Thu. Oct 21st, 2021

NE Sisters’, A and N people plead in vain on One India, Two time Zones

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Bengaluru,12 October(HS): The people of North-Eastern India comprising of the seven sister states along with the Andaman and Nicobar Islands have been demanding justice on the two time zones prevailing in the country. In spite of raising the issue ever since Independence their persistent demand continues to remain unattended to date!

One may wonder what do you mean by two time zones in one country. By and large, most of you are aware of the facts. Thanks to the Sun rising unassumingly too early in the Eastern region of the country, it’s day by 4 AM during summer and night by 4 PM during winter.

As a result, the overall difference between the Western and Eastern parts of India is approximately two hours. Yet, countrymen spread across the whole country are literally not at all perturbed by the Indian Standard Time(IST). But not in the case of all those residing in the North East region and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

In search of a job landing up as a content provider: Rahul Ramesh Kabadi, presently in New Delhi has done a study on the subject for providing content to the union Public Service(UPSC) examinations. Interestingly, Rahul in his early 20s’ is by himself an aspirant for the exams. But, thanks to his imbibed skill sets on posting queries, during the process he has also evolved into a content developer.

Rahul Ramesh Kabadi says: During the British rule, India had 2 time zones: Bombay time zone ( 4:51) and Calcutta time zone ( 5:54). Once India got independence, a standard time zone ( 5:30) was introduced in order to facilitate coordination across the country. Once, it came into being, there was no looking back, forget any second thought on the same.

Discussion in Parliament: He also adds: India is the second-largest country in the world that runs in a single time zone. Among the top 7 big countries, other than India and China, the remaining countries run on three or more timezones. Recently, India has considered multiple time zones a few times, and debate regarding its pros and cons has been discussed widely. Just six months back, the subject also came for discussion in the Parliament. But nothing tangible evolved out of such deliberations.

Challenges due to a single timezone: Thanks to the present single timezone, the woes of seven sister states with the Andaman and Nicobar Islands continue to haunt. Due to a single timezone, all public activities like Government offices, schools and colleges, public sector companies, banks etc. resume their activities in tandem with the single timezone of the rest of the country.

But by adhering to such a timezone framework and according to multiple research studies on the subject, an hour delay on an annual average reduces education by 0.8 years!

2.7 billion units of power-saving: Profs. DP Sengupta and Dilip Ahuja of the National Advance Studies claim: By advancing the Indian Standard Time(IST) by half an hour would result in saving of 2.7 billion units of electricity every year.

In a way, such a desired measure can come handy to address the grievances of the North Eastern people, for which they have been striving for more than three fourth of a century! But at the same time, advancing of timezone may also lead to some other type of problems.

Two timezones and chaos: As is evident, India is the second-largest populated country in the world. In case, we adopt a two timezone system it’s quite possible that it may become a gateway to chaos at the borders between two zones. It would also mean resetting clocks while crossing the different time zones. The practice of dual timezones may give rise to the risk of Railway accidents.

Advance Timezone Amicable Solution: Rahul Ramesh Kabadi concludes-There are a couple of options as alternatives to the present proposal of two timezones. The first proposition is neither to introduce a new timezone nor propose a single timezone by advancing the IST to half an hour. In practice, it means extending the Greenwich Mean Time(GMT) to plus six hours( 6.00), once and permanently…

…This proposal of advancing Indian Standard Time by half an hour avoids the problems apprehended in the other two proposals (of 2 Time zones and Single Time Zone) and also provides maximum energy saving during evening hours when the utilities fail to supply continuous power. This will mean advancing the point of reckoning from 82.5 degrees East to 90 degrees East, which will fall at a longitude along the West Bengal – Assam border.