---- Editorial ----
More need to be done to abolish VIP culture
The decision of union cabinet to stop using of red beacon by VIPs is good beginning
towards abolishing VIP culture from India. Union Cabinet yesterday took the decision
to remove red beacons from all VIPs including the President, Prime Minister and Chief
Ministers. Following this decision Chief Minister Pema Khandu ordered removal of
all red beacons from vehicles used by the Chief Minister's Office, including vehicles
of his official convoy. Now that a beginning has been made, both union as well as
state government should take more steps to fully abolish VIP culture.
There should not be any separate entry for them at airport and railway station. Also
the convoy of so called VIPs should be reduced and they should follow the traffic
rules. In Arunachal many VIPs including Chief Minister travels in long convoy, which
is unnecessary and wastage of public money. Often they cause traffic jam whenever
they pass through various roads of capital complex. It is also seen that many people
are given police bodyguards at whims and fancies. This too should be checked. Let
police be there for protection of ordinary citizens. Unless there is specific threat
perception, no individual should be given police protection whether he/she may hold
whatever position. Hanging around with police bodyguard in public place is another
symbol of VIP culture. Central government too should review the processes of giving
police protection and only provide security cover to those who really faces threat
to their life.
---- Readers Forum ----
An open letter
For the past few issues, I have been reading about the protest of the GSU and other
organizations of Galo dominated areas for the fulfillment of their demands. I believe
that most of the protestors are local inhabitants who are familiar with the problems
of the area and making genuine demands so that their inconvenience can be minimized.
It has pained me to see that apart from so called assurances there is no positive
response or action from the government. It pains me to see the common man protesting
giving up their time and energy. It has pained me more to see that Hon.CM Pema Khandu
has not made a single statement in response. It is understandable that he being the
Chief of the state is a busy man. But he should never forget that his primary duty
is towards the citizens of the state and not to his cabinet or MLAs. Instead of constituting
committees he should visit the ground and take stock of the real problem, meet the
common man and bring out time bound realistic solutions. Committees may make many
reports but it may be arbitrary and depend on the whims and fancies of people in
power. Having said this it is the attitude of Galo legislatures that has pained me
the most. When people are protesting in the streets their primary concern seems to
be to attend gala dinners .Where is their ethical and moral responsibility? It is
my earnest request to them that for once leave aside individual aspirations and profit,
work for the betterment of the community and the state as a whole. Many of them have
been elected consecutively yet what proof they have to show for their contribution
to the community? This is a time to do something right. Take a collective decision
for the benefit of the region and its people. Finally as an afterthought I would
like to remind the people that the real power is in your hands. Vote for the right
person, or do not vote at all.
Reset IST for NE
Every place in the world has a Natural local time. It is calculated by multiplying
the longitude by 4 minutes. However, time zones are decided by DST standards, international
and national conventions. In India, both the westernmost Gujarat (68°E) and the
easternmost Arunachal Pradesh (97°E) observe the same standard time zone. India
accepts longitude (82.5°E) as their Indian Standard Time UTC+5:30 (Coordinated universal
Time) which is the world time standard since 1972. It is successor to Greenwich Mean
Time (GMT). GMT is a time zone and UTC is a time standard. In the ideal world scenario,
the time difference between Gujarat and Arunachal Pradesh would have been around
2 hours. She followed one time zone since independence, although Kolkata and Mumbai
retained their own local time until 1948 and 1955 respectively. Now IST is used in
aviation industry, meteorologists and to synchronize time across internet networks.
Therefore everything is easy to compute. There can be lifestyle change if the difference
between natural time zone and standard time zone largely differs.
The North East India region is closer to Dhaka, which is 30 minutes ahead of New
Delhi. It shares borders with China, Myanmar and Bhutan as well as Bangladesh. Like
north east, western states are also falling trap with single time zone. India would
have saved 2.7 billion units of electricity every year by shifting the IST meridian
eastward from 82.5°E longitude in Uttar Pradesh to 90°E near the Assam-Bengal border.
Gujarat pushed back office and school timings by an hour. Even nationalised bank
do follow state govt guidelines. Surprisingly Rajasthan went ahead with half an hour.
In south India, people go to temple in the evening. So Mumbai, the city never sleeps.
Even British knew it for Tea plantation in Assam, where ‘bagan time’ (tea garden
time) started at 6:00 am one hour ahead of IST to make the most of the daylight.
The plantation labour act 1951 allows setting local time for a particular area.
The delay over availability and usability of daylight and dark hours had resulted
in massive losses for NE region. Definitely there is a loss of energy and workable
hours. A person is fresher in the morning, but by the time at 10 o'clock he has lost
that energy. This is one major reason why people living in the west of time meridian
are more productive, progressive and prosperous than the people living in its east.
It has a long lasting effect to our work culture. Despite Eastern India is blessed
with an abundance of mineral wealth, their productivity is low, infrastructure poor
and employment opportunities meagre. Overall, the perception is that people of eastern
India are lazy and unproductive. And we are forced to observe UTC 5:30 that is very
indifferent for us. Being placed in extreme east, our daylight differs with national
time zone. Even daylight saving time (DST) was used by military during China-Indian
war of 1962 and Indo-Pak wards of 1955 and 1971. Two time zones will benefit eastern
as well as western states of India. Slowly NE aware and realise that they have literally
been kept in the dark, and now they feel alienated.
In ancient times, the irregular daily movement of the sun made puzzle to make equation
of time. The improvements to the solar tables and the value of obliquity were done
during medieval and renaissance period. The 17th century pendulum brought significance
change for reliable clock. In 1980, a team of researchers proposed three time zones
of British-era but recommendations were not adopted. In 2006, the Planning Commission
said having two time zones would lead to substantial energy savings in a country
that frequently suffers power outages, but the central government rejected the plan.
Scientists from the National Institute of Advanced Studies in Bengaluru studied the
problem and concluded that separate time zones would cause chaos and might not lead
substantial energy savings. On the other hand, it has several disadvantages. Instead
they advocated a 30-minute advancement of IST. Our lifeline train systems are not
automated. Collisions of US train in 1853 led to the setting up of the general time
convention i.e. Railway Time. A ship would use nautical standard time upon leaving
its territorial waters. However, it is unlikely that India will go ahead with different
Today all nations use standard time zone and some follow half-hour, quarter-hour
deviations from standard time. Also many countries adopt DST by advancing clocks
by an hour start of spring and adjusting back in autumn. NE must reset the clock
in the State an hour or two ahead of IST to save energy and increase productivity.
Even five day week will bring not only improving productivity but also saving electricity
consumption. Our tourism industry will surely get boost up. International event like
games are often suffered for unknown knowledge of outsiders to our region. Neighbouring
Bangladeshi offers quality manpower at competitive prices. Is that because of UTC
06:00? Many other central govt departments in like Railway, Defence have their own
working hours as per region. The United States observes four different DST. Australia
has three and Russia has nine. But being big country China has only one time zone
‘Beijing time’ to enhance national unity. The United Kingdom is not on GMT all year,
it uses British Summer Time (BST), which is one hour ahead of GMT, during the summer
months. In Arab, people stay inside during day hours to avoid extreme heat. Even
schools open in evening there. Our neighbouring Bangladesh follows 5 day week to
save power. Hope India will give a serious thought to examine the merits of resetting
IST to save precious DST for North East as well as the Western region.
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