The first ‘Ashvin Jootun Memorial Lecture’ on the theme: “Electrical engineers – A life of dedication and sacrifice” was held on Wednesday, at the University of Mauritius (UOM) in Réduit, in the presence of the Minister of Energy and Public Utilities, Mr Georges Pierre Lesjongard.The Officer-in-Charge of the Central Electricity Board (CEB), Mr Rajden Chowdharry; the Acting Manager of the Transmission department from the CEB, Dr Ismael Essackjee; the Lecturer from the Faculty of Engineering from the UOM, Professor Robert Ah King as well as the community of Electrical Engineers and staff and students of the Faculty of Engineering of the UOM were present.
The ‘Ashvin Jootun Memorial Lecture’ is an initiative of Electrical Engineers to commemorate Late Mr Soorendradev (Ashvin) Jootun, an Electrical Engineer who lost his life while on duty. He joined the CEB in 2004 and was a passionate and dedicated engineer who was an inspiration to his colleagues. The Memorial Lecture carries forward Mr Jootun’s legacy and brings together the community of engineers around the sharing of knowledge and experience.
In his address, Minister Lesjongard said that the Memorial Lecture is an opportunity to pay tribute to all the employees of the country who lost their lives on their workplace.
Speaking about the profession of engineering, he underlined that every infrastructural development and every technological advancement encapsulate the essence of engineering excellence. Recognising the significant role and hard work of engineers, he highlighted that the shaping of the socio-economic landscape of Mauritius has been the result of the remarkable expertise of engineers.
He commended the role of Electrical Engineers who were involved in the transformative journey of Mauritius from the dawn of Independence in 1968 till now. ‘Engineering is not merely a profession, but a vocation of precision, a realm of problem-solving, and a domain where scientific discoveries are transformed into tangible solutions that meet societal needs. It is a harmonious blend of accuracy with creativity that addresses real-world challenges and paves the path of progress for our nation,’ he said.
Minister Lesjongard further observed that the complete electrification of Mauritius, a notable achievement in Africa, along with the high quality of electricity supplied by the national electricity utility makes the country a symbol of progress in the region.
Hon Minister Lesjongard presenting a gift to Ms Satima, wife of Late Ashvin Jootun
Acknowledging the significant role played by Electrical Engineers as forerunners of the green revolution in Mauritius, he reiterated Government’s vision of increasing the share of renewables to 60% in our energy portfolio by 2030.
He recalled that Government, the Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities, and the CEB are proactively engaged in a plethora of projects to accelerate this energy transition, showcasing a strong commitment to a more sustainable and greener future. These initiatives, he underlined, range from exploring renewable energy sources to implementing energy-efficient technologies, all aimed at reducing our carbon footprint and promoting environmental sustainability.
Addressing the community of Electrical Engineers, Minister Lesjongard appealed to them to harness their creativity and expertise to devise pioneering solutions that will not only make Mauritius greener, but also elevate its standing on the global stage in terms of sustainable practices and green technology adoption.
Ashvin Jootun, who left us 10 years ago at the age of 36, was a former student of John Kennedy College and a graduate of the prestigious Maharajah Sayajirao University of Baroda, Gujarat, India, where he also did his masters.
Photos courtesy: GIS