Changing Indian Time Zone by half an hour can save a lot of power! Education, GLOBAL, News, Science, Technology, Think again Bangalore scientists have said that advancing the IST by half an hour will save energy by upto three billion units every year. The time zone for India is based on 82.5° E longitude, passing through Mirzapore, U.P. This makes us five hours and 30 minutes ahead of the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), based on the prime meridian. This is defined as the Indian Standard Time (IST), and has been our official time since independence in 1947. Prof Dilip Ahuja and Prof D P Sen Gupta from National Institute of Advanced Studies have now suggested a change in IST to six hours ahead of UTC, instead of the present five-and-a-half hours. This would shift the longitude on which IST is based from 82.5° E to 90° E longitude at Bengal-Assam border. “Though the savings may appear insignificant considering the total energy consumption of the country, the energy demand in the evenings due to domestic lighting will be reduced by about 16 per cent. The economic and operational benefits cannot be ignored. And a saving of about Rs 1500 crore per annum for the nation is not insignificant,” said Prof Ahuja in an official release. “From West to East, India spans from 68° 7′ E to 97° 25′ E of the 0° longitude or the prime meridian. A spread of more than 29° implies almost two hours time difference in sunrises and sunsets between east and west part of the country. However, it is essential for a country to follow a standardised time so that offices, transport systems and communication systems can function smoothly. The current IST (UTC+5:30hrs) means that people in northeastern states have to work late into the dark, even though sun rises and sets early in their region. The current IST generates a heavy load in electricity, especially in the evenings which most companies find hard to meet and imposes substantial economic loss to the nation,” argued the authors. One of the intangible benefits, according to the authors, would be reduction in crime. “The political impact of mainstreaming the northeast by advancing IST would also be favorable,” they added Some disadvantages of the new scheme, according to the scientists, are sending children to school in the dark winter mornings, especially in the north and northwest. Introducing summer and winter times for schools is a feasible solution, they said. “Companies that work in conformity with the US timing may need to adjust. The delays for early morning flights due to fog may worsen. A major hurdle to the adoption of this proposal may be the conservative nature of the bureaucracy, which prefers risk avoidance to untried solutions. The change has to be made only once and with sufficient planning, a year is all we would need for everything to settle in,” they said.