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Public Administration Optional for UPSC

Ever since U.P.S.C. Introduced Public Administration as an optional subject for Civil Services Examination in 1987, the subject has emerge as one of the most popular optional subjects.

Why Public Administration is most popular optional subject

  1. It is a scoring subject you can score anything between 350 to 375 Marks.
  2. Compact and manageable syllabus
  3. Non-technical content
  4. Semi-scientific nature
  5. Public Administration also covers one-third syllabus of General Studies Paper-II.
  6. While studying public administration, the candidate can relate every part of the study with the socio-political culture of the society in which he lives. Hence it generates a lot of interest in the candidate.
  7. A candidate irrespective of his educational background-can prepare for the examination easily.
  8. The subject does not require calculations of graphs or table.
  9. Being conceptual in nature, the subject hardly requires monotonous retaining of facts.
  10. Since more than 50% of syllabus of the subject covers Indian Polity, a candidate opting this subject does exceptionally good in the Indian polity part of general studies.

Public Administration Course

English (History, Political Science & International Relations, Public Administration, Sociology, Anthropology, Geography)

Hindi (History, Political Science & International Relations, Public Administration, Geography)

  • Duration : 4 and Half Months
  • Classes Timings : 1:00 Pm to 03:00 PM
  • Study Hours : 2 hours per day Monday to Friday
  • Fee Structure : 50,000 English Medium 50,000 Hindi Medium
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Syllabus

Paper I | Section – A

  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.
  1. 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.)
  1. Administrative Behaviour : Process and techniques of decision-making; Communication; Morale; Motivation Theories content, process and contemporary; Theories of Leadership : Traditional and Modem.
  1. 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; Public­Private Partnerships.
  1. 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”
  1. Administrative Law : Meaning, scope and significance; Dicey on Administrative law; Delegated legislation; Administrative Tribunals.

Section – B

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. Personnel Administration : Importance of human resource development; Recruitment, training, career advancement, position classification, discipline, performance appraisal, promotion, pray and service conditions; employer-employee relations, grievance redressal mechanism; Code of conduct; Administrative ethics.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  2. Financial Administration : Monetary and fiscal policies: Public borrowings and public debt Budgets types and forms; Budgetary process; Financial accountability; Accounts and audit.

Paper II | Section – A

  1. Evolution of Indian Administration : Kautilya Arthashastra; Mughal administration; Legacy of British rule in politics and administration Indianization of Public services, revenue administration, district Administration, local self Government.
  1. Philosophical and Constitutional framework of Government : Salient features and value premises; Constitutionalism; Political culture; Bureaucracy and democracy; Bureaucracy and development
  1. Public Sector Undertakings : Public  sector  in  modern  India; Forms  of  Public  Sector  Undertakings; Problems  of autonomy, accountability and control; Impact of liberalization and privatization .
  1. Union Government and Administration : Executive, Parliament, Judiciary-structure, functions, work processes; Recent trends; Intra-governmental relations; Cabinet Secretariat; Prime Minister’s Office; Central Secretariat; Ministries and Departments; Boards; Commissions; Attached offices; Field organizations.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

Section – B

  1. 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.”
  1. 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.
  1. Administrative Reforms since Independence : Major concerns; important Committees and Commissions; Reforms in financial management and human resource development; Problems of implementation.
  1. Rural Development : Institutions and agencies since Independence; Rural development programmes: foci and strategies; Decentralization and Panchayati Raj; 73rd Constitutional amendment.
  1. 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.
  1. Law and Order Administration: British legacy; National Police Commission; Investigative agencies; Role of Central and State Agencies including para military forces in maintenance of law and order and countering insurgency and terrorism; Criminalisation of politics and administration; Police-public relations; Reforms in Police.
  1. 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.

Public Administration Questions Paper Pattern

Public Administration optional subject divided in two papers

  1. Paper I – Maximum Marks : 250.  
  2. Paper II – Maximum Marks : 250.

Eight questions given in each paper. From eight questions candidates has to attempt five questions but Q. No. 1 and Q. No. 5 is compulsory and out of the remaining, three questions are to be attempted choosing at least one questions from each section.

