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Current Affairs

Daylight Saving Time

Date: 19 March 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

The United States Senate has unanimously passed a law making daylight saving time (DST) permanent.

 

Background

Till now, there was a practice of putting clocks forward and back coinciding with the arrival and departure of winter.

 

Details

  • The law is titled Sunshine Protection Act and will come into effect in November 2023 if signed into a law by the President.

  • The DST implementation is currently followed in 70 countries for twice a year. It will also come into existence in European Union.

 

Need for DST

  • DST saves energy. It resets clock ahead by an hour in spring, and behind by an hour in autumn. It will mean longer evening daytime.

  • People will complete their daily work routines an hour earlier, and that extra hour of daylight means a lower consumption of energy.

 

Start of practice

  • It started in 1908 when few Canadians forwarded their clock by one hour in Ontario. The same practice was followed in Austria and Germany during First World War

  • As rest of Europe picked up the practice, rest of EU countries started forwarding the clock on the last Sunday in March and fall back on the last Sunday in October. 

 

Problems with DST

  • Study has shown that loss of one hour of sleep has raised fatal crash rate by 5.4% to 7.6% for six days following the transition.

  • There was higher rate of workplace injury after the switch. There was loss of work efficiency and also fall in stock market.

  • Other heath issues included disruption of the circadian rhythm (body clock). There were instances of judges giving wrong judgment.