Day Light Saving – UPSC GS3

Day Light Saving
  • Many parts of North America and Europe follow what is called Daylight Saving Time (DST).
  • It’s a practice by which all the clocks in these places are moved forward by an hour during the summer months and brought back during the winter.
  • The reason behind this is to take advantage of the longer-lasting sunlight in summer and save energy.
WHAT is India’s stand?
  • India spans longitudes of 68° at the western end and 98° at the eastern boundary. Given that there is a difference of one hour for every 15° of longitude, the time difference between the westernmost part of India and the easternmost point is approximately two hours. But India follows a single time zone, since 1906 midway at 82.5°.
  • There have been periodical demands from the Northeast region for a separate time zone. In the Northeast, the sun rises as early as four in the morning and in winter it sets by four in the evening.
  • By the time, the offices and school open for the day, hours of daylight are wasted. However, the demands have not been met and India sticks to the IST, which is 5 and a half hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
WHY are objections raised against DST?
  • Opponents argue that the actual energy saving through DST is debatable. Research proving energy conservation through DST has been limited. DST has mixed effects on health.
  • Though it encourages physical activities in the evening hours, it could alter sunlight exposure and reduce sleep hours. It is also found that road and rail accidents are high in the days immediately following the clock change according to studies conducted in North America.

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