Public Administration

Public Administration
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How To Prepare Public Administration Optional

Some of the things which we must understand in to Prepare Public Administration Optional. Public Administration is very tricky optional to score well in UPSC exam.

  • The most important thing in pub-ad is conceptual clarity. Unfortunately most of us rely completely on coaching notes and end up having only superficial knowledge which is very dangerous in present setup of UPSC exam and especially in pub-ad.
  • Until and unless you have conceptual clarity you won’t be able to understand the question in the first place.
  • All of us write answers in pub-ad and feel that we have written it well but the problem is most of us interpret questions differently and end up writing different answers. The correct interpretation of question will only happen if your concepts are clear.

Facts about Public Administration

The most important thing in this optional is Conceptual Clarity. Unfortunately most of us rely completely on coaching notes and end up having only superficial knowledge which is very dangerous in present setup of UPSC exam and especially in Public Administration. All of us write answers in Public Administration and feel that we have written it well but the problem is most of us interpret questions differently and end up writing different answers. The correct interpretation of question will only happen if your concepts are clear.
In the last two years, UPSC has deliberately increased the difficulty level of question paper as they are more interested in those students who have conceptual clarity and ability to write those concepts in a simple manner. For that, you need to study some basic books so that you develop good understanding of the subject. Books are varied from person to person and there are many books on Public Administration, all of them are equally good but whichever book you are studying, study it well, study it multiple times.

How to write answer in Optional Public Administration?

Write answer in point format as much as possible so that you can fit more content in few lines. Remember, your answers will be more concise and to the point which will be helpful for the examiner to evaluate decently. Use as simple language as possible and strictly “Say No to Flowery Language” without any content. The important thing which we must follow while writing answers is our ability to interlink the Paper one and Paper two together. For this, you must remember the syllabus completely. Read the whole syllabus everyday for 5 minutes, Close your eyes and try to interlink them. Before referring any book, go through previous year papers of 10 years for that topic to become acquainted with the demand of the subject.

Know the Syllabus :

Before you even think of buying your Public Administration (PA) books for the UPSC Main, you must know the syllabus first. Why? Because a syllabus gives you an overview of the topics which will be covered in the exam. Hence, knowing the syllabus gives you in-depth idea about the subject. And helps you to sort and prepare critical and non-critical topics accordingly.

Buy Selective Books :

Once you get an idea about the syllabus, it’s time to buy books. Here you need to be very selective, because reading multiple books for a single topic won’t help you to score better. Rather it will confuse you and likely to end up learning less.

Public Administration – Paper I and II

Paper I of Public Administration mainly consists of Administration, Comparative Public Administration, Structure of Public Organizations, Public Policy and Theories of Administration. Whereas Paper II deals with Indian Administration – Evolution of Indian Administration, Constitutional Framework, Union/State Government and Administration, Machinery for Planning, Administration of Law & Order and Welfare Administration. Topics like Financial Administration and Financial Management are common in Paper I and II, which can be studied together.

Public Administration is a vast subject and looking into its various aspects and topics is important. Given the limited timeframe, a well-planned study plan is a must for scoring well in the subject. On an average, IAS aspirants gets around 4-7 months for Main’s preparation after the Prelims. However, this entire period cannot be devoted only for an Optional paper. So this crucial time has to be managed with intensive study plan for different papers along with Public Administration, to clear the Main exam.

Depending on the nature of an exam, there can be multiple method of preparation. And no method can be judged as the best! Having said that, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t any effective preparation method for a subject or an exam. Without saying any method to be the best, I would like to draw your attention on few time-tested study methods or techniques which are helpful.

UPSC Comprehensive (2017-18)

Optional Public Administration Mains Syllabus

1. Introduction : Meaning, scope and significance of Public Administration; Wilson’s vision of Public Administration; Evolution of the discipline and its present status; New Public Administration; Public Choice approach; Challenges of liberalization, Privatisation, Globalisation; Good Governance: concept and application; New Public Management.

2. Administrative Thought : Scientific Management and Scientific Management movement;
Classical Theory; Weber’s bureaucratic model – its critique and post-Weberian Developments;
Dynamic Administration (Mary Parker Follett); Human Relations School (Elton Mayo and
others); Functions of the Executive (C.I. Barnard); Simon’s decision-making theory; Participative Management (R. Likert, C.Argyris, D.McGregor).

3. Administrative Behaviour : Process and techniques of decision-making; Communication;
Morale; Motivation Theories – content, process and contemporary; Theories of Leadership:
Traditional and Modern.

