(Getting Started) Public Administration Strategy by Topper Nidhin K Biju (AIR-89)

(Getting Started) Public Administration Strategy by Topper Nidhin K Biju (AIR-89)

Nidhin K Biju is a Delhi native who cleared the UPSC Civil Services 2019 examination with an all India rank of 89. He is trained in Electronics and Communication Engineering and this was his 3rd attempt. Although there was immense pressure on him to clear the exam at the very first attempt, with time he learned to treat this exam as the marathon that it is and not a 100m race. His choice of optional was public administration and he has scored an impressive 274 in his optional papers combined. Here we share with you his strategy for Pub Ad Optional.

Why Choose Public Administration As Your Optional?

As always, the very first criteria for choosing an option should be your interest in the subject. A lot of the aspirants pursue civil services with administrative service in mind, so many may find Public Administration a suitable subject. Other than this, there are a few more perks of choosing it as your optional –

  • Public Administration is dynamic and a lot of the information one can consume from their day-to-day current affairs studies.
  • There is plenty of interlinking with General Studies, especially paper-II and it helps in combined preparation.
  • It has a crisp and short syllabus allowing one to complete the whole syllabus in 3 to 4 months.
  • Again, it is an extremely relevant subject for any administrator.

Online Course for Public Administration for IAS Mains

Study Notes & Books


  1. New Horizons Of Public Administration by Mohit Bhattacharya
  2. Administrative Thinkers by Prasad and Prasad
  3. Public Administration Online Blogs and Articles

This is the theoretical part of the optional. 


  1. Public Administration by Radhabinod Aribam
  2. Indian Public Administration by Arora and Goyal

UPSC Public Administration Study Notes (100% Syllabus Covered)

Common Important Sources

  1. 2nd ARC Reports

    1. Public Order – 5th Report
    2. Local Government – 6th Report
    3. Personnel Administration – 10th Report
    4. Promoting e-Governance – 11th Report
    5. Citizen-Centric Administration – 12th Report
    6. Financial Management – 14th Report
    7. State And District Administration – 15th Report
  2. Sarkaria Commission Report Summary
  3. Punchhi Commission Report Summary

How To Read And Make Notes

One important tip Nidhin starts with is you DO NOT SKIP Mohit Bhattacharya. Yes, the language is difficult and it takes time to navigate through the book, but it is the bible of Public Administration and well worth the effort. Next comes Prasad and Prasad which lists 20 thinkers, Pick a thinker a day, do not pressurize yourself, and you will still complete it within 20 days. Make short notes on the second read for both books. Concentrate on just familiarizing and understanding in the first iteration. Revision is key; revise as many times as feasible.

Increase Your Score With These Simple Tips

Use diagrams and flowcharts to enhance answers

Test Series for Public Administration Optional

A lot of aspirants choose Public Administration as their optional. It is easy to get lost in the crowd. To ensure that you score better than average and thus better your chances at selection, follow these simple tips –

  • Interlink Papers I and II wherever possible. This displays a depth of understanding and capability to logically analyze events.
  • Quote thinkers and use their theories and keywords in those theories wherever possible.
  • Try to use current affairs based examples wherever you get the chance to.

Hopefully, with the right number of revisions and the right amount of practice, you will now clear your exam with your optional marks pushing you towards your goals. 

Best of luck!

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