Dr Hudaa Neetoo, an academic staff of the Faculty of Agriculture, won the second prize of the Best Young Mauritian Scientist competition 2015.
This award aimed at recognizing the efforts of young Mauritian scientist researchers of no more than 35 years old, in the field of Natural Sciences, Social Sciences and Technology, through an open competition evaluated by a jury panel of local experienced intellectuals, chaired by Professor Ameenah Gurib-Fakim. The process involved an application, followed by a presentation and interview by the jury panelists.
|Dr Hudaa Neetoo, second from the right|
Two runner-ups were also named and rewarded accordingly. Dr Swaleha Hudaa Bibi Neetoo won the second prize and Dr Kessen Shunmoogum Patten, the third prize. While the former got a cash prize of Rs 75,000, the latter obtained Rs 50,000. Both runner-ups received support to a maximum of Rs 50,000 for a short term attachment in a University abroad for a research or study tour. The award ceremony also saw the presentation of rewards to winners of the second edition of the Mauritius Research Council Post Graduate Conference 2014 held in October 2014, where some 21 students from the natural sciences and engineering as well as social sciences fields presented their respective MPhil/PhD project
Dr Shameem Fawdar was named the Best Young Mauritian Scientist 2015 during an award ceremony organised by the Ministry of Technology, Communication and Innovation in collaboration with the Mauritius Research Council (MRC) at the Cyber Tower 1 in Ebène yesterday. Dr Shameem Fawdar, is dedicated to advancing cancer research and is presently setting up, with Professor Theeshan Bahorun, from the ANDI Centre of Excellence for Biomedical and Biomaterials Research, a cancer project on the genetic background of breast cancer in Mauritius. As she collected her award, Dr Fawdar expressed her passion for science and deemed MRC's initiative 'a great incentive and encouragement for young scientists'.
The Best Young Mauritian Scientist 2015 also called for collaborative support in the endeavour to advance cancer research. The Best Young Mauritian Scientist Award is a novel incentive of the MRC aimed at recognising the efforts of young Mauritian scientists and researchers of no more than 35 years old, in the fields of Natural Sciences, Social Sciences and Technology, through an open competition, and rewarding their hard works.
22 entries were received and evaluated by a jury panel of local experienced intellectuals, chaired by Professor Ameenah Gurib-Fakim.
Prior to the award ceremony, the Minister of Technology, Communication and Innovation, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, said, in his key note address, that this event presented the opportunity to celebrate youth, science and excellence in research and to recognise young scientific talents, stressing the necessity to practice excellence in the fields of science and technology. "In this new era of innovation", he told the young scientists, "apart from being brilliant, the ability to work in teams and to collaborate with colleagues from other disciplines as well as the acquisition of entrepreneurial skills are essentials". While commending the MRC for organising the award, Mr Jugnauth also urged the Council to pursue these incentives that further engage the youth in the emerging culture of innovation. According to the Minister, young people have a major role to play in developing an innovation-driven nation, and as such, the brilliant young scientists will be called upon to contribute to the materialisation of the second economic miracle. Elaborating on the endeavours to pave the way for innovation to take place, Mr Jugnauth announced that the Ministry with the assistance of the MRC and in collaboration with other stakeholders has already embarked on the drafting of the first National Innovation Policy, which will provide the required framework for collaborative initiatives involving the private sector, Government and academia. He added that a national Innovation scoreboard will be developed with a view, he said, "of measuring our progress towards the destination of Innovative Mauritius and benchmarking ourselves with other countries while also identifying areas to strengthen our competitive advantage." Speaking on the means to propel the process of innovation, the TCI Minister is envisaging the setting up of three 'doers of innovation' namely the International Institute for Technology, with the collaboration of IIT Delhi, focusing on cutting-edge technology; the national Biotechnology Cluster which initially will comprise of a regional network of organisations already spearheading biotechnological initiatives; and a high-powered computing centre which will provide the country with state-of-the-art computing hardware and software to enable Mauritius to be at the high-end of the ICT sector. He stated that funds to the tune of Rs 125 has already been earmarked to implement some of the projects this year.