For a geographically vast country such as India, wherein the distance between its eastern and western end is 2,933 kms and covers about 29 degrees in longitude, some scholars have suggested that the country could have two different time zones. It is a well-known fact that in the North-eastern region of India, the day begins at 04:00 hrs in summers and the sun sets at 16:00 hrs in winters. This leads to substantial loss of daylight hours for workplace and academic establishments, etc.. and has led to frequent demands, from several quarters, for a separate time zone for the northeast.
In their talk, Professors D. P. Sen Gupta and Dilip R. Ahuja propose that advancing the IST by just 30 minutes – from GMT+5:30 to GMT+6:00 – would result in major socio-economic benefits for the whole country, as well as give an impetus to the much-needed development of India’s northeast. Through their robust peer-reviewed studies, the researchers claim that just a 30-minute advancement of the IST would ensure the most optimal use of the available daylight across the east-west expanse of the country. Such a strategy will be more effective than the adoption of two different time zones or the introduction of the seasonal daylight savings time (DST) and yield the following benefits:
There will be a considerable energy saving of 2.7 billion units of electricity per year. The energy savings are in the evenings when utilities are hard pressed to meet the peaking loads which commence when lights are switched on with fading sun-light. Energy savings obtained from advancing IST exceed those from introducing seasonal DST or from two time zones. This measure will help in mainstreaming the greatly inconvenienced Northeast. A large number of working women can reach home safely by leaving before dark. This measure will also help in avoiding road accidents due to improved visibility for evening commutes.
Countries that have instituted daylight saving measures indicate an increase in shopping resulting in increased commerce. India belongs to three percent of world’s regions like Iran, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal, which have a fractional hour offsets from GMT. An overwhelming majority of countries around the world have their offsets in whole hours. Advancing IST to six hours will mainstream India to global practice of having offsets of whole hours.
Prof Dilip Ahuja
Dilip Ahuja is an independent researcher based in Bangalore. From December 1999 to September 2016 he was the ISRO Professor of Science and Technology Policy at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru. Prior to that, he had worked at the Global Environment Facility’s Secretariat in Washington, DC. He has been a Contributing Author and a Review Editor for four different chapters in the Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He was an Associate Director of the InterAcademy Council (IAC) in Amsterdam. He has a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay and a doctorate in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Virginia at Charlottesville. He has also conducted research at the Tata Energy Research Institute in New Delhi and at the US Environmental Protection Agency in Washington.
Prof D P Sen Gupta
Prof. D.P. Sen Gupta has a B. Sc. (Hons) in Physics from Presidency College, Calcutta; a B.Tech. (Hons) in Electrical Engineering from I.I.T Kharagpur. He had received the prestigious Graduate Engineering Fellowship from A. E. I., Manchester, and a Ph.D. from the University of Liverpool. He was a Lecturer in the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Liverpool for 5 years where he received a special award for Teaching Excellence. Upon his return to India, he joined the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore in Electrical Engineering, where he served for 26 years, mostly as Professor. From 2009 to 2017 he was at the National Institute of Advanced Studies as a Visiting Professor, engaged primarily in Energy and Environment issues. He has written a number of Technical books, published by Butterworths, Macmillan, and Springer.
The event is from 17:30-19:00 hours