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08/10/2007, India - "Energy savings from advancing the Indian Standard Time by half an hour", by Dilip R. Ahuja and D. P. Sen Gupta are in the National Institute of Advanced Studies, IISc Campus, Bangalore; CURRENT SCIENCE, 298 VOL. 93, NO. 3

Below are excerpts from an article that appeared in the Indian publication of CURRENT SCIENCE, 298 VOL. 93, NO. 3

.... We propose advancing of the Indian Standard Time by half an hour to being six hours ahead of the Universal Coordinated Time...
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...In this article we review the rationales for introducing multiple time zones and daylight saving time (DST) and for rejecting both. In the northern hemisphere, DST involves setting clocks ahead by an hour in spring and setting them back by an hour in the fall. In the southern hemisphere, the two adjustments are reversed. We propose an alternative, in effect a year-long DST, which avoids the risks associated with introducing multiple time zones or with bi-annual changes in DST...
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...India extends from 68°07 to 97° 25 E. Although this spread of more than 29° is wide enough for two time zones, India has chosen a single Indian Standard Time (IST) based on the longitude passing through 82.5° E, almost the exact east-west centre of the country - five and a half hours ahead of the Universal Coordinated Time (UTC).

Having two time zones has the advantage of saving daylight, as suggested recently by the Planning Commission and perhaps the advantage of reducing the peak load deficit. The disadvantages are that it would increase the risk of train accidents across the zonal boundary and, some fear that it may increase separatist tendencies. Moreover, there is no obvious sparsely populated section in the middle of the country wherein to draw the boundary between the two zones. All previous analyses have concluded that the savings in energy are not large enough to justify the increased risks that two time zones would entail.
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The proposal
We propose that we advance, once and for, all IST from being the time at the 82.5°E long. (Mirzapur District, Uttar Pradesh) to 90°E (Bengal-Assam border), i.e. from being 5 h 30 min ahead of UTC to being 6 h ahead of UTC and that we do not cycle the clocks annually.
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Other benefits ...
Conformity with most regions of the world
A majority of countries, generally those that are closer to the equator, do not observe DST. Only about 70 countries observe DST , but 114 regions (because some countries have multiple time zones) do so.
.... 63% of the regions, mostly in the tropics, is without annual DST cycles. However, only 5% of the regions has non-integral time shifts from UTC - shifts of one-, two-, or three-quarters of an hour. Advancing IST by half an hour will bring us in conformity with the choices made by 95% of the regions in the world.
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... If this proposal of advancing IST is found acceptable, we believe that 1-2 years would suffice to plan for a smooth transition.
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