Structure and Process

The Competition Structure



The essay competition is a two-phase activity across all the participating schools in the country for students of classes 6-12. The first phase consists of exposing these young minds to inspirational Tata-linked films which stimulate them to think about the nation. Few to name are

1.Dreaming the future of Nation: - is Tata Building India introduction documentary, based on the previous years’ Tata Building India school essay competitions.

2.World's largest Lesson - is based on the Global Goals for Sustainable development.

3.Speak for Earth-is a documentary based on the initiatives taken by Tata companies for environment protection.

4.Touching lives through Digital technology- is an inspirational story from Dharavi slum, Mumbai.

5.Keepers of Flame- History of the Tata group

Following this, students are asked few questions based on the films shown.

Thereafter, the topic of the essay is shared with the students and they are requested to write an essay on a given topic of national significance.

To ensure a level playing field, the students are divided into 2 participating categories across all languages (Junior - class 6-8 and Senior - class 9-12).

Topic of the Essay Competition:

The underlying theme of the topic is always nation building. The topics are carefully chosen for students to be creative and insightful.

Some of the previous years' topics were:

  • Digital Technology: How does it improve your life? What do you think should be done with digital technology for the progress of the country and citizens?
  • How will Science and Technology change our lives in future and what should India do to stay ahead in the game?
  • As a young Indian, you have an opportunity to shape our country’s future. What are the biggest challenges facing the country and what would be your priorities and what role could you play to make India a happy and prosperous nation?
  • Describe your views on how cleanliness impacts national development and health and how can you encourage your locality and city to adopt cleanliness and promote healthy living.
  • How can you keep place you live in your home, your school a neat and clean place?
  • What should India do to win 20 gold medals in 2016 Olympics?
  • If I were the Prime Minister of India, what would I do to make India a super power by 2020?
  • What should we do to make our education system prepare us for a better tomorrow?
  • What would you do to make India a happy country?
  • What we can do as a country and citizens to reduce poverty and ensure basic amenities for every Indian?


Judging Process

The essays of the students are screened at 3 levels: School level, City level and National level

School Level

Essays at the school level are shortlisted by the identified judges within the school, the top 3 school level winners are identified in each of the two categories - junior (class 6-8) and senior (class 9-12).

City Level

The essays of the school level winners across all the schools from each city are collected and evaluated by a panel of 2 judges from the academic, literature and the journalism fields. Winner and runner-up in each category are shortlisted for city level recognition as winners from the respective cities.

National Level

The city level winners' essays in both categories from each city are finally judged by an elite panel comprising of eminent people to choose the top 3 national winners for each language edition. It would be of interest to note that the essay is written by the child only once and is evaluated at three levels.

In the past, the national jury included judges like the Padmashri Awardees from the fields of Literature, Art, Culture and Sports, Vice Chancellors of Universities, Editors of leading newspapers, Writers, Heads of Departments of English from Mumbai and Chennai universities, eminent personalities in journalism, and others.

Rewards and Recognition:

The winners are rewarded at each level. The school level winners are awarded at the schools, and special functions are held to felicitate city level winners at regional level. The national level winners are felicitated in Delhi. Prizes at the school level include certificates, medals and special Tata Building India merchandise. The city winners and the runners-up receive gifts like Cameras / MP3 players, certificates and trophies. The national level winners receive certificates ,trophies laptops as the grand prize.

The crowning moment for the national winners and the runners-up is the expected visit to the Rashtrapati Bhavan and a face-to-face meeting with a national dignitary.

The support and feedback of the teaching fraternity, school authorities, parents and students has always been forthcoming and is very valuable, which makes this initiative truly meaningful and successful in igniting young minds for the progress of the nation.

Addressing the winners of 2015-16 at Rashtrapati Bhavan Honorable President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind said “ This is a timely and important topic as digital technology can truly be a game changer in making lives of our citizens better by enabling the Government, Corporate and non-government entities to provide better services and products to citizens.”

Former President of India Shri Pranab Kumar Mukherjee said, "I would like to congratulate students, and Tata’s for organizing this essay writing competition. We are simply fascinated by your ideas expressed here. The constitutional promise of equality, liberty and justice can be realized when dreams of young minds are translated into reality. This initiative taken by Tata’s to invite the young minds to write about how to build this country and transform socio-economic conditions is extremely welcome, further getting the young minds to express their views not only in English but also in regional languages. Students should be righteous, truthful and shouldn’t deviate from their conviction to achieve their goals."

According to the Honorable Former President of India, Smt. Pratibha Patil, "Education is a 'wealth' which will remain with these students forever. The effort taken by the Tata group to inculcate the sense of nation building is commendable. I appreciate the talent of the winners who participated in this competition and have the capacity to think about the problems and solutions for the country. With such capabilities the students from different parts of the nation will bring about an inclusive growth in the country."

Congratulating the winners of the Tata Building India Essay Competition, former President of India, late Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam said, "The ignited mind of the youth is the most powerful resource on the earth, above the earth and under the earth..."

Shri Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Vice President of India, during his interaction with Tata Building India School Essay Competition National Winners in New Delhi, said, "Being happy is a basic human need. Youth today have many more opportunities but also much more responsibility. Habits to live by law, being respectful to others' dignity, and integrity to self are important. A happy society is one in which you accommodate each other so that it can move forward. 'Marching together' is inclusive growth, with synchronizing of individual efforts".