Public Administration Mains 2017 : Model Question and Answer - 40

Public Administration Mains 2017 : Model Question and Answer

(Public Administration Paper II / Chapter: Evolution of Indian Administration)

(Important) Question : Discuss the view that despite different contexts, administrative maxims of Kautilya’s Arthashastra bear considerable similarity with features of Weber’s ideal bureaucratic model. (25 Marks/300 Words)

Model Answer :

Max Weber and Kautilya existed in different socio-political and economic settings and were analyzing a monarchical setup in different temporal and spatial zones. Weber, being a sociologist in Germany engaged in theory building whereas Kautilya gave empirical evidences of the administrative system that existed in the ancient times and adopts a normative and prescriptive approach.

Both propagated efficiency and rationality in administrative systems. They both also agreed that administration must be kept clean from all malice and corruption. Kautilya employed a spy network to conduct surveillance on the officials whereas Weber took a systemic approach by ensuring that Officials were separated from the means of administration. Both of them however took different approaches in legitimizing authority. Kautilya believed in the exercise of control, even through coercive measures in order to maintain discipline in administration which Weber understood as power, whereas Weber adopted means of internalized sanctions.

1)Division of Labour

Weber stated that whole work of organization should be broken into parts and divided. This is what happened in kautilya's times, there was departmentalisation- army, treasury, market etc

2) Well Defined Authority-Hierarchy

Weber mentioned that there shall be hierarchy for both personnel and offices .this was prevalent in Mauryan empire, as a chain of offices and personnel functioned under the king.

3)Abstract Rules and Impersonality

Weber in order to keep unfair means out from administration wanted that bureaucrats should be honest, fair and unbiased while performing official duties. Kautilya too had measures to keep unscrupulous behaviour by

officials at bay.

4) Official Records and Monthly Salary

The day to day operations were kept as a record by respective agencies and personnel according to their job were paid monthly salaries (Total Words- 278)

(Linkages : Kautilya and Weber, Bureaucratic Model and Normative Approach, Coercive Measures and Internalized Sanctions)

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