• Asaf-ud-Daula was the Nawab of Oudh between 1748 and 1797. 
  • In 1775, he shifted the capital of Oudh from Faizabad (near Ayodhya) to Lucknow. 
  • Every time there was a famine or dip in economic activity, Asaf-ud-Daula would employ the poor to construct a new building of some sort in lieu of food or money.
  • This policy resulted in many iconic structures of Lucknow such as Bara Imambara and Rumi Darwaza and earned him the saying “jis ko na de maula, usko de Asaf-ud-Daula” (Those who are disappointed even by the Almighty are taken care of by Asaf-ud-Daula). 
  • While Asaf-ud-Daula was the master of providing immediate relief to the poor, Sher Shah Suri, who wrested the Mughal empire from Humayun and ruled between 1538 and 1545, is known for investing in building up infrastructure in the form of the Grand Trunk Road and the introduction of rupee as a currency, the development the postal system apart from other efforts to improve the administrative capacity. 
  • His efforts had a far-reaching impact on raising India’s productivity and it is for this reason that Humayun, his arch-enemy, called him “Ustad-e-Badshahan” (Teacher of Kings).