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 showcasing inspirational Tata-linked films which hopefully stimulate the young minds to think about the nation. Following this, students are asked a few questions based on the films. Thereafter, the students 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 - Classes 6-8 and Senior - Classes 9-12).

Topic of the Essay Competition:

The underlying theme is always about 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, written only once, by the students are evaluated at 3 levels: School level, City level and National level

School Level

Essays at the school level are evaluated by judges appointed by the same school. 1 winner and 2 runners-up are identified in both the categories - Junior (Classes 6-8) and Senior (Classes 9-12). Therefore, a total of 6 students are given prizes at each participating school. The prizes usually include a combination of certificates, medals and Tata Building India merchandise.

City Level

The essays of the school level winners across all the schools from each city for both categories (Junior & Senior) are evaluated by a panel of 2 independent judges drawn from academic or literary fields of the same city/region/state. 1 Winner and 1 runner-up is identified by the judges from each city and for each language in both categories (Junior & Senior). Therefore, 4 students are again given prizes for each language and city. The city level winners and runners-up are felicitated by the Tata Group at specially organised city-level events. The prizes at the city level usually include a combination of certificates, trophies and an electronic item.

National Level

The city level winners' essays in both categories (Junior & Senior) from each city are finally judged by an elite panel comprising of eminent judges drawn from academic and literary fields at the national level for the respective language. 1 winner and 2 runners-up are identified in both the categories (Junior & Senior) for each language. Therefore, 6 students are once again given prizes for each language at the national level. The national level winners and runners-up are felicitated by the Tata Group at a specially organised national level event in New Delhi. The national level winners and runners-up stand a chance to visit the Rashtrapati Bhavan and meet a national dignitary face-to-face. The prizes at the national level also usually include a combination of certificates, trophies and laptop computers.

Rewards and Recognition:

The winners and runners-up are rewarded at each level (School level >> City level >> National level). The school level winners are awarded at the schools, and special functions are held to felicitate city level winners at a regional level. The national level winners are felicitated in New 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, and laptops as the grand prize.

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

Addressing the winners of 2015-16 at Rashtrapati Bhavan Honorable President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind said “ Children of India are the future of this great nation. They are the crucial building blocks of the nation that we seek to build…It is important that you dream and set up goals for yourselves and then work towards those goals with dedication, integrity and commitment. Always remain positive and never let failures deter you.”

Former President of India Shri Pranab Kumar Mukherjee said, "I would like to congratulate the students, and Tatas 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 Tatas 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 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".