How things work
Assembly polls will be held in seven states in 2012. Dates for the elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur and Goa - being held between end of January and early March - have already been announced. While Manipur, Goa, Punjab and Uttarakhand will see a single-phase election, politically-sensitive Uttar Pradesh will have seven phases of polling. Elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh will be held later in the year. The electoral process goes through a series of stages: notification, nomination, polling and counting of votes.
Notification and nomination: The process starts with the election being notified by the state election commission, or EC. Each phase is notified separately. The state EC also sets a deadline for submitting nominations, which is usually one week after the notification. It then scrutinises the nominations. Candidates also get a chance to withdraw their nominations, if they wish to.
Polling: The polling date is usually set 14 days after the deadline for withdrawing nominations. The campaign has to end 48 hours before the polling process starts. Counting: The EC also sets a date for counting of votes. Votes will be counted on the same day - March 6 - in all the five states.
Don't lose it
The Limited Edition Mystery Masterpiece is one of the most expensive fountain pens in the world. It is a joint production by renowned pen maker Montblanc and luxury jeweller Van Cleef. It has 840 diamonds embedded in it, as well as over 20 carats of other gemstones, which could be rubies, sapphires or emeralds. Each pen takes 18 months to make.
The cost: $730,000 (Rs 3.80 crore).
Where did the expression 'as the crow flies' come from? It seems in medieval times, British ships actually carried a cage full of crows with them. Crows are said to detest large expanses of water and fly straight to the nearest dry spot. The ship could do the same by following the crow's trajectory. The lookout perch on those vessels was known as the 'crow's nest'.
Not in Luck Now
Work on Lucknow's Metro Rail Project is yet to start. Its estimated cost, pegged at Rs 8,200 crore in September 2008, had soared to Rs 12,621 crore by July 2011. There is no clarity on how the project will be financed. Yet the Delhi Metro Rail, which is executing it, says it plans to start work in March and finish the first phase by 2017.
Compiled by Anamika Butalia