Syllabus Analysis

Paper – I

Coming to the subject matter of Paper I, it must be seen that the first chapter-‘Basic Premises’ is something much more than introduction. It covers all historical development of the subject in brief. From the examination point of view it is a very important chapter. Every year you can expect 40 to 60 marks questions from this chapter. Be master of ‘Basics’.

The next three chapter. “Theories of organization” “Principles of organization” and “Administrative behavior” are very important and have many overlapping concepts. For example, “Hierarchy” is common in Weberian model of bureaucracy, principle of hierarchy and decision-making, leadership etc. You have to understand these overlappings. While writing your answer son hierarchy if you don’t deal with Weberian bureaucracy or administrative behavior  your answer remains incomplete.

These four chapters cover half of your marks in paper-I of your exam. If you are conceptually strong you can go for three question from part-I of Paper-I which is more scoring.

The fifth topic ‘Structure of organisation’ is not very scoring. Focus your attention more on bases of Departments, Public Corporation and Companies, Headquarters and main Field Relationships. The sixth chapter : Personnel Administration is important since it usually constitutes a part of question sixth in part-II paper-I. Emphasis should be given on Bureaucracy and Civil Services, Recruitment, Training, Integrity in Public Administration, Generalist Vs. Specialists, and Neutrality and Anonymity. The seventh chapter : Financial Administration is very interesting and frequently asked. While preparing for this topic, combined syllabus for Paper I and II both viz., Finance Commission, Union State Financial relations, the Ministry of Finance different types of budget-line, performance and ZBB, control over public expenditure, and Audit are important. CAG being one of the favourites. The eighth chapter : Accountability and control is very easy and well structured. Prepare legislative executive and judicial control over administration and Lokpal and Lokayukta and compare them with Ombudsman in other countries. The ninth chapter : ‘Administrative Reform’ is not very popular among paper setters in U.P.S.C. However, so for ‘Organisation and Methods’. The tenth chapter : ‘Administrative Law’ has two important topics lists is Delegated Legislation and second is Administrative Tribunals. The eleventh chapter : “Comparative and Development Administration” is very important. It makes a part in question sixth of paper I and also has potential for one or two full length questions. In part II of paper I, no chapter is more important and scoring than this. The twelfth chapter is Public Policy. Expect only one full-length question from this chapter. It’s not very scoring.

Paper – II

Paper-II of Public Administration has rather limited coverage. Most of the issues are discussed in newspapers, magazine, seminars etc. The first chapter : Evolution of Indian Administration is very lengthy and moreover Kautilya and Mughal administration are rarely asked. Thus, these two topics need no extensive study. However, the British Administration is very important. You will get one short not surely. Incorporation of facts and analysis from this topic will substantially help you in other parts of the paper. The second chapter : Environmental setting is very important. Every topic viz., Constitution, Parliamentary Democracy, Federalism, Plannings, Socialism is important. One short notes and one full-length has been the trend. The third chapter : Political Executive at the Union level usually constitutes administrative  part of question 1 of Paper II. The President is more important than any thing else. Never forget to mention appropriate articles from the Constitution to validate your answer. The fourth chapter : Structure of Central Administration is again important. The Central Secretariat, The Cabinet Secretariat, Ministries and Departments are particularly more important. The fifth chapter : Centre-State Relations is important to the extent that you can expect one question every year alternatively from three subtopics. The sixth chapter : Public service shall be read with Personnel Administration of paper-I. All India Services and UPSC are important. The seventh chapter : Machinery for Planning is important because we follow five years plans. The role of Planning Commission, planning machinery at state and district level is important. The next three chapters viz. ‘Public Undertaking’, ‘Control of Public Expenditure’ and ‘Administration of law and order’ are asked as short notes as well as full-length. But except for CAG and Parliamentary Control all other topics are not scoring. The eleventh chapter : State Administration is important. Important topics are Governor, his comparison with the President, Chief Secretary and Directorates. The twelfth chapter : District and Local Administration is very important. District Collector, Law and Order, Development Administration, Rural Development Agencies and Special Development Programmes are important. The thirteenth chapter : Local Administration contains all important Panchayat Raj Institutions. The entire chapter is important. You can expect one full length question every year. The Fourteenth chapter : Welfare Administration invariably constitutes full-length question. Though it is not frequently asked. The last chapter : Issue Areas in Indian Administration is the most important chapter. Nothing of this should be left to chance.

