(Article) Public Administration is again highly relevant optional

(Article) Public Administration is again highly relevant optional

Public Administration is again highly relevant if you know the ‘general’ approach to write answers. This year after the publication of Mains result, number of Public Administration students going for IAS interview is leading. Its quite ahead when we make comparison with other popular optional available in this exam.

Next question that comes in the mind of the student is list of books, there is no need to follow the big list of books. Even you follow the big list of books it will only cover 75% of your Mains syllabus. For rest of the 25% of your syllabus topics I will suggest you to contact an expert.

The other issue why I am suggesting you this optional is because of very short syllabus of this subject. Here you have to read only few books but in this optional you cannot afford to go ahead without writing practice and expert advice.

Public Administration is all about analysis and though process. Compulsorily previous year papers and model questions. Coaching classes for Public Administration is an option which one can definitely afford to ignore but ensure you have some expert to guide you in the very beginning.

Suggested Reading for Public Administration :

  • Administrative Thinkers – Prasad and Prasad
  • New Horizons of Public Administration – Mohit Bhattacharya.
  • Public Administration – M. Laxmikant
  • Public administration in theory and practice - M.P. Sharma, B.L Sadana and Harpreet Kaur
  • Indian Administration – Ramesh K. Arora & Rajni Goyal
  • Second ARC Reports

(1) A lot of questions will be asked from Administrative committees and commissions. And 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission anyways seems all time favourite for the UPSC.
(2) Citizen charter has been a all time favourite topic of UPSC so better be through with it.
(3) There are always a direct or indirect questions from Wilson, Riggs, Barnard, and Simon, be ready for it.
(4) The first two chapters hold almost 35% of the marks for paper I .
(5) Evolution of Indian Administration, Centre/state/district administration and significant issues in Indian administration- prepare all these chapter of Paper II thoroughly .
(6) Read book ‘Administrative Thinkers by Prasad and Prasad’ maximum number of times.
(7) If you have another available option then you can avoid question from the chapter - Public Policy (P1).
(8) Always try to frame your answer from the key words of your question.
(9) Almost every year in some form or other they provide a question on the relationship between Politics and Administration.

After reading the whole syllabus once again I will suggest you to revise chapters of Paper I & II together which have some commonness and the one is continuity of other will be beneficial for you from the point of view of time saving and for developing linkages (results in secured high marks). e.g.

1. Introduction (P1)+ Administrative Thought (P1)+Administrative Behaviour (P1)+ Comparative Public Administration(P1) + Development Dynamics(P1)
2. Organisations (P1)+ Evolution of Indian Administration(P2) + Philosophical and Constitutional framework of government (P2) + Union Government and Administration (P2) + State Government and Administration(P2)3. District Administration since Independence(P2) + Rural Development (P2)+ Urban Local Government(P2)
4. Accountability and control (P1)+ Significant issues in Indian Administration(P2)
5. Personnel Administration (P1)+ Civil Services(P2)
6. Financial Administration (P1)+ Public Sector Undertakings(P2) + Plans and Priorities (P2)+ Financial Management(P2)
7. Techniques of Administrative Improvement(P1) + Administrative Reforms since Independence(P2)
8. Administrative Law(P1)
9. Law and Order Administration(P2)
10. Public Policy(P1)

Note- P1 means Public Administration Paper I & P2 means Public Administration Paper 2


  • ‘Thinking’ and ‘linking’ the whole syllabus/topics along with a proper sequence in any answer.
  • Practice a lots of tests from anywhere you get.
  • Identify the weak areas and focus accordingly.
  • Make a note of the mistakes that you make in the tests or interactive session and try to rectify them.
  • The examiner only expects you to write a simple logical answer with clarity.
  • Do not give long introduction this may lead to loss of focus and attraction of the examiner.The 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.
  • Before suggesting any cure take administrative feasibility test of your suggestion.
  • Write answers like brilliant graduate and not like a confused philosopher.
  • Use more quotes from thinkers to ‘certify’ your stand in the answer.
  • Don’t write General Studies answers for Public Administration Paper 2. Write Answer like a Public Administration student.
  • Always complete your answer with conclusion howsoever small or big you may write. Even if you have little time conclude beautifully.



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