Nepali Times
Weaving a web


While most of us lament the great North-South digital divide and how the twain will never meet, it turns out if there is a digital divide some Nepali youth are not aware of it.

They have come up with world class websites, like the ones that recently entered the 2nd Annual WAVE Web Winner 2003. The idea was to showcase and sharpen the talent of young Nepali website designers with the annual competition.

This year judging got serious with three main categories: content, visual appeal and user friendliness. An independent jury marked the entries on a scale of 1-10. The scores were then averaged to derive winners in each category. The top three sites were decided by using the average marks obtained in each of the three categories. There were 62 entries this year out of which only 55 were marked. The rest were disqualified for failing to fulfill a criteria set to check the authenticity of the entry. Besides the top three websites in the competition, judges also picked one winning website for each of the three categories. bagged first place at W W W 2003. Designed and conceptualised by a group of engineering students, it focuses on education in Nepal by offering a comprehensive database of local educational institutions with their names, contact numbers and website links where applicable. It also provides information on universities in Canada, Denmark, Norway and the US. Apart from links to educational institutions, the site provides sample questions, online guide books as well as an archive of research papers and projects done by Nepali students.

A fansite to the punk outfit 5th Grade Dropout won First Runner Up. was the genius of Srijit Raj Bhandari, a Grade 10 student of Shuvatara School. This site scored heavily in originality of concept and ideas. One judge even gave it perfect scores in all three categories! The design is simple without being simplistic and stays true to the anti-establishment punk ethos. The content is a witty complement to the style philosophy of the site.

The official site of the Kathmandu University's two-day Project Exhibition 2002,, won Second Runner Up this year. It was designed by Manoz Chandi Shrestha, a 4th year computer engineering student. Mainly an events page, it is well designed with clean lines and colours.

Handing out special category prizes had an important function in WWW 2003. It recognised that different sites had different appeals and that a lack of content does not make one less valuable than a content-heavy site that is light on visual impact.

The visual appeal category winner,, brought into focus the design capability of Nepali designers. The only Flash site among the winners, it displays a classy uncluttered look. Designed by Shivendra Patrabansh, an architecture graduate, it is the official site of Latitude 23, a 3D visualisation firm based in Bangladesh.

Too many sites are an absolute horror to trawl through. In honour of the blessed simplicity of navigation won the WWW 2003 user friendliness category mouse down. It is simple without unnecessary graphics or text. This is a site that makes for painless surfing and delivers the goods.
The content category winner, is the official site for the magazine Business Manager. This is a brilliant resource for start-ups who need information on intricate business do-dahs. An especially useful feature is a handy currency converter.

The calibre of these sites says something-Nepal may not have "arrived" at Destination Digital, but you can bet your bits and bytes that we're getting there.

Official site of WWW 2003,

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)