Tata Building India School Essay Competition 7th Edition -2012
The Tata Building India School Essay Competition is one of the key initiatives undertaken by the Tata group of companies to motivate the youth of India towards thinking about nation building. The essay competition provides a unique platform to encourage young leaders of tomorrow to showcase their expressions in writing, on a host of subjects related to nation building. Started in 2006 with 6 cities and 1 lakh students in English language, the competition has grown manifold to become India's largest essay competition touching almost 2 million students across 8 languages in 2010-11. The current year program is set to yet again touch 2-2.5 million students in 5000+ schools nationwide. The idea of the competition has been very well received by both the students and the teaching fraternity reflected by the overwhelming response from participating schools and students. It is the belief of the Tata group of companies that the young minds of the country, if directed positively, can bring greater recognition and glory to the nation.
In the first year in 2006, over 1 lakh students from 240 English medium schools participated in the essay writing competition covering the cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Buoyed by the tremendous response received from the schools in the first year, the Tata group of companies extended the activity in Hindi amongst key Hindi medium schools across 8 cities in Northern / Central India and later in West Bengal with Bengali medium schools. This was followed by the launches of separate editions in Gujarati, Marathi and Tamil languages progressively.
2008-09: The competition took a quantum leap in the year 2008-09 as it moved from 12 to in 24 cities across the nation covering more than 800 schools and around 6 lakh students.
2009-10: The 4th edition of the competition covered 36 cities where almost a million students across 1500 English medium schools participated. The theme of the competition was 'Future India'. 4 regional felicitation events were conducted in Oct- Nov 2010 where the city winners were felicitated. The national level winners were felicitated by Dr. E. Sreedharan-the Metro Man of India, at Delhi on 12th October 2011: The winners got a chance to travel on Delhi Metro trains and visit the metro museum, also got a once in a life time opportunity to see and admire the Rashtrapati Bhavan as a special guided tour was arranged for them.
2010-11: The 5th edition of this competition in the English language was launched in September, 2010. Nearly 1 million students participated across 40+ cities and about 1800 schools. The city level winners were felicitated in October-December 2011. The national level winners for 2010-11 have been identified and will be felicitated in Delhi.
The theme for 2010-11 was “Poverty Reduction”. In the academic year 2010-11, the English edition expanded its coverage to 40+ cities. The Hindi language version spread its wings to 27 cities and two new language versions, Kannada and Oriya were launched. Overall, nearly 2 million students took part in 8 language editions across nearly 150 city level competitions.
2011-2012: In the year 2011-2012, the essay contest was held in 8 languages covering 5000 schools & 150 cities. The theme was 'Clean and Green Nation' and the city winners of the competition were felicitated across the country.
2012-2013: In the current year 2012-2013, the essay competition is scheduled to be held in 10 languages with Telugu & Malayalam as new languages across 170 cities, 6000 schools and will cover approximately 2+ million students.
The theme of 2012-13 is 'Science & Technology for India'. The current year program is set to yet again touch 2-2.5 million students in 6000+ schools nationwide.
Also as a new initiative Tata Building India Online essay competition is open for students participating on Individual basis.
*Topic for the Essay Competition is provided on the spot.
Tata Building India Scholarship
Having covered 7.5 million students through previous six editions, India’s largest school essay in the 7th edition of this happy India Initiative will also offer special one-time Tata Building India scholarships to select needy students in each city.
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. Following this, students are asked few questions based on the films shown.
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).
The Tata-linked films being shown this year are:
- Tata Building India introduction documentary, based on the previous years’ Tata Building India school essay competitions
- Speak for Earth - Which is about some of the initiatives that Tata companies have taken to preserve and nurture, nature and habitat.
- Followed by this 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.
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, insightful and genuine. The theme of the 2012-13 competition is “Science & Technology for India”.
Some of the previous years’ topics were:
- 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?
The essays of the students are screened at 3 levels: School level, City level and National level
- Essays at the school level are shortlisted by the identified judges within the school, the school level winners are indentified in both categories
- The essays of the school level winners across the schools from each city are collected and evaluated by a panel of 3 judges from the academic and the journalism fields, two winners in each category are shortlisted for city level recognition as winners from the respective cities.
- The city level winner’s essays in both categories from each city are finally judged by an elite panel comprising of eminent people to choose the national winners. 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 field of Literature, Art, Culture, Sports and Vice Chancellors of reputed universities, Editors of prominent newspapers, Writers, Heads of departments of English from Mumbai and Chennai universities and eminent personalities in journalism, etc.
Rewards and Recognition:
The winners are rewarded at each level, the school level winners are amplified at school 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 Digicam / Handycam / MP3 player, Certificates and trophies. The national level winners receive 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 like the President of India / Vice President of India.
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.
According to the Honourable 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 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 words during his interaction with Tata Building India School Essay Competition National Winners 2009 at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi, ‘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"