Explain the need for multiple time zones in India.

Structure of answer:

  • What is timezone?
  • Why Standard TimeZones was established?
  • History of Time in India.
  • Case of North East India.
  • Why India need Two TimeZones?
  • Problem with Two TimeZones?

Key Points.

About: The time difference between the westernmost part of India and the easternmost point is approximately two hours, the effect of which is that the sun rises and sets much earlier than it does in the rest of the country.

Most Indians are not particularly worried about Indian Standard Time (IST), except for those who live in the Northeast where the sun rises around 4 a.m. in summer, and gets dark well before 4 p.m. in winter.

Impact: Northeast India would move an hour ahead, increasing the region’s productive, daylight hours and the country’s potential energy savings could amount to a whopping 20 million kWh a year.

Offices could open sooner after sunrise, and perhaps workers could even savour the last dregs of dusk as they trudge towards home or their desired form of recreation.

Biomedical research has consistently pointed to the physical and psychological benefits of aligning circadian (sleep) rhythms to the sun’s rising and setting.


  • If there weren’t concerns over the existence of two time zones, the issue would not have been unsolved even after so many years.
  • One reason is the possibility of human error in changing time when crossing the time zone, which may end in train accidents if railway employees make it.
  • Having two time zones may dispel some of the problems but may end up creating more, not to mention the sense of alienation of northeast region.
  • Offices, banks and other things as such that need to be constantly interconnected, would find it difficult to operate in the same sphere.
  • Having more than one time zone in a country is not a new or unheard of. Russia alone is divided into nine time zones.
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