“Incredible”, was the first word that crossed Kirupagaren Kanni’s mind, on hearing that he had just won the Web Design Competition 2011 during the Award Ceremony held on Tuesday 23 August at the University.
It is with a mixture of pride and astonishment that Kirupagaren made his way to Dr the Hon. Rajeshwar Jeetah, Minister of Tertiary Education, Science, Research and Technology, to collect the winning prize in the presence of participants, relatives and representatives of the different institutions involved, trying really hard to hide his smile all along. The Web Design Competition, launched on 31st January, was a joint initiative of the University of Mauritius and the Tertiary Education Commission under the aegis of the Ministry of Tertiary Education, Science, Research and Technology.
The objective of this competition was to create a showcase website for attracting international students in Mauritius and which could eventually be used by the Ministry or the University. Opened to all registered UoM students, 17 students dared to embark in this competition, out of which 5 students, following courses at the Faculty of Engineering, submitted their websites. The members of the jury panel evaluated the websites based upon content and relevance, website structure, appearance and function, user friendliness, writing and organization, and originality.
“At first I thought I was invited to the award ceremony just to fill up those empty chairs then I remembered that I was among the top five. Maybe I am the winner…nah…it’s my first year… those are 2nd and 3rd year students man! I thought. Then those words which are now edged in my ROM filled the air that Tuesday 23th of August 2011 at 11.02 am : “and the winner of the Web Design Competition 2011 is … Kirupagaren KANNI of Bsc (Hons) Computer Applications Year 1” said Mrs Nivault. Wow… it’s me… it’s really me… there can’t be another student with that same uncommon name! For me the award ceremony was akin to those Oscar ceremonies with the news reporters’ questions and camera flashes. Meeting such high-profile people like the Vice-chancellor, Prof Morgan and the Pro-chancellor, Prof Jugessur, was in itself a priceless reward. But that iPod I received was … wow: 4th generation iPod Touch-released in April!” said Kirupagaren as he shared his feelings.
It is only a few days before the deadline for submitting the website that Kirupagaren enrolled for this prestigious competition, convinced by his friends’ encouragements, Zaheer Haseea and Daneswarsingh Dinnoo. “So obviously winning the 1st prize was the last thing I would have thought when I submitted my website (I even dared to ask for an extension!) or during the award ceremony”, said Kirupagaren.
Winner and participants of the Web Design Competition 2011:
Kanni Kirupagaren (1st prize winner), BSc (Hons) Computer Applications, year 1
Pagooah Doosan, (2nd prize winner), BEng (Hons) Electrical and Electronic Engineering, year 3
Beegun Ajmir, BSc (Hons) Information Systems, year 1
Moossajee Bibi Sadiyah, BSc (Hons) Computer Science, year 1
Ramguttee Teelock San, Diploma Web Technologies and Multimedia