In the first project of its kind in the country, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has taken up the task to develop training aids for dogs used by the security forces

According to sources, DRDO will develop ‘Target Odour Scent Pads’ for the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force’s National Training Centre for Dogs located at Bhanu near Chandigarh. The centre trains dogs for several paramilitary and police forces.

The scent pads are meant to condition dogs to a particular target smell during their training. At present, live materials such as explosives and narcotics are used, which raise security, storage and transport issues.

Imported scent pads are available in the international market, but these are expensive. According to available information, one scent kit for narcotics explosives or other contraband costs between Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000. One kit can be only used for a limited number of times making the use of imported kits economically unviable.

According to the sources, dogs could be conditioned much better to detect particular smells with the use of scent pads as these release pure target odour without the smell of various other items being mixed up as in the case of using live materials.

A meeting was held in this regard between Dr Sangita Rao Achary Addanki, Director of DRDO’s Directorate of Low Intensity Conflict, and Dr Sudhakar Natarajan, Deputy Inspector General, heading ITBP’s veterinary department this week.

Biochemistry and material physics experts at DRDO Headquarters in New Delhi and Defence Research and Development Establishment, Gwalior, which is engaged in the research and development of detection and protection against toxic chemical and biological agents, will execute the project.