A grassroots revolution of politics that delivers is sweeping the Uttar Pradesh countryside. The newly-elected pradhan of Sarraiya-Mahantpur panchayat in Fazilpur, 29-year-old Rakesh Srivastava, epitomises this trend. He has taken it upon himself to empower the poverty-stricken area.

It is often said of statistics that it is the only science that enables different sets of experts using the same set of figures to draw different conclusions. So when the Naveen Patnaik Government recently presented its annual 340-page Economic Survey report in the Assembly to claim that the state's growth rate has overtaken the national average, the Opposition smirked.

The clean image of the Naveen Patnaik Government could well be consigned to a bottomless pit if recent charges about the organised plunder of the state's precious mineral wealth manage to stick.

Be careful. This mangrove forest has a fatal attraction,

Every morning Ajit Kumar Pattnaik, 45, goes into one of the six enclosures in the middle of the Nandankanan Zoological Park and touches a scaly mammal.

He then closely examines the quantity and quality of termites left as the mammal's food. The mammal, known as Indian pangolin, curls up as if in self-defence and then moves back into the burrow.

To her many critics who accused Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati for wasting public money on building her own statues, she has a stock answer: "The Government spent 99 per cent of funds on development and only one per cent on construction of statues." To support her claim she even made the utilisation of development funds public, becoming the first chief minister in the country to do so.