Time For A Change: Does India Need Another Time Zone?

Hosted by Chirag Chinnappa 
Edited by Manasi Nene

The idea of a standard time zone is integral to our lives, to the extent that we often believe it’s a naturally occurring phenomenon. It brings the entire country on a single playing field, where work, productivity and economic activity are more or less taking place seamlessly, no matter what state you’re in. But for many activists, scholars, politicians and others in the Northeast, it is time to change this notion, by incorporating a second time zone. This would, in theory, enhance the productivity and increase the energy efficiency of citizens here, which would lead to economic progress for everyone, not just certain states. However, this argument hasn’t received the kind of attention or priority that its proponents would like, with several in the capital saying that two time zones would only complicate things.

So just how much would two time zones affect the lives of daily citizens? Is implementing it really that complicated? And what are the logistics required to put this in place?

We spoke with Pradyut Bordoloi, an MP from Assam, who recently introduced a Bill in the Lok Sabha to demarcate a separate time zone for the Northeast, and Professor Venugopal Achanta, the Director of the CSIR-National Physics Laboratory, which generates and maintains the official IST, to understand the debate around two time zones.


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