Why the CSIR National Physical Laboratory (CSIR-NPL) is advocating for two time zones in India?
The national timekeeper the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research’s National Physical Laboratory (CSIR-NPL) which maintains Indian Standard Time has published a research article describing the necessity of two time zones.
New Time Zone
- It proposes for a new time zone with the time an hour ahead of the existing time zone.
- It proposes the new time zone along the chicken neck which connects the Northeast to the rest of India.
- The research paper proposes to call the two time zones IST-I (UTC + 5.30 h) and IST-II (UTC + 6.30 h).
- The proposed line of demarcation is at 89°52’E which is the narrow border between Assam and West Bengal.
- States east of the line which include Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Andaman & Nicobar Islands would follow the new time line.
How the new time zone can help?
- India extends from 68°7’E to 97°25’E spanning around 29 degrees. This causes a difference of almost two hours in the local time between the two extremities of the country.
- As a result early sunrise in the easternmost parts i.e. the Northeast causes the loss of many daylight hours by the time offices or educational institutions open, and that early sunset, for its part, leads to higher consumption of electricity.
- The researchers estimate energy savings at 20 million kWh a year with the new time zone.
- The new time zone will sync the office hours as well as biological activities with the sunrise and sunset timings.
Earlier attempts towards having two timelines
A committee set up in 2002 did not recommend two time zones because of the complexities involved. The Gauhati High Court, last year has dismissed a public interest litigation seeking a direction to the Centre to have a separate time zone for the Northeast.