Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Home Editor's picks Modi govt rejects idea of a separate timezone for Northeast India. Here's why it...

Modi govt rejects idea of a separate timezone for Northeast India. Here’s why it was the right decision

Individual regions can follow their own routine for the benefits of separate time zone, without the associated chaos

On December 19, Minister of Science and Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan informed the Lok Sabha that a High-Level Committee has rejected the proposal to have two time zones in the country for strategic reasons. Currently, India has a single time zone, which is 5:30 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. The Indian Standard Time is based on 82°5′ E longitude, but given that the country extends from 68°7′ east to 97°25′ east longitude, this means the eastern and western parts of the have to follow a time which is behind and ahead of the respective local solar times.

Due to this reason, there have been demands to formulate multiple time zones in the country. It has been argued that there will be huge power savings as a result of separate time zones, as the states in the east will start and end the workday early compared to the western part, thereby saving on the power needed for lighting. At present, while the sun rises at around 4:30 in summer, the workday starts almost 4-5 hours after that, which is a waste of valuable daylight.

But the government of India has been rejecting the idea for a long time. In 2001, a committee under the ministry had examined the issue and had ruled that since the expanse of the Indian State is not large like the USA, no need has been felt for different time zones. This time the government has cited strategic reasons for the decision to maintain the single time zone for the country.

Although there are compelling reasons for having separate time zones, the problems that may arise with that are also grave. The other countries that have multiple times zones in single land mass, the population density is much less compared to India. But in India, any border between separated time zones will run through densely populated areas, creating huge chaos.

Separate time zones will mean separate schedules for same trains, flights that criss-cross the country on a daily basis. Lakhs of people will need to reset their watches every time they enter a different time zone. Moreover, the administration in India is not known for its efficiency.

Although these problems can be addressed with better management and technology, actually a better solution already exists for all the problems cited in a single time zone. And that solution is, everyone is free to operate on their own time zones. Confused? Let me explain.

Although India has a single time zone, it does not mean that everyone has to follow the same routine. The regions in the east can start and end their work day one or two hours earlier, and get all the benefits of having a separate time zone, without the chaos associated with it. Individual organisations, companies, factories, educational institutions, public sector units, state governments can fix work hours based on their geographic location. For example, an office in Kolkata can have a workday of 8 to 4, there is no bar on doing so.

It is not very difficult to do so, and actually, this is already followed in many places. In Assam, the tea gardens follow a different time zone, known as Tea Garden Time or Bagan Time, which is one hour ahead of IST. Most tea gardens in the organised sector in Assam start their workday at around 7 AM. Even the administrative offices of public sector companies like Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) and Oil India Limited (OIL) in Assam start working at 7 AM.

Likewise, several colleges in Assam start their classes at 7 AM, or even before that. State governments and other organisations in both the public and private sector can start their workday accordingly. Multinational companies already operate across different time zones, so it should not be a problem to advance the worktimes of private sector offices in the eastern region. As long as total work hours do not exceed prescribed limits set by labour laws, there is no bar on the private sector to fix their own work timings. In fact, the factories that work multiple shifts already have different work hours across the country. The same can be extended to administrative offices too.

While talking about the benefit of separate time zone, it is said that there will be huge savings in money due to better utilisation of daylight. In the analysis of estimated savings, the entire power bill of an organisation is taken into account. But that is the wrong approach to estimate that, because the light is not the only purpose that uses electricity, it is not even the largest user.

In fact, with the advent of LED lights, the lighting takes a minuscule amount of power in a house. Most power is consumed in cooling, running computers and other equipment etc, and those uses will remain fixed no matter what the work timings are. Therefore, if one takes into account only the electricity needed for lighting, the estimated benefit will come down significantly.

Coming back to the Lok Sabha, the minister was answering a question by Jayadev Galla from TDP. In the question, he says that smaller countries like France has 12 time zones, and Britain has 9 time zones. That is misleading information presented by the member of Parliament at the lower house. France and Great Britain has only one time zones each. But as both the countries have several overseas territories across the globe, a legacy of colonies they had in past, those territories have separate time zones according to their geographic locations.

Those are separate land masses located at different continents, most of them being islands at oceans, hence they do not suffer from any problem that India might face with multiple time zones.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Raju Das
Corporate Dropout, Freelance Translator

Related Articles

Trending now

AAP supported farmer protests hampering war against Covid-19, oxygen supplier writes to GOI saying tankers delayed due to roadblocks by protestors

Inox Air Products said that they are facing delays in Delhi while transporting oxygen due to road blockades by the farmer protestors

After getting vaccinated himself, Rakesh Tikait says the Modi government will be responsible if farmers get COVID-19

Rakesh Tikait had recently said that 'farmers' protests is not Shaheen Bagh than can be stopped in the name of coronavirus

How China’s ‘Re-education through labour’ policy put minorities in labour camps even before the Uyghur crisis: About the Masanjia camps

The letter went into detail about the conditions at China's Masanjia Labor Camp, including the gruelling hours, verbal abuse and physical abuse

From sitting on upturned dustbins to photo ops at crematorium grounds, Barkha Dutt gets questioned for her ‘vulture journalism’

While the situation on ground is indeed grim, people on social media have been calling out the dramatics by journalists who could have perhaps focused on the news instead of their brand building.

Maharashtra FDA minister embarrasses his own govt and alliance leaders, says his ministry had approved Remdesivir procurement by BJP

Maharashtra FDA Minister and NCP leader Dr. Rajendra Shingne confirms that he was aware about BJP procuring Remdesivir for state govt

Journalism: The new performance art

With the COVID-19 pandemic, journalists have screamed "Beware of the Ides of March" to anyone who would listen - Barkha Dutt for example.

Recently Popular

Understanding the hate factory: How Rohan Joshi and his hateful post against Hindus gives us an insight into the ‘liberal’ mind

Comedian Rohan Joshi tells Bhakts, "I have nothing but contempt for them and nit a shred of empathy" as he mocks Coronavirus deaths

Maharashtra Remdesivir ruckus: Saket Gokhale brazens his lies by filing complaint against Fadnavis, BJP returns favour. Details

A complaint has been filed against Saket Gokhale by a BJP member in which the complainant has accused the Congress supporter of lying and waging a war against the state in the midst of a pandemic

Filmmaker Hansal Mehta challenges for free flight tickets to Pakistan but goes into hiding after Twitter user provides it. Read what happened

Hansal Mehta's flight to Pakistan via Dubai is scheduled for 20th April, 2021. We shall keep you posted if Mehta goes to Pakistan or will he register his name in long list of paper tigers.

Delhi couple abuses cops over masks in viral video, husband blames wife after arrest

Police have booked and arrested a Delhi couple after the duo misbehaved with the personnel over masks. The video went viral.

250 ventilators sent by central govt lied unutilized in the state of Punjab amid the second wave of coronavirus

250 ventilators sent by the central government to Punjab for use in government hospitals were lying unused till late March.

When ‘comedians’ double up as doctors and believe ‘Bhakts’ deserve the misery as Chinese coronavirus rages

You will never see them questioning how many mosques have opened up their gates as medical facilities. Because, everyone likes to keep their heads.
- Advertisement -

 

Connect with us

254,077FansLike
530,786FollowersFollow
24,200SubscribersSubscribe