Jalandhar: A smartphone, laptop and science-text books are some of the things that will remain buried for 100 years in the time capsule on the campus of Lovely Professional University (LPU), Jalandhar. Students stared in awe as Nobel laureates, including biochemist professor Avram Hershko and physicist professor Duncan Haldane, pushed the button to lower the 8x8 feet time capsule 10 feet into the ground on Friday, the second day of the 106th Indian Science Congress (ISC).

A time capsule is a cache of objects considered typical of the present period, which is buried for future discovery. The date when the capsule is to be opened is usually inscribed on the container.

Nobel laureates professor F. Duncan Haldane (left) and professor Avram Hershko (third from left) at Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar, on Friday. Photo: PIB
Nobel laureates professor F. Duncan Haldane (left) and professor Avram Hershko (third from left) at Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar, on Friday. Photo: PIB

“Major developments in technology have taken place over the last few decades, even as new-tech capabilities are being added to our lives every few years. This time capsule would represent our technology know-how as it stands today. It will be a source of wonder and pride for the generation that digs this out in 2119," said Ashok Mittal, chancellor, LPU.

The capsule contains 100 technology items, including a laptop, smart-phone, drone, virtual-reality headset, solar panels, consumer durables such as air filters, induction cookers, and air-fryer and Alexa—a cloud-based virtual assistant developed by Amazon that is capable of voice interaction.

A hard disk with the latest documentaries and movies, science textbooks for school students, and a camera was also kept inside.

“The idea was to capture today’s technological essence for future generations," said Aakash Purohit, a final year student of computer science.

“We have also kept a central processing unit, a motherboard, a hard disk that we procured from our laboratories on the campus. So, when students unearth this in 2119, they will know about the technology that existed a century before their time. It is like recording this time in history," he said.

Students said they also wanted to include small replicas of the Mars Orbiter Mission, Mangalyaan, which has been orbiting Mars since September 2014; Brahmos, the fastest cruise missile in the world; and the Tejas fighter jet to celebrate the country’s scientific achievements. However, they ended up selecting various items from their laboratories, the students said.

The idea was first put forward in early December and more than 25 students from various departments, including electronics, mechanical engineering, fashion, agriculture, design, and computer science, came together to design the time capsule -- a box made of aluminium and wood with a glass door.

Students decided on the items that would be included in the time capsule. The area where the capsule has been buried would be cemented and earmarked.

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