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Public Administration Syllabus for UPSC 2024

Public Administration Syllabus for UPSC 2024: Discover the comprehensive Public Administration syllabus for UPSC 2024, including key topics and areas of focus for effective preparation.

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In the UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam, Public Administration is listed as one of the Optional Subjects, consisting of two papers – Optional Paper I and Paper II. The Mains stage of the IAS Exam includes a total of 9 papers. Public Administration is among the 48 subjects offered in the list of optional subjects for UPSC aspirants.


Administration 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. 

2. 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.) 

3. Administrative Behaviour : 

Process and techniques of decision-making; Communication; Morale; Motivation Theories content,  process and contemporary; Theories of Leadership: Traditional and Modem: 

4. 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. 

5. 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. 

6. Administrative Law : 

Meaning, scope and significance; Dicey on Administrative law; Delegated legislation; Administrative  Tribunals. 

7. 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. 

8. Development Dynamics : 

Concept of development; Changing profile of development administration; ‘Anti-development thesis’;  Bureaucracy and development; Strong state versus the market debate; Impact of liberalisation on  administration in developing countries; Women and development the self-help group movement. 

9. 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. 

10. Public Policy : 

Models of policy-making and their critique; Processes of conceptualisation, planning, implementation,  monitoring, evaluation and review and their limitations; State theories and public policy formulation. 

11. Techniques of Adminstrative Improvement : 

Organisation and methods, Work study and work management; e-governance and information  technology; Management aid tools like network analysis, MIS, PERT, CPM.

12. Financial Administration : 

Monetary and fiscal policies: Public borrowings and public debt Budgets types and forms; Budgetary  process; Financial accountability; Accounts and audit. 


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. . 

2. Philosophical and Constitutional framework of Government : 

Salient features and value premises; Constitutionalism; Political culture; Bureaucracy and  democracy; Bureaucracy and development. 

3. Public Sector Undertakings : 

Public sector in modern India; Forms of Public Sector Undertakings; Problems of autonomy,  accountability and control; Impact of liberalization and privatization. 

4. 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. 

5. Plans and Priorities : 

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. 

6. 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. 

7. 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. 

8. 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. 

9. 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. 

10. Administrative Reforms since Independence : 

Major concerns; Important Committees and Commissions; Reforms in financial management and human  resource development; Problems of implementation. 

11. Rural Development : 

Institutions and agencies since Independence; Rural development programmes: foci and strategies;  Decentralization and Panchayati Raj; 73rd Constitutional amendment. 

12. 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. 

13. Law and Order Administration: 

British legacy; National Police Commission; Investigative agencies; Role of Central and State Agencies  including para military forces in maintenance of law and order and countering insurgency and terrorism;  Criminalisation of politics and administration; Police-public relations; Reforms in Police. 

14. 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. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Get the most common frequently asked questions on Public Administration Syllabus for UPSC.

What is the syllabus for Public Administration in UPSC 2024?

The Public Administration syllabus for UPSC 2024 covers topics such as administrative theories, Indian administrative system, governance, public po...Read full

Is a background in Public Administration required to choose it as an optional subject?

No, a specific background in Public Administration is not necessary. Candidates from any academic background can choose Public Administration as th...Read full

Are there any recommended books for Public Administration in UPSC?

Yes, there are several recommended books for Public Administration in UPSC, such as “Public Administration: Concepts and Theories” by R...Read full

How can I effectively prepare for the Public Administration optional subject?

To prepare for Public Administration, focus on understanding the concepts, theories, and their practical applications. Read relevant books, make co...Read full

Are there any current affairs topics related to Public Administration that need to be covered?

Yes, it is important to stay updated with current affairs related to governance, public policies, administrative reforms, and key issues in the fie...Read full

Can I combine Public Administration with other optional subjects?

Yes, you can combine Public Administration with other optional subjects. However, it is important to manage your time effectively and ensure thorou...Read full