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What is Daylight Saving Time?

  • IAS NEXT, Lucknow
  • 13, Nov 2021
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Reference News:

Daylight saving time was in the news this week as standard time hit the United States this past weekend, forcing people to turn their clocks back and gain an hour of sleep.

What is Daylight Saving Time?

Also called summer time, it is the system for uniformly advancing clocks, so as to extend daylight hours during conventional waking time in the summer months.

  • The practice was first suggested in a whimsical essay by Benjamin Franklinin 1784.
  • In countries in the Northern Hemisphere, clocks are usually set ahead one hour in late March or in April and are set back one hour in late September or in October.

Objectives for using DST:

  • Achieve energy efficiency: Increasing focus on energy efficiency due to climate change because of over consumption of energy makes DST relevant. DST is thus an environmentally sustainable concept.
  • To ensure that the clocks show a later sunrise and later sunset — in effect ensure a longer evening daytime.
  • Completion of routine work an hour earlier.
  • DST is meant to save energy.

Issues and concerns associated:

On Agriculture: One reason why farmers oppose DST is that grain is best harvested after dew evaporates, so when field hands arrive and leave earlier in summer, their labor is less valuable. Dairy farmers are concerned because their cows are sensitive to the timing of milking, so delivering milk earlier disrupts their systems.

A spike in workplace injuries: A study of mining injuries across the U.S., found that there was a spike in workplace injuries of nearly 6 percent on the Monday following the shift to daylight saving time.

On labour and work productivity: Workplace productivity the week after DST drastically decreases. People are tired and lethargic due to a reduction in sleep.