Administrative Theory

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, 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; status of Comparative Public Administration; Ecology and administration; Riggsian models and their critique.

Development Dynamics: Concept of development; Changing profile of development administration; 'Antidevelopment 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.


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.

hilosophical and Constitutional framework of government: Salient features and value premises; Constitutionalism; Political culture; Bureaucracy and democracy; Bureaucracy and development. Public Sector Undertakings: 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; Intragovernmental 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 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 programmes: 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; Global local 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; Criminalization of politics and administration; Police-public relations; Reforms in Police.


Some important points of a 'smart strategy' are as follows:

Building a general overview

Perusal of previous year's question papers

Identification of 'thrust areas' for concentrated studies

Examination bias- Some areas are often repeated

Adequate writing practice evolving right content and time management

Continuous review of performance and course corrections

At least two weeks before the examination, writing exercises should be stopped and the entire attention should be on revision.

· 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 (polity, budget, empowerment, good Governance, disaster Management etc)

· 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.

Challenges of Public Administration

· Public Administration is an “easy” subject hence any Tom, Dick or Harry can read the books once and (can manage to) attempt the questions. So it takes much effort to shine out from the Mains-crowd in terms of answer quality.

· Lately UPSC has started asking unconventional question, thus making the life a little more difficult. More about it under Back-breaking Move sub-topic below

· Keep in mind, selecting Public Administration as optional doesn’t automatically make you an IAS- hard work and good luck is essential. Back-breaking Move of UPSC

· Now what does this mean? If UPSC asks a very routine static question from Taylor, Fayol or Weber, the senior player who has been in this business (with or without coaching) for 2-3 or more years, has lot of competitive advantage over a newcomer / first timer.

· Heavy emphasis on Static topics of syllabus (Thinkers, Theories, personnel, Financial administration et al) combined with tonnes of mock-test answer writing preparation. Their preparation is very ‘professional’ : Ignore Public Policy and Development administration, you can take it out in ‘options’ and concentrate heavy on personnel , thinkers etc. Besides their ‘assumption’ : examiners don’t give enough marks from public policy / DA questions.

· For a seasoned veteran out of these factories, routine static question paper= walk in the park, easy 150+/300 marks.

· So lately UPSC has stopped giving importance to the static topics or “HOT” current affairs and started heavy on Development administration, Public Policy etc. And even from the core topics they are asking very unusual questions.

· 2009, 2010, 2011 UPSC has increased the intensity of back-breaking move, for both public administration and general studies paper. Notes making

· As I said earlier any Tom, Dick or Harry around can attempt 300/300 marks in the question paper, even after reading the books for only single time. Truckload of Juntaa from the coaching factories of Delhi, mug up the notes of Vajiram, Mohanti, Bhavani Singh, Sunil Gupta et al and paste everything verbatim from those notes, in the answersheets.

· The examiners check dozens of answersheets in few hours, gives below-average marks to these routine so your answers should be sparkling, unique, must stand out in the crowd, or you will also get average marks= no interview call.

Book List

English Medium

· Administrative Thinkers by Prasad and Prasad

· Essentials Of Organizational Behavior by Stephen Robbins

. Public Administration And Public Affairs by Nicholas Henry

. Public Administration : For the UPSC by M.Laxmikanth (TataMcGrawhill)

· Indian Polity by M.Laxmikanth (TataMacgrawhill)

· IGNOU’s B.A. Booklets in English (Free Download)

· IGNOU’s M.A. Booklets in English (FREE Download)

· Reports of 2nd Administration Reforms Commission in English (Free Download)

· Yojana Magazines in English (free download)

· Newspaper (Indian Express/Hindu) for Current affairs related to Public Administration.

Hindi Medium

· Lok Prashasan Ke Naye Aayam (Hindi) by Mohit Bhattacharya

· Prashasnik Chintak (Administrative Thinkers) by Prasad and Prasad

· Buy Lok Prashasan by M.Laxmikanth (TataMcgrawhill)

· IGNOU’s B.A. Booklets in Hindi (free download)

· IGNOU’s M.A. Booklets in Hindi (free download)

· Reports of 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission in Hindi

· Yojana Magazines in Hindi (free download)

· Newspaper (Indian Express/Hindu) for Current affairs related to Public Administration

· Following books not available in in the Hindi medium, but should be read and notes made in Hindi language

· Public Administration And Public Affairs by Nicholas Henry

· Essentials Of Organizational Behavior by Stephen Robbins

Topic Wise Books

1. Indian Administration - Ramesh K. Arora & Rajni Goyal.

2. Indian Administration - S.R. Maheswari.

3. Administrative Theory - Avasti & Avasti

4. Public Administration - Avasti & Maheswari.

5. Administrative Thinkers - R. Prasad and Prasad.

6. Administrative Thinkers - S.R. Maheswari.

7. Public Administration - Sadan and Sharma

8. Local Government - S.R. Maheswari.

9. New Horizons of Public Administration - Mohit Bhattacharya.

10. Public Administration Theory and concepts - Rumki Basu

11. Indian Constitution - D.D. Basup (or) Pandey.

12. Public Administration and Public Affairs - Nicholas Henry.

13. Modern Public Administration - Nigro and Nigro.

General Reference Books for Public Administration

o Public administration in theory and practice - M.P. Sharma and B.L Sadan

o Public administration - Mohit Bhattacharya

o Modern public administration - Nigro and Nigro

o Theories and principles of administration : Administrative thinkers - Prasad & Prasad

o Principles of management - Terry and Frankline

o Administrative Behaviors: Managing organizational behavior - Paul Hersey & Kenneth Blanchard

o Personal Administration - Public personal administration - O. Glennstal

o Financial administration: Financial administration of India - M.J.K. Thavaray

o Comparative administration: public administration a comparative perspective - Ferrel Heady or Comparative public administration - Ramesh

o Control over administration: Public administration - Avasthi & Maheswari

o Central administration in India: Central administration - A. Avasthi

o Civil Services in India: Indian administration - S.R. Maheswari, State

o District and local administration: State administration - J.D. Shukla

o District administration -- S. S. Khera

o Local Government in India - S.R. Maheshwari