New Delhi: India's Finance Minister Arun Jaitley takes a starring role in a new YouTube channel launched by his ministry, in an apparent attempt to appeal to youth audiences ahead of the upcoming budget.
Accompanied by pounding electronic music and swirling graphics, the first video shows Jaitley speaking to huge audiences, meeting British counterpart George Osborne and addressing the financial elite at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
He is also seen stirring a pot of halwa ahead of the "halwa ceremony", a quirky pre-budget ritual in which the sugar-and-semolina dessert is served to ministry employees before a days-long lock-in.
"The YouTube channel is expected to strengthen the online presence of the ministry and engage audiences," the finance ministry said in a statement Thursday.
The two-minute video, which also features Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian and other finance honchos, comes ahead of the national budget that will be presented on February 29.
The channel will include content on "the major schemes, events, meetings, press conferences and other exclusive videos," the ministry added.
However, in taking on India's cadre of YouTube stars -- from housewives giving cooking demonstrations to gadget reviewers whose hits run into the millions -- Jaitley still has some way to go.
The first video had received about 1,500 views as of Friday afternoon.