Tuesday, July 14, 2020
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

Also Read

Raju Das
Corporate Dropout, Freelance Translator

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

Trending now

AMU girl complains about being threatened and hounded since CAA was passed, told she will be made to wear “brass hijab”

Calling her a "Sanghi", the fellow AMU students had attacked her for calling out sexualisation of women in the varsity

Islamists issue rape threats to a social media user for asking Muslims to recite Azaan at lower volume

Apart from Fardeen Modal, Ashi's Azaan tweet miffed other Muslims, who also abused the Hindu girl on Twitter

Secret meetings, plan of action and riots: How Safoora Zargar and others are intertwined in the murder of Ratan Lal during Delhi riots

Name of Jamia Millia Islamia student Safoora Zargar appears multiple times in Ratan Lal murder chargesheet

Google head Sundar Pichai, who studied at IIT Kharagpur, is all set to bring a digital revolution worth Rs 75,000 crore in India: Read...

Google, headed by Sundar Pichai, pitches in to help bring about a digital revolution in India

A tribute to Tapan Ghosh: The firebrand leader who helped Muslim women marry their Hindu lovers and secure a happy ending to their love...

Hindutva Icon of West Bengal, Tapan Ghosh, passed away on Sunday, days after he was diagnosed with the Wuhan Coronavirus.

Sharad Pawar, Mamata Banerjee, Jagan and Himanta Biswa: How Congress ignored key regional leaders and eventually lost those states

Choosing loyalists over popularity and calibre has cost Congress dearly. Losing key regional leaders has decimated the party to ruins in many states.

Recently Popular

The curious case of ‘Drone Boy’ who has made 600 drones using broken mixer grinders and televisions. A fact-check

While 'drone boy' Prathap NM has claimed to have made 600 drones using e-waste, not a single photo or video of them exist

‘Drone boy’ Prathap NM makes a statement after OpIndia fact-check: Here is why his explanation makes little sense

'Drone boy' Prathap NM says he won't show his drones due to intellectual property issues, but will show certificates from unregistered events

Sachin Pilot reaches Delhi with 25 MLAs amid speculations of Rajasthan government collapse, Gehlot holds late night meetings

Ashok Gehlot claimed that the State government was stable and would continue to remain so despite all efforts to the contrary

Pakistanis are shocked that Turkish actress does not cover herself head-to-toe in real life like her role in TV show Ertugrul, slams for wearing...

Pakistani Islamists troll Turkish actress Esra Bilgiç for her modern clothing, not traditional dress like her historical role in a TV show

Stand-up comedian apologises for insulting memorial to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in Arabian sea after MNS workers vandalised studio

The stand-up 'comedian' Agrima Joshua had made scornfully derisive remarks in her video against the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj memorial that is going to be erected in the Arabian Sea

Aakar Patel abuses Amitabh Bachchan and Sachin Tendulkar – reasons go beyond hatred for Modi

The 'Woke' secular-liberal camp of current times is defined by its elitist arrogance and crass snobbery. 'Human rights activist' Aakar Patel is one such specimen.

Here are the six significant statements by the court today while denying bail to Tahir Hussain, accused in the Delhi anti-Hindu riots

Tahir Hussain had sought bail saying there was no cogent evidence to link him to Ankit Sharma's murder

Nepal PM says Shri Ram was Nepali and India has created ‘fake Ayodhya’, admits scholars will not believe his ‘new fact’

Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli claimed that India falsely says Shri Ram was born in Ayodhya, India.

Amidst rising demand to boycott Chinese products, Bollywood actor Karthik Aryan drops multi-crore endorsement deal with Oppo

Karthik Aryan has become the first Bollywood actor to drop a multi-crore deal with a Chinese brand.

AMU girl complains about being threatened and hounded since CAA was passed, told she will be made to wear “brass hijab”

Calling her a "Sanghi", the fellow AMU students had attacked her for calling out sexualisation of women in the varsity

The death of BJP MLA Debendra Nath Roy shows that no opposition political leader is safe in West Bengal

BJP MLA in West Bengal, Debendra Nath Roy, was found hanging in public on Monday.

Why ‘liberal’ hate against Amitabh Bachchan for getting admitted to a hospital after testing positive for Coronavirus makes no sense at all

A bevy of perverse liberals took to Twitter to denounce Amitabh Bachchan after he got Coronavirus, claiming it to be a "privilege of rich" and accusing him of needlessly occupying a hospital bed

London: Indian diaspora, PoK activists and Iranian diaspora protest outside the Chinese embassy over ‘expansionist policies’

Demonstrators were heard singing the Indian National Anthem 'Jan Gan Maan' and the Indian National song, 'Vande Mataram' at the protest site.

AIB co-founder Rohan Joshi, who wanted entire Pawar family dead, deactivates his Twitter account

AIB co-founder Rohan Joshi has deactivated his account after screenshots of his abusive tweets against politicians went viral .

Gehlot’s last ‘resort’? Congress moves MLAs to Jaipur hotel, Pilot claims Rajasthan govt has lost majority

Reports claimed that 107 MLAs, including some independents, were present at the CM's residence. Congress has moved its MLAs to a resort in Jaipur.

In touch with ISIS recruiters since 2015: NIA arrests 2 Islamic State terrorists in Pune planning to carry out terror attacks in India

The duo arrested by the NIA were involved in promoting and propagating ISIS and their activities in India

Connect with us