UPSC Public Administration optional subject syllabus

UPSC Optional Paper Syllabus for Public Administration – Paper I (Administrative Theory)

  1. 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, Privatisation, Globalisation; 
  • Good Governance: concept and application; 
  • New Public Management.
  1. 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.)
  1. Administrative Behaviour:
  • Process and techniques of decision-making; 
  • Communication; 
  • Morale; 
  • Motivation Theories content, 
  • process and contemporary; 
  • Theories of Leadership: 
  • Traditional and Modem:
  1. Organisations:
  • 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.
  1. 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.
  1. Administrative Law:
  • Meaning, scope and significance; 
  • Dicey on Administrative law; 
  • Delegated legislation; 
  • Administrative Tribunals.
  1. Comparative Public Administration:
  • Historical and sociological factors affecting administrative systems; 
  • Administration and politics in different countries; 
  • Current status of Comparative Public Administration; 
  • Ecology and administration; 
  • Riggsian models and their critique.
  1. Development Dynamics:
  • Concept of development; 
  • Changing profile of development administration; 
  • ‘Anti-development thesis’; 
  • Bureaucracy and development; 
  • Strong state versus the market debate; 
  • Impact of liberalization on administration in developing countries; 
  • Women and development of the self-help group movement.
  1. Personnel Administration :
  • Importance of human resource development; Recruitment, 
  • training, 
  • career advancement, 
  • position classification, 
  • discipline, performance appraisal, 
  • promotion, pray and service conditions; 
  • employer-employee relations, 
  • grievance redressal mechanism; 
  • Code of conduct; 
  • Administrative ethics.
  1. 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.
  1. Techniques of Administrative Improvement :
  • Organisation and methods, 
  • Work study and work management; 
  • e-governance and information technology; 
  • Management aid tools like network analysis, 
  1. Financial Administration :

Monetary and fiscal policies: 

  • Public borrowings and public debt Budgets types and forms; 
  • Budgetary process; 
  • Financial accountability; Accounts and audit.

UPSC Optional Paper Syllabus for Public Administration – Paper-II (Indian Administration)

  1. Evolution of Indian Administration:
  • Kautilya Arthashastra; 
  • Mughal administration; 
  • Legacy of British rule in politics and administration Indianization of Public services, revenue administration, district administration, local self Government.
  1. Philosophical and Constitutional framework of Government :
  • Salient features and value premises; 
  • Constitutionalism; Political culture; 
  • Bureaucracy and democracy; 
  • Bureaucracy and development.
  1. Public Sector Undertakings:
  • Public sector in modern India; 
  • Forms of Public Sector Undertakings; 
  • Problems of autonomy, accountability and control; 
  • Impact of liberalization and privatization.
  1. Union Government and Administration:
  • Executive, Parliament, Judiciary-structure, functions, work processes; 
  • Recent trends; Intra-governmental relations; 
  • Cabinet Secretariat; Prime Minister’s Office; 
  • Central Secretariat; 
  • Ministries and Departments; 
  • Boards; Commissions; 
  • Attached offices; 
  • Field organizations.
  1. Plans and Priorities:
  • The 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. Administrative Reforms since Independence :
  • Major concerns; 
  • Important Committees and Commissions; 
  • Reforms in financial management and human resource development; 
  • Problems of implementation.
  1. Rural Development :
  • Institutions and agencies since Independence; 
  • Rural development programmes: 
  • foci and strategies; 
  • Decentralization and Panchayati Raj; 
  • 73rd Constitutional amendment.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. Significant issues in Indian Administration:
  • Values in public service; Regulatory Commissions; 
  • National Human Rights Commission; 
  • Problems of administration in coalition regimes; 
  • Citizen administration interface; 
  • Corruption and administration; 
  • Disaster management.

Public Administration covers a chunk of the GS papers in the UPSC Mains exam covering a major portion of GS Paper III – Polity and Governance. Choosing this paper as an optional and getting acquainted with the governmental framework where the aspirants might be working in the future, would be a really wise choice.

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