- Time Zone refers to the local time of a region or a country.
- Indian Standard Time (IST) is the time observed throughout India, with a time offset of +05:30.
- India has considered multiple time zones a few times but didn’t make a final decision yet.
In Favor – India should adopt two time zones:
- Eastside of India is facing problems with IST.
- India Stretches for about 3000km from west to east which shows India should have two to three time zones ideally. The Time difference between the westernmost and easternmost part of India is approximately two hours and as a result, Sunrises as well as sets early in the east than in the rest of the country.
- In the North-East, the sun rises at approx. four in the morning and sets at about four in the evening in the winter. By the time that people start their work, half of the daylight is already wasted. In winter, this thing becomes even more problematic and results in more electricity consumption and lag in economic development in comparison to other states.
- Many activists, industrialists, and common people have complained about the effect of IST on their normal daily life.
- Eastern India is blessed with an abundance of minerals, but still, it lags in the economic development from the rest of the country because of the less working hours. Therefore adding a different Time Zone would provide them with more working hours and will help in the development.
Against – India should not adopt two time zones:
- Two time zones will create a lot of confusion and would need extra efforts to educate people and will also cause the loss of resources & economy of the state.
- People travelling across the border of two time zones have to change time every time they cross the border, and it will be confusing.
- With different time zone from the rest of the country, North Eastern states may feel further alienated.
- With an early start to the day would make people work more energetically and effectively.
- Instead of making a new time zone, starting and closing of the day an hour or more would decrease the electricity consumption.
- India is the second-largest country in the world that runs on a single time zone after China. Of the top 7 big nations geographically, all the nations run on 3 or more time zones.
- Majority of India’s major cities (Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Chennai) are relatively close to the central longitude, and the same case is with China, where most of its economy is centred on the Beijing longitude.
- After independence in 1947, the Indian government established IST as the official time for the whole country, although Kolkata and Mumbai retained their own local time (known as Calcutta Time and Bombay Time) until 1948 and 1955, respectively. In Northeast, Assam followed Bagan Time. This is one hour ahead of the IST, and almost two hours ahead of clocks on the western coast.
- The United States extends roughly 4,800 km from east to west. It follows nine different time zones, whereas India Stretching for about 3000 km should have at least two or three Time Zones.
- Russia has about 11 time zones, which is one of the countries with the most time zones in the world.
- France holds the world record for the most number of time zones i.e. 12.
- Just like India, China also has a single time zone which is a problem for them also and the reason given by communist party was “to enhance National unity”, but this step backfired for them.
- Bangladesh situated next to eastern India has a Time Zone which is 30 minutes ahead of IST, so why can’t Eastern part of India has a different Time Zone.
A solution is needed to avoid problems with IST in North East India. That can be solved by either creating two time zones or changing the whole country’s time to the time at the exact vertical centre line of the country.
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