How to write

To write an excellent answer you must follow some important rules and procedures.

  1. Recognise context of your question. Context may be dichotomy, Public Vs. Private Administration, Science or at etc.
  2. Recognise the statement.
  3. Recognise the keywords. Key words hold the key to your good answer. If you fail to respond key words you can not hope to get more then 40% marks howsoever brilliant all other thing you may write. To things are required.
    1. Explain meaning of the key word.
    2. Explain correlation of key words with the understanding of entire sentence.
  4. The opening sentence is extremely important : Your first sentence should have direct bearing of the question or statement. This is the sentence which contains context and key words both with statement giver.
  5. Analysis : It is most important part of your answer. Analyse your answer in the light of the following concepts :
    1. Structure (Administrative)
    2. Process (Administrative)
    3. Behaviour (Administrative)
    4. Ecological framework (Administrative or others)

    There are two types of environment factors :

    1. Environmental Factor-1 includes :
      1. Political
      2. Social
      3. Economic
    2. Environmental factor-2 includes :
      1. Constitution
      2. Human Rights
      3. Gender empowerment
      4. Liberalization
      5. Post Modernism (thus post bureaucracy)
      6. History
      7. Comparative model including modern trends.

    It is likely that no answer can cover all the above mentioned heads.

  6. Validate your answer by quoting examples from current affairs given in newspapers, magazines, journals etc. It is best to quote international bodies like UN Report, WHO report, UNDP report, WTO, IMF, World Bank and other international summits. To write your answer on sustainable development, e.g., you should be well aware of Montreal Summit 1970 and Rio Earth Summit 1992. Similarly while talking about welfare of SC/ST you should quote Report by National Commission on SCs/STs.

Do’s and Dont’s

  • Give Indian examples in paper-I particularly in Administrative thought, principles and behaviour part.
  • Give international examples in Paper-II i.e. Indian Administration while dealing with institutions, methods, procedures, offices of Union and State executives.
  • Your answer should carry according to word limit for example 10 Marks answer should be written in maximum 150 words and 20 Marks, Answer written in 300 Words i.e. 50 Marks Answers written in 225
  • Finish your first question within 40 minutes, even one minute more than this could take it’s toll on your precious time. Thus, you might find yourself in the last hour with three question left unanswered.
  • Do not give long introductions, this may lead to loss of focus and attraction of the examiner.
  • Do not attempt to give very revolutionary or irrational idea. Before suggesting any cure take Administrative feasibility test of your suggestion.
  • Do not attempt to become very artistic or artificial. Write answers like brilliant graduate and not like a confused philosopher.
  • Always complete your answer with conclusion, howsoever small or big you may write Even if you have little time, conclude beautifully.

Suggested Reading List

Paper – I

  1. New Horizons of Public Administration—Mohit Bhattacharya
  2. Administrative Thinkers—Prasad & Prasad
  3. Public Administration—Sharma & Sadana (Read Administrative Law, Personal Administration, Financial Administration, Development Administration, Comparative Administration etc.
  4. Public Administration—Awasthi & Maheshwari (Read Administrative Reforms Topic).
  5. Vajirao & Reddy Institute Paper—I Notes.

Paper – II

  1. Indian Administration—Awasthi & Awasthi (Read Administrative Reforms, Administration of Law and Order)
  2. Introduction to the Constitution of India—D.D. Basu
  3. Public Policy—Sapru
  4. Indian Administration—R.S. Maheshwari
  5. Social theory and development administration—Mohit Bhattacharya
  6. IGNOU material Paper—II.
  7. Vajirao & Reddy Institute’s Paper—II Notes.

Journals

  1. Selective issues of IIPA Journals
  2. Selective issues of the Indian Journal of Political Science
  3. Economic and Political Weekly
  4. Yojana
  5. Kurukshetra

News Paper

  1. The Hindu
  2. Indian Express

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