Public Administration Preparation Strategy for UPSC

Public Administration as an optional has been very popular among the civil service aspirants. Many toppers have chosen Public administration as an optional subject and scored good marks. Aspirants from science and engineering background have been opting for this subject due to its multidisciplinary approach. Public Administration has similarities with various subjects such as sociology, psychology, management and political science. The subject is popular among the aspirants because the concepts and theories of the subject are not very complicated. This optional subject helps in forming public dealing techniques. 

The subject is easy to  understand. That’s why many aspirants choose this optional subject. It offers aspirants theoretical insights into public administration.

Here, in the article we will discuss Public Administration as an optional subject for UPSC and its preparation strategy.

Syllabus of Public Administration

Paper – I    

  1.   Administrative Theory
  • Introduction- 

Meaning, scope and significance of Public Administration; Wilson’s vision of Public Administration; Evolution of the discipline and its present status; How to Prepare Public Administration; Public Choice approach; Challenges of liberalization, Privatization, Globalization; Good Governance: concept and application; New Public Management

  • 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)

  • Administrative Behavior

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

  • Organizations

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

  • 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

  • Administrative Law

Meaning, scope, and significance; Dicey on Administrative law; Delegated legislation; Administrative Tribunals

  • 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

  • Development Dynamics

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

  • 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

  • Public Policy

Models of policy-making and their critique; Processes of conceptualization, planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and review, and their limitations; State theories and public policy formulation

  • Techniques of Administrative Improvement

Organization and methods, Work study and work management; e-governance and information technology; Management aid tools like network analysis, MIS, PERT, CPM

  • Financial Administration

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

Paper – II 

  1.  Indian Administration
  • 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

  • Philosophical and Constitutional framework of government

Salient features and value premises; Constitutionalism; Political culture; Bureaucracy and democracy; Bureaucracy and development

  • Public Sector Undertakings

The public sector in modern India; Forms of Public Sector Undertakings; Problems of autonomy, accountability, and control; Impact of liberalization and privatization

  • Union Government and Administration

Executive, Parliament, Judiciary – structure, functions, work processes; Recent trends; Intergovernmental relations; Cabinet Secretariat; Prime Minister’s Office; Central Secretariat; Ministries and Departments; Boards; Commissions; Attached offices; Field organizations

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Financial Management

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

  • Administrative Reforms since Independence

Major concerns; Important Committees and Commissions; Reforms in financial management and human resource development; Problems of implementation

  • Rural Development

Institutions and agencies since independence; Rural development programs: foci and strategies; Decentralization and Panchayati Raj; 73rd Constitutional amendment

  • Urban Local Government

Municipal governance: main features, structures, finance, and problem areas; 74th Constitutional Amendment; Globallocal debate; New localism; Development dynamics, politics, and administration with special reference to city management

  • 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

  • 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

Preparation strategy for Public Administration optional paper for UPSC

  • Go through the syllabus first

It is important to understand the syllabus of Public Administration first to make your preparation effective. Before starting preparation, candidates should go through the syllabus  thoroughly. Understanding the syllabus will help them stay focused. After analyzing the syllabus they know what is essential and  what is not required for the exam. 

  • Clarity about the subject

If you are choosing Public Administration as an optional subject so Shri Ram IAS Coaching is providing best syllabus and this is Best UPSC Coaching in Delhi, first thing you must have to have clarity about the subject.  Public administration has limited core concepts so candidates need not do extra preparation for facts. Candidates get good marks in Public Administration after getting clarity about the subject. Candidates who have good understanding and good expression power should choose the Public Administration subject. 

  • Make notes

Making notes always gives benefits to all the candidates. Make your own handwritten notes for the topics related to Public Administration.  You can use online resources and standard books for preparing the notes. You can remember for so long by making notes. Notes help you to prepare important topics easily. Whenever you want to revise any particular topic, you can learn by notes. It saves your time also.

  • Answer writing practice

Answer writing practice is very important for the UPSC exam. By writing a good answer, you can secure excellent marks in option paper. Many coachings provide guidance on answer writing. You can join a coaching for better practicing of answer writing. The Mains examination required a perfect answer through their writing skills. So, practice for answer writing regularly.

  • Preparation from previous year question papers

Students are advised to solve previous year question papers of Public Administration. Previous year question papers allow them to understand the important topics. Students can make a strategy after preparing from previous year question papers. They can find out what question repeats more often and prepare accordingly.

  • Guidance from coaching and mentors

When a candidate gets stuck in any part of the optional paper, they can ask for the guidance of coaching. Coaching classes help students to guide about the subject with proper knowledge of the syllabus. Candidates can take help of their mentors also if needed.

  • Test series

It’s very important to join test series to be successful in examinations. Test series for Public Administration help candidates to gain  knowledge. With the help of the test series candidates learn to manage the time. Test series help candidates to prepare excellently. You can join any coaching online/offline for test series.

  • Solve mock papers

Mock tests help candidates to realize their mistakes and get proper command over the subject. Mock tests should be taken up seriously. Attending mock tests provides a realistic simulation for the exam. Candidates can work on their weak points after attending mock tests.

Recommended books for Public Administration for UPSC

  1. Administrative Thinkers by Prasad and Prasad
  2. Public Administration: Administrative Theories and Concepts by Fadia & Fadia
  3. Public Administration and Public Affairs 12th Edition – Nicholas Henry
  4. Mohit Bhattacharya- New horizons in public administration
  5. Mohit Bhattacharya- Pub Ad A new look
  6.  Public Administration: Concepts and Theories by Basu Rumki
  7. Indian Administration – Ramesh K. Arora & Rajni Goyal
  8. Yojana
  9. Newspaper
  10. ARCs and committee reports
  11. Important reports from ministries

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