The Union Budget is easily an event that the entire nation follows with rapt attention, scrutinises in detail and discusses for days. It is one of the few events to impact every household in the country for the rest of the year. The masses have several issues, concerns and doubts regarding the newly implemented budget, but quite often these doubts and questions remain unaddressed.
That may not be the case this year. For the first time, the nation's Finance Minister P.Chidambaram will be on Google+ Hangouts to respond to queries about the budget. He will also discuss the state of the Indian economy with a panel of industry leaders and citizens.
On February 28 this year, Chidambaram will read out the Union Budget at the Parliament. Subsequently on March 4, he will make himself available to budget-related questions from those participating in the Google+ Hangout session. For those keen on being a part of the Hangout session, note that it will commence at 8 pm IST on March 4.
P. Chidambaram will be joining a Hangout session on March 4
To ask Chidambaram a question, head to the InConversation YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/inconversation), where you can submit your question in the form of a video or as a comment. You can also ask a question through the Google India Page at www.google.com/+GoogleIndia by submitting a video or text question using the hashtag #askthefm. You can also watch Chidambaram's Union Budget speech live on YouTube on February 28 at 10 am IST.
Chidambaram is not the first Indian politician to have initiated a Google+ Hangout to interact with the masses. Joining the Finance Minister’s Hangout is a panel of luminaries: Jahangir Aziz, Senior Asia Economist and India Chief Economist, JP Morgan; Anand Mahindra, Chairman and Managing Director of Mahindra & Mahindra; and Amit Singhal, Senior Vice President, Google Inc.
In August last year, Narendra Modi, Gujarat's Chief Minister appeared on Google+ Hangouts. He interacted with select individuals and groups of the popular video chat service on August 31. Interested users were required to go through a sifting process. To begin with, users had to start following him on Google+. Then, they had to post a question in video or in text format. Once the questions were shortlisted, the selected questioners were invited to join Modi on Google+ Hangouts.
The topic of Modi's session was “Strong and Glorious India long cherished by Swami Vivekananda.” The initiative was organised by Vivekananda Cell, Sports, Youth and Cultural Activities Department, Gujarat.
Google+ Hangouts is a popular Google Plus feature. The feature allows multiple users to join a video conference.