Public Administration


PAPER-II (250 marks)

General Studies- I:Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society.
• Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
• Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues
• The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.
• Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country
• History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society.
• Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.
• Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
• Effects of globalization on Indian society
• Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.
• Salient features of world’s physical geography.
• Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian subcontinent); factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India)
• Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc.,
• geographical features and their location- changes in critical geographical features (including water bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

PAPER-III (250 marks)

General Studies- II:Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.

• Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
• Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.
• Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.
• Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries
• Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
• Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.
• Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.
• Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various
• Constitutional Bodies.
• Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies
• Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
• Development processes and the development industry- the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders
• Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
• Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
• Issues relating to poverty and hunger.
• Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
• Role of civil services in a democracy.
• India and its neighbourhood- relations.
• Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s Interests
• Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian Diaspora.
• Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

PAPER-IV (250 marks)

General Studies-III:Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management.

• Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
• Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
• Government Budgeting.
• Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers
• Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.
• Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and
• Down-stream requirements, supply chain management.
• Land reforms in India.
• Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
• Infrastructure:Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
• Investment models.
• Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life
• Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
• Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
• Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
• Disaster and disaster management.
• Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
• Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
• Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention
• Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism
• Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate

PAPER-V (250 marks)

General Studies- IV:Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude

• Ethics and Human Interface:Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships. Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values.
• Attitude:content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.
• Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service , integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker sections.
• Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.
• Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.
• Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration:Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.
• Probity in Governance:Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity;
• Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds,
• challenges of corruption.
• Case Studies on above issues.

PAPER – VI (250 marks)

Administrative Theory

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; ‘Antidevelopment 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.

PAPER – VII (250 marks)

Indian Administration

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; Intra-governmental 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; Unionstate-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.

Public Administration as a Mains Optional Subject

  • Public Administration is a very popular optional subject both in UPSC and state public service exams because the syllabus is relatively short, requires less mugging (compared to geography or history)
  • Syllabus has a lot of overlapping with topics of general studies and Essay (look for bold parts in the previous section)
  • Books, material and question papers of public administration are very easy to find in both English and Hindi medium.
  • The subject is easy to understand, any graduate from any stream:medical, engineering, science, commerce or arts can get a good grip over it after to 2-3 months of diligent preparation.
  • This optional subject is taken in huge number by both English and non-English medium aspirants, so when they get selected for the interview, the “success-rate” looks huge compared to Botany and Medicinal science.