September 21, 2011

Sixth edition of Tata Building India School Essay Competition, India’s largest essay-writing competition, launched

  • A unique platform to encourage young leaders of tomorrow to showcase their opinions and passions on subjects related to nation building
  • Targeting over two million students across 150 cities, 5,500 schools and eight languages
  • ‘Clean and green nation’ is the theme for this edition
Mumbai: India’s largest essay-writing competition for schoolchildren is back with more fervour and enthusiasm.

The Tata group announces the launch of the sixth edition of Tata Building India School Essay Competition, a national-level contest in eight languages that is expected to attract over two million students from 5,500 schools across 150 cities. The languages include English, Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Tamil, Marathi, Kannada and Oriya. The theme for this year’s competition is ‘Clean and Green Nation’ and young minds will be encouraged to share their thoughts on this topic.
Started in 2006 as an English-language essay competition, the Tata Building India School Essay Competition is being organised every year to encourage young minds to think about issues connected with nation building.

The Essay competition

The English edition of the competition is planned to reach 1.2 million students from 2,000-plus English-medium schools spread across 54 cities. The Hindi essay competition will be held in Hindi-medium schools of 27 cities in north and central India, while the other six language competitions will be conducted in separate language medium schools in 12-14 cities each in the relevant states. The major cities include Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Pune, Indore, Goa, Nagpur, Bhopal, Vadodara, Nasik, Jabalpur, Raipur (Durg), Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Manipal, Coimbatore, Cochin, Tiruvananthapuram, Vijaywada, Madurai, Visakhapatnam, Hubli, Puducherry, Kozhikode (Calicut), Delhi, Jaipur, Shimla, Lucknow, NCR – Gurgaon / Faridabad, Ludhiana, Allahabad, Jammu, Udaipur, Varanasi, Amritsar, Ajmer, Kanpur, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Kolkata, Jamshedpur, Darjeeling, Bhubaneshwar, Patna, Guwahati, Siliguri / Durgapur, Ranchi, Cuttack, Shillong, Gangtok, Dhanbad, Rourkela and Agartala / Itanagar.

Speaking about the competition, Atul Agrawal, vice president, corporate affairs, Tata Services, said “Tata Building India School Essay Competition is a unique initiative that encourages students to pen down their thoughts on how they would like to see the India of tomorrow. The overwhelming response over the years has encouraged us to continuously expand this initiative pan-India across multiple languages and help instill positive values of nation building among young minds.”

The Tata Building India School Essay Competition will be a two-phase activity in the participating schools. The first phase consists of the screening of an inspirational film as stimulus for the young minds, to get them thinking and to bring a greater focus to the subject. As part of this stimulus, a Tata-themed documentary film will be screened at the schools. The documentary this year is Speak for the Earth, which details the varied efforts of Tata companies to help preserve the planet. This will be accompanied by an audiovisual on Tata Building India.

Followed by the screening, students will be asked to write an essay on the given topic of nation building.

The 2011-12 competition is starting from Mumbai and then moving on to other cities.

Judging process

The essays by the students are screened at three levels:

  • Essays at the school level are shortlisted by identified judges within the school and the school-level winners are identified. The essays of the school-level winners across the schools from each city are collected and evaluated by a panel of three judges from the academic and journalism fields for city-level recognition as toppers from the respective cities.
  • The best essays from each city are finally judged by an elite panel comprising eminent people to choose the national winners in each language. The essay is written by the child only once and is evaluated at three levels. The national jury for this diverse competition has included eminent panels of judges from journalism, media and academia including vice chancellors and heads of English departments, amongst others.


  • The winners at each level are rewarded and recognised. Prizes at the school level include certificates, trophies and special Tata Building India Essay Competition merchandise.
  • The city winners and the runners-up receive handycams and digital cameras respectively and are felicitated at regional award ceremonies. The national-level winners receive laptops along with a trophy and a certificate at a special function in Delhi.
  • The crowning moment for the national winners and the runners-up is the intended visit to Rashtrapati Bhavan and a face-to-face meeting with a national-level dignitary.

Salient features

  • Following the screening, children from Classes 6 to 12 are asked to write essays on topics of national significance.
  • Schoolchildren are required to write the essay only once, the same essay will be judged at city and national levels in all languages.
  • To ensure a level playing field, the essays of the students are classified into two categories — junior level for students in Classes 6 to 8; and senior level from Classes 9 to 12. Winners are announced in each category.
  • The essays are judged on the parameters of relevance to the topic, structure, creativity and communication of the idea.

Competition format

Competition levels Participation levels
  • School level
    30-50 schools per city
  • City level
    150 city-level competitions
  • National level
    State level (Six regional languages)
  • Junior
    Classes 6 to 8
  • Senior
    Classes 9 to12

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