Despite criticism that it should restrict
itself to only areas of strategic importance
or high-tech weapon systems, DRDO continues
to press on regardless in other areas as
well. The latest enemy on its radar screen
is the humble mosquito.
The DRDO on Monday handed over a "world-class'
multi-insect repellent developed by it,
dubbed "Maxo Military" and "Maxo-safe &
soft", to a private firm for commercial
production under the "accelerated technology
assessment and commercialisation programme'
in collaboration with FICCI.
"This cream is based on a uniquely
configured, researched and tested molecule
which acts like a decoy and cheats the mosquito.
It does not allow mosquitoes to sense the
presence of human blood in their vicinity,'
said DRDO chief controller Prahlada.
While basically developed for Army soldiers
posted in far-flung insect-infested areas,
the "powerful Diethyl Phenyl Acetamide-based
repellent' will now be made available for
the common masses. "Yes, high-tech
systems are crucial but such things are
also essential for our soldiers and others,'
said a DRDO official.
The cream will fool the mosquitoes as well
as have a pleasant fragrance and not block
skin pores. "Its non-toxic, non-irritant,
cosmetically acceptable, long-lasting and
effective not only against mosquitoes but
also other blood-sucking organisms like
leaches, sand flies, horse flies,' he added.
The private firm"s chairperson M P Ramachandran,
in turn, said, "The cream has been
developed keeping in mind the requirement
of soldiers posted in forest and swampy
areas. These soldiers are always susceptible
to mosquito-borne diseases like malaria,
chikungunya and dengue.'