The month of July saw the new NDA government revealing the broad outlines of its economic agenda for the year during the Budget Session of the Parliament, beginning with the Rail Budget and culminating in the union budget. Talk of bitter pills aside, one could perceive faint threads of fiscal prudence overshadowing populism, as major announcements were sans the usual populist takeouts bandied about in budget presentations of yore, marking a departure in approach from blatant populism to pragmatic realism. How much will come of it still remains to be seen, as implementation now comes centre stage, even as we understand that this budget is a mere levelling of the playing ground before the February 2015 budget. While the government took a cautiously soft approach on Railways by raising passenger fares and freight tariff a fortnight before the budget date instead of including it in the budget itself, populist concerns over some of the states going to the polls did force the government to pull-back hikes in suburban season tickets. Next came the Economic Survey, which set the tone and delineated a course for sustainable recovery for the economy, followed by the maiden NDA union budget. Our Cover Feature in this edition charts the unravelling trajectory of India’s new foreign policy that was initiated by PM Narendra Modi even as he took oath at Rashtrapathi Bhavan on the 26th of May 2014, now 60+ days distant in the past. We explore the regional conflagrations and powerplays and the emerging scenarios that will flavour and influence India’s options in ensuring regional peace, stability, economic prosperity and growth in a relative tension free world. Other thematic segments continue, Dossier returns to its earlier avatar of diaspora connect and features a select few achievers, Heritage looks at the origins of ‘Sunday’ as a holy-day, Travelogue features Mahabalipuram and its rock-cut temples, while Real Estate makes an assessment of the budget’s impact on the sector. Silver Screen brings you intel from the world of cinema, and news from across the board is patterned into Business Buzz, News Scan & Cineppets, while politics and satire find their due place as well.
And we do hope you will like the blend of features, profiles and stories in your magazine, and pardon our limitations and constraints for skipping some of the popular segments. Please do remain in touch with us even as we strive to improve our outreach, and share your thoughts and experiences, talk to us, email us, like us on social media, and participate in making your magazine even better ! The NRI Achievers desk is at your service. Have a great August ahead…!