Friday, November 27, 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

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

Minor gang-raped, forced conversion to Islam, threats, caste abuse: Details of 11 cases in which UP SIT, formed to probe Love Jihad, found criminality

To curb growing menace of Love Jihad, Kanpur police under guidance of the Yogi govt in Uttar Pradesh formed an SIT

Congress party’s Lucknow office locked by employees over non-payment of salaries, office-bearers blocked from entering the office

Protesting against the Congress party for unpaid salaries, the upset staffers and the employees locked up the gates of the Congress office

Aziz Burney’s ’26/11 RSS ki Saazish’: Read how the Congress-favourite Urdu journalist gave Pakistan a clean chit and blamed Indian Army

Through his articles, Burney had tried to give a clean chit to terror-state of Pakistan by claiming that it was not the ISI or LeT that was behind the attack, but the RSS with covert support from Mossad and the CIA.

Caravan Magazine asked us about our coverage on Wikipedia and its Left bias – Here is our detailed response

OpIndia coverage of Wikipedia lies started after Delhi Riots and Caravan Magazine, with its strong Left bias, is clearly not happy about it

‘Sant’ Rampal’s devotees have been flooding social media to tell Muslims how they don’t know Islam. Read bizarre details

Born in 1951 as Rampal Singh Jatin in Punjab, the 69-year-old self-styled godman is currently lodged in Hisar central jail for murder charges.

Odisha: Largest ever vigilance raid in state unearths massive wealth gathered by IFS officer, fancy cars, ultra-luxurious lifestyle

Pathak's family reportedly owns a lavish apartment in Bhubaneswar with Italian marble flooring, ivory furnitures and other luxuries. The son is engaged to an MLA's daughter.

Recently Popular

Hyderabad elections: Owaisi makes ‘beef biriyani’ sly on BJP leaders, Raja Singh offers him pork biriyani

As an insult to BJP leaders, Owaisi had stated that they should have some biriyani at a particular hotel in Hyderabad that is famous for beef dishes.

When Sonia Gandhi trusted Ahmed Patel for conveying to PV Narasimha Rao’s family that his funeral will not be held in Delhi

Sanjaya Baru had said Ahmed Patel approached him to let PV Narasimha Rao's son know about Sonia Gandhi's message.

Odisha: Largest ever vigilance raid in state unearths massive wealth gathered by IFS officer, fancy cars, ultra-luxurious lifestyle

Pathak's family reportedly owns a lavish apartment in Bhubaneswar with Italian marble flooring, ivory furnitures and other luxuries. The son is engaged to an MLA's daughter.

Remembering the role Barkha Dutt played in endangering the lives of 100s of civilians during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack

A look back at how live coverage by journalists like Barkha Dutt and other journalists endangered lives of thousands of people during 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.

During 26/11 Mumbai attack, Param Bir Singh refused to be on ground and take on terrorists, then Mumbai CP Hasan Gafoor had said

Hasan Gafoor, who was the Mumbai Commissioner of Police during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, had accused senior police officials, including Param Bir Singh of not taking on the terrorists.

How Congress lost Gujarat to save Ahmed Patel’s Rajya Sabha seat

The 2017 Gujarat Rajya Sabha elections which were contested by Ahmed Patel were one of the lowest points for Congress.
- Advertisement -

Karan Johar apologises to Madhur Bhandarkar for tweaking his title without permission, Bhandarkar calls Johar’s act morally and ethically wrong

Madhur Bhandarkar had accused Karan Johar of tweaking his registered title 'Bollywood wives' for an upcoming web series on Netflix

District court in UP sentences one Sadab Alam to 20-years imprisonment for kidnapping and raping a minor girl

The minor victim was recovered by the police from West Bengal. She had told before the court that she was raped by Sadab Alam.

“Wikipedia has become a huge moral hazard”: Co-founder Larry Sanger accuses the website of turning into a ‘monocultural establishment organ of propaganda’

Larry Sanger accuses Wikipedia of no longer adhering to the principle of providing information from a neutral point of view

Uttar Pradesh ranks number one in providing jobs to migrant workers by generating 10 crore person-days under Gareeb Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan

Uttar Pradesh government has spent 9,329.57 Crores on the project and generated 10,58,17,358 Person-days for migrant workers

‘Professor’ Ashok Swain, known for his anti-India rhetoric and Hinduphobia, deactivates his Twitter account saying he needed a break

Ashok Swain was often seen peddling anti-India narrative on social media that resonated well with Pakistan and liberals in India

Months after staying at the RIMS director’s bungalow, scam convicted RJD chief Lalu Yadav shifted back to RIMS ward

The newly appointed RIMS Director had to stay in a guest house because Lalu Yadav had been staying in his official bungalow since August

Congress leaders and supporters use old photographs to attack Modi government on farmer protests

The pictures used by Youth Congress and then mechanically copied by rest of the Congress coteries are actually from the year 2018

Pakistani man gets AK-47 rifle as wedding gift from his mother-in-law, video goes viral

In the viral video, the mother-in-law of the groom is seen gifting him a Kalashnikov rifle as the crowd cheered.

Minor gang-raped, forced conversion to Islam, threats, caste abuse: Details of 11 cases in which UP SIT, formed to probe Love Jihad, found criminality

To curb growing menace of Love Jihad, Kanpur police under guidance of the Yogi govt in Uttar Pradesh formed an SIT

Partying in 2008, ignoring now: Rahul Gandhi’s silence on the 26/11 Mumbai attacks continues

Like last year, Rahul Gandhi has completely ignored the 26/11 Mumbai attacks and has not shared any tweet about it.

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
489,296FollowersFollow
20,200SubscribersSubscribe