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Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. Examine the concept of Daylight Saving Time along with its relevance, advantages and issues related to it. (250 words)

    04 Apr, 2019 GS Paper 1 Geography

    Approach

    • Describe Daylight Saving Time.
    • Give advantages and the relevance in present time of DST.
    • Bring out the issues involved in DST

    Answer

    Introduction:

    • Daylight Saving Time (DST) is the practice of setting the clocks forward one hour from standard time during the summer months, and back again in the winter, in order to make better use of natural daylight.
    • In the Northern Hemisphere Daylight Saving Time usually starts in March-April and ends in September-November when the countries return to standard time.

    Body

    Advantage of DST

    • The key argument for DST is to save energy. Individuals will complete their daily work routines an hour earlier, and that extra hour of daylight means lower consumption of energy.

    Relevance

    • In context of increasing focus on energy efficiency due to climate change because of over consumption of energy DST remains relevant. DST is thus environmentally sustainable concept.
    • DST is also relevant for developing countries to reduce energy cost on lightening. For developed countries, DST can help in reducing their energy intensity.
    • In Indian context debate is going on using more than one time zone to ensure eastern states can take advantage of early sunrise and natural sunlight. This argument is similar to DST in Europe and USA.

    Issues

    • Critics of DST argue lights have become increasingly efficient, so lighting is responsible for a smaller chunk of total energy consumption than it was a few decades ago. Heating and cooling probably matter more, and some places may need air-conditioning for the longer, hotter evenings of summer daylight saving time.
    • Studies in USA suggest one hour of lost sleep due to DST increases the fatal crash rate by 5.4% to 7.6% for six days following the transition.DST disrupts natural circadian rhythm which regulates many biological processes like hormone productions and sleep patterns.

    Conclusion:

    • Recently,European Union Parliament voted to scrap the use of DST, followed twice a year by some 70 countries, including those in the European Union.
    • The argument of DST needs to be studied scientifically as DST involves number of issues and widely impacts the human life.

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