4. Organisations : Theories – systems, contingency; Structure and forms: Ministries and
Departments, Corporations, Companies, Boards and Commissions; Ad hoc and advisory bodies;
Headquarters and Field relationships; Regulatory Authorities; Public – Private Partnerships.

5. Accountability and control : Concepts of accountability and control; Legislative, Executive and Judicial control over administration; Citizen and Administration; Role of media, interest groups, voluntary organizations; Civil society; Citizen’s Charters; Right to Information; Social audit.

6. Administrative Law : Meaning, scope and significance; Dicey on Administrative law; Delegated legislation; Administrative Tribunals.

7. Comparative Public Administration : Historical and sociological factors affecting administrative systems; Administration and politics in different countries; Current status of Comparative Public Administration; Ecology and administration; Riggsian models and their critique.

8. Development Dynamics : Concept of development; Changing profile of development
administration; ‘Anti-development thesis’; Bureaucracy and development; Strong state versus
the market debate; Impact of liberalisation on administration in developing countries; Women and development – the self-help group movement.

9. Personnel Administration : Importance of human resource development; Recruitment, training, career advancement, position classification, discipline, performance appraisal, promotion, pay and service conditions; employer-employee relations, grievance redressal mechanism; Code of conduct; Administrative ethics.

10. Public Policy : Models of policy-making and their critique; Processes of conceptualisation,
planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and review and their limitations; State theories
and public policy formulation.

11. Techniques of Administrative Improvement : Organisation and methods, Work study and work management; e-governance and information technology; Management aid tools like network analysis, MIS, PERT, CPM.

12. Financial Administration : Monetary and fiscal policies; Public borrowings and public debt
Budgets – types and forms; Budgetary process; Financial accountability; Accounts and audit.

1. Evolution of Indian Administration : Kautilya’s Arthashastra; Mughal administration; Legacy of British rule in politics and administration – Indianization of public services, revenue administration, district administration, local self-government.

2. Philosophical and Constitutional framework of government : Salient features and value premises; Constitutionalism; Political culture; Bureaucracy and democracy; Bureaucracy and development.

3. Public Sector Undertakings : Public sector in modern India; Forms of Public Sector Undertakings; Problems of autonomy, accountability and control; Impact of liberalization and privatization.

4. Union Government and Administration : Executive, Parliament, Judiciary – structure, functions, work processes; Recent trends; Intragovernmental relations; Cabinet Secretariat; Prime Minister’s Office; Central Secretariat; Ministries and Departments; Boards; Commissions; Attached offices; Field organizations.

5. Plans and Priorities : Machinery of planning; Role, composition and functions of the Planning Commission and the National Development Council; ‘Indicative’ planning; Process of plan formulation at Union and State levels; Constitutional Amendments (1992) and decentralized planning for economic development and social justice.

6. State Government and Administration : Union-State administrative, legislative and financial relations; Role of the Finance Commission; Governor; Chief Minister; Council of Ministers; Chief Secretary; State Secretariat; Directorates.

7. District Administration since Independence : Changing role of the Collector; Union-state-local relations; Imperatives of development management and law and order administration; District administration and democratic decentralization.

8. Civil Services : Constitutional position; Structure, recruitment, training and capacity-building; Good governance initiatives; Code of conduct and discipline; Staff associations; Political rights; Grievance redressal mechanism; Civil service neutrality; Civil service activism.

9. Financial Management : Budget as a political instrument; Parliamentary control of public expenditure; Role of finance ministry in monetary and fiscal area; Accounting techniques; Audit; Role of Controller General of Accounts and Comptroller and Auditor General of India.

10. Administrative Reforms since Independence : Major concerns; Important Committees and Commissions; Reforms in financial management and human resource development; Problems of implementation.

11. Rural Development : Institutions and agencies since independence; Rural development programmes: foci and strategies; Decentralization and Panchayati Raj; 73rd Constitutional amendment.

12. Urban Local Government : Municipal governance: main features, structures, finance and problem areas; 74th Constitutional Amendment; Global-local debate; New localism; Development dynamics, politics and administration with special reference to city management.

13. Law and Order Administration : British legacy; National Police Commission; Investigative agencies; Role of central and state agencies including paramilitary forces in maintenance of law and order and countering insurgency and terrorism; Criminalisation of politics and administration; Police-public relations; Reforms in Police.

14. Significant issues in Indian Administration : Values in public service; Regulatory Commissions; National Human Rights Commission; Problems of administration in coalition regimes; Citizen-administration interface; Corruption and administration; Disaster management