Guest post by SUBHASH CHANDRA AGRAWAL
Even after half-a-century of introduction of metric measure in India, certain commodities like cloth, paper, furniture, land, time etc are being traditionally manufactured/measures in old units or their metric-converts. For example, cloth is usually manufactured in widths like 36” (91 cms), 48” (122 cms), 50” (127 cms), 54” (137 cms), 120” (305 cms) etc which should now be woven in metric-measures in multiples of 10 cms. It is time that measuring tapes may be available only in metric units after some specified date.
Likewise usual A-4 size paper-sheets should be in standard size of 30 cms x 20 cms instead of present 29.5 cms x 21 cms (34.5 cms lengthier for court-papers). Best is to introduce square form of 25 cms x 25 cms sheets instead of present practice of having rectangular paper-sheets. Such square-sheets were quite common for bank-ledgers before computerisation. Even computer-stationary used at dot-matrix printers should also have usable size (without perforation) as that of standard paper-sheets.
Urban Development Authorities in India advertise for allotment of plots of land in its various cities in non-metric measures like Square-yards, Kanal, Marla etc. Or else, metric convertibles of non-metric-measures are used, which too are against spirit of systematic metric-unit system. Union government should issue strict guidelines that only metric-measures may be adopted in land-measurements, and all agreements or registry in non-metric measure may be null and void after a specified cut-off date. Even notification should be issued to prohibit newspapers from accepting all advertisements including from builders and developers if measures of land are not in metric units.
India should take lead in taking up matter of metric-measure of time with concerned international authorities. Metric unit of time should be introduced with a complete day divided in 10 metric hours instead of present 24 hours. Each metric hour may have 100 metric minutes with a metric minute having 100 metric seconds thereby making a complete day of 100000 metric seconds instead of present 86400 seconds.
Clinical thermometers should now be available only in centigrade-units though a paper-chart showing converts of centigrade to old Fahrenheit may be compulsorily packed for some reasonable time especially for benefit of less educated people.
(Subhash Chandra Agrawal is a well-know Right to Information activist. He lives in Delhi.)