectors. Hence, they have taken it upon themselves to connect all the districts of the state via four-lane roads.Uttar Pradesh has 75 major districts out of which most of them are linked with four-lane roads. Apart from this, Samajwadi Party is working on the beautification of the roads, construction of link and cement concrete roads, their widening, and maintenance.So far 20 districts have been connected via four-lane roads. Work is going on to connect the remaining districts.Work is under process for connecting Urai to Jalaun, Bhadohi to Mirzapur, Gorakhpur to Devariya, and from Devariya to Salempur via four-lane roads.Under Dr. Ram Manohar LohiaSamagr Gram VikasYojna 2097 designated villages were to be connected with 680 other villages out of which work has been completed for 40.Rs. 4209.59 crore have been spent on 32.93 km long road.Under Shree Ram Sharan Daas Gram SadakYojna, in 2015-16, 660 inhabitations were connected with 582 others.In the year 2015-16, 2882 km of road was widened and beautified.Similarly, in the year 2015-16, Rs. 2500 crore were spent for beautification of 8,157 km long road.Repair work for 11,675 km long road was done by spending Rs. 767.06 crore and Rs. 1,091 crore on another stretch. This means a total of Rs. 1,858 crore was spent on beautification of existing roads.In the present year, Samajwadi Party has constructed 25 long bridges, 7 rail bridges, 89 short bridges.To encourage the use of cycles for health and environment presentation, Samajwadi Party has constructed 80 km long cycle track in Lucknow, Agra, Mathura, and Etawah.New RoadsLength (in Km)HamirpurKalpi Marg 51.90 KmBareilleyBadaun Marg 44.80 KmMuradabadSambhal Marg 35.71 KmBahraichBhinga 33 KmRing Road from Lucknow-Kanpur Road to Hardoi Connecting Sitapur 22.45 KmMuratganjManjhanpur Marg 18 KmEtawah-Mainpuri-Kurawali Marg 89 KmSahadatganjNayaghat Marg 12.20 KmVaranasi Mohansarai Marg 11 KmConnecting Hapur to Central Delhi 9.60 KmFrom Hazratganj to Lohia Path via Vikramaditya Path in Lucknow was widened 7.60 KmKathpula to Jamalpur in Aligarh 6.20 KmJoya Amrohi Road 5.97 KmFrom Kheria Airport to Mall Road via Shastri Crossing uptil East Gate of Taj Mahal in Agra 5.56 KmGadh Road in Meerut 5.50 KmNH 28 in Gorakhpur 5.40 KmVidhuna in Auraiya 5.30 KmLahartara BHU Marg in Varanasi 5 KmChilkana Marg in Saharanpur 2.85 KmOutskirts of Lucknow Highway in Hardoi 2.20 KmAgra-Lucknow ExpresswayLucknow-Agra Expressway can be called one of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s pilot project and Samajwadi Party’s biggest one. After its inauguration in October 2016, not only will Lucknow and Agra will see rapid development but the other 10 districts which it connects to will ensure a better lifestyle for the citizens. Alongside this expressway, rapid work is ensuing on Samajwadi Purvanchal Expressway, which will connect Lucknow to Eastern UP. Lucknow-Azamgarh-Balliya highways are under construction. These initiatives will ensure the development of the state and entire Uttar Pradesh will benefit from any scheme running from Delhi to Balliya.Agra-Lucknow Expressway is almost 300 Km long with 6 lanes.Almost Rs. 15,000 crore has been budgeted for it.At present this is country’s largest Green Field Expressway.After completion, it will reduce the distance between Lucknow-Agra to 3.5 hrs instead of traditional 7 hours.The expressway will host 4 development centre, 2 Kisan Mandi, goods washing centre, schools, and ITI.19. Growth in Uttar Pradesh ElectrificationAfter Samajwadi Party came in power in 2012, the energy and power production in the state has gone up considerably due to strong policies. Because of this, Uttar Pradesh is reaching new heights of development. Instead of traditional power sources, the Samajwadi Party has introduced solar energy sources to produce power in a sustainable manner; it ensures the protection of the earth and the future generations.By October 2016, the people will be able to enjoy 14-16 hours of electricity in rural areas and 22-24 hours in urban UP.Due to collaborations with private sectors Bara, Lalitpur, and Srinagar Power Schemes, 4000 MW and 1000 MW from government sector’s D-Schemes will be available by October 2016.1x660MW super critical thermal power plant at Panki has been established.Obra C Scheme is in its nascent stage and looks at establishing 2x660 MW power plants.2x660 MW thermal power plants are also coming up at Karchhana and Jawaharpur.Two partnerships are in place with NTPC; one for 2x660 MW thermal power plants in Meja and 3x660 (1980) MW thermal plants are coming up in Ghatampur.3 solar plants of 10 MW each are established in Lalitpur, Mahraunikhurd, and Cheera.225 KW solar power plants have been inaugurated at Fakirpur in Kannauj.20. KisanBazaar/Shilp GramKisaan Bazaar or Farmer’s Market has definitely been a boon to the farmers of Uttar Pradesh. Now they will not have to travel from one place to another in search of better prices, they will be fixed by the state government. Thanks to UPCM Akhilesh Yadav, the farmers will also be able to buy high-quality seeds, pesticides, and fertilizers, at no added cost. This scheme by Samajwadi Party was well appreciated by the farmers and buyers, alike.AwadhShilpgram has taken inspiration from Delhi Haat, but on a bigger scale; it is spread over 20 acre land.The world-class AwadhShilpgram consists of 200 shops for the craftsmen to demonstrate their skills.There are 50 air conditioned shops and stalls from other states.Apart from the stalls, there is an auditorium, amphitheatre, food court, exhibition hall, cafeteria, and other areas for entertainment.The area is lit using sustainable energy sources like solar lights and has good parking facility.Rain water harvesting has been installed to improve the greenery of the surrounding area.At AwadhShilpgram, farmers, local artisans, and other craftsmen will be able to showcase and sell their goods.