Without explaining how the technology works, the head of the National Cow Commission – set up last year – said the device could simply be placed inside a mobile phone’s protective cover.

Two cows rest together on a road in New Delhi on September 25, 2019. (Photo by Laurène Becquart / AFP)

“We have seen that if you keep this chip in your mobile, it reduces radiation significantly,” chairman Vallabhbhai Kathiria told a news conference on Monday (Oct 12).

“Cow dung is anti-radiation, it protects all, if you bring this home your place will become radiation-free … All this has been approved by science,” he said.

Kathiria provided no further details on what research had been done, and the announcement sparked considerable ridicule on social media.

Cows are considered sacred by the country’s majority Hindus, and eating beef is banned in many states.

Kathiria told the Indian Express newspaper the chips were being manufactured by more than 500 cow refuge shelters and cost around 100 rupees each (US$1.35).

“One person is exporting such chips to the US, where it is sold at about $10 each,” he was quoted as saying by the English-language daily.

Since coming to power in 2014, Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party has earmarked millions of dollars for research into products which use cow dung and urine.

Although there is no scientific evidence, several politicians from Modi’s right-wing party have advocated using the dung and urine to cure the coronavirus.