JALANDHAR- Capsi-grenade, made from Bhoot Jolokia (Also known as "Nag Jolokia" is the hottest chillies in the world), has become the centre of attraction at the on-going 106th Indian Science Congress here, as inquisitive students, security personnel and visitors thronged the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) stall to have a look at it.

The Defence Research Laboratory (DRL), Tezpur’s stall has drawn a huge turnout here, which kept the stall in-charge Dr IM Umlong from Shillong busy explaining various features of the products. Made from only 5 per cent of weight by volume of Bhoot Jolokia, the grenade is a handy weapon in crowd control and low intensity conflicts, he explains.

Several senior police officers were seen enquiring about the product and trying to understand the utility of the grenade. The capsi-grenade is widely used in conflicts of Jammu and Kashmir to disperse the unruly crowds.

The DRL Tezpur also manufactures sunburn cream for hot and humid conditions, high altitude cream for use in areas like Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, besides mosquito and snake repellents, he said.

Meanwhile, the DRDO has developed a new alternative to the pellet bullet, a less lethal plastic bullet, which can be fired from AK47 rifles. It has been deployed by the Jammu and Kashmir Police. DRDO sources said that one lakh such bullets have already been supplied to the Jammu and Kashmir Police.

The plastic bullet doesn’t contain lead and hence there is no fear of poisoning. It also sounds like normal bullet firing, causing the same psychological effect, he said.

Meanwhile, in an interesting event, a time capsule containing 100 items representing a cross-section of today’s technology and India’s scientific prowess, was buried by distinguished Nobel Laureates – Hungary-born Israeli biochemist Avram Hershko, British-born American physicist F Duncan M Haldane and German-American biochemist Thomas Christian S├╝dhof – at the Lovely Professional University (LPU), the venue of the on-going science congress. The capsule, which was buried at a depth of 10 feet, will remain buried for the next 100 years. The items in the time capsule includes technologies used in today’s India – landline telephone, smart phone, weighing machine, water pump, stop watch, headphones, handy-cam, pen drive, among others.

Meanwhile, as part of the on-going five-day science congress, the Children’s Science Congress was today inaugurated by Nobel Laureates Avram Hershko and F Duncan M Haldane. Inaugurating the congress, Prof Hershko called the children the future of scientific India and was sure that some of them would be making some important discoveries which would prove to be good for mankind, which might win them a Nobel Prize someday.

Appreciating the progress India has made over the years, Prof Hardane said India has to be a part of the technological development of the future. He advised young students to learn mathematics irrespective of the jobs they are going to take up.

In his presidential address, Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA)’s general president Manoj Kumar Chakrabarti said India has a large number of human resources. In the next 25 years the country’s population will be dominated by the age group of 17-28 years and the majority of this age group should be attracted to science and technology as their career. The contribution will help our country to compete with other nations.

The ISCA, a premier scientific organisation of India with its headquarters in Kolkata, started in the year 1914 and it owes its origin to the initiative of two British chemists – Prof JL Simonsen and Prof PS MacMahon – on the lines of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, in India.