Public Administration Mains 2018 : Solved Paper Public Administration : Paper-2-Question-1

Public Administration Mains 2018 : Solved Paper Question Paper-2 (Question-1)


Q1. Answer the following questions in about 150 words each:

a. “A government next-door is the government that matters most for the people.” Discuss the statement with special reference to the values of local government. (Evolution of Indian Administration


b. The philosophy of the Westminster model is at odds with the political culture of India.” Critically analyse. (Philosophical and Constitutional framework of government)


c. “The attached offices and subordinate offices are integral to the functioning of the Cabinet Secretariat.” Discuss. (Union Government and Administration)

ANSWER: The attached offices “are responsible for providing executive direction required in the implementation of the policies laid down by the Ministry to which they are attached.” In other words, such an office plays dual role, that of directing the subordinate offices below and submitting proposals to the secretariat

On the other hand, a subordinate office is a mere field agency “responsible for the detailed execution of the decisions of the Government.” Such a role is by no means unimportant. In fact, being at “the delivering of goods end,” its role can be very crucial.

In actual practice, however, we find no such clear-cut distinction of functions as between the two categories of offices. At best such distinction is blurred. Even the Manual recognises that though the subordinate offices generally function under the direction of the attached offices, in some cases they may function directly under the ministry. This makes confusion worse confounded. As early as 1945-46, Tottenham ,therefore, recommended the abolition of distinction between the two categories of offices.

The First Administrative Reforms Commission examined the problem in the wider context of secretariat and non-secretariat organizations and their relationship and made certain recommendations. However, despite all the above recommendations the older pattern still continues. But, while the attached offices have been able to better the conditions of service of their employees and achieve a higher status almost co-equal to that of the secretariat, the subordinate offices continue to slog in their subordinate status.

d. It is apprehended that lateral entry will lead to politicisation of bureaucracy. Do you agree? Justify (Civil Services)

ANSWER: Political and social realities have to be kept in mind while making changes in public administration. Diversity must remain an important principle in lateral entries as well. But lateral entry shouldn’t descend into nepotism and politicisation of bureaucracy. The process of selection needs to be transparent and above reproach. The fact that Indian bureaucrats have come through an independent system and will remain in office irrespective of the political regime insulates them, to some extent, from undue pressure. In India, for any job, there is often a tendency to compromise on merit and use “connections”. If lateral entry becomes a way for only those who are politically and ideologically committed to the regime in power, the exercise will be undermined. The government should go ahead with its initiative, but with caution, while keeping the credibility and integrity of the process intact.

e. “Contracting out tasks without effective accountability mechanisms can be counter-productive for effective service delivery." Comment. (Public Sector Undertakings